Every once in a while there’s a teacher who is more than a teacher, someone who influences students in unpredictable and fantastic ways.

Frank Bramblett, photo by Roberta

Frank Bramblett, who recently retired from Tyler, is just such a person. And so, in honor of him, some of his students got together to do what they do best thanks to him. They threw him an art show.

Austin Lee and Katrina Mortorff, who organized the team that put on the show

Thanks.Frank organizers Austin Lee and Katrina Mortorff, corralled work by 33 artists (themselves included), all Frank alums, including art luminaries Trenton Doyle Hancock and Anthony Campuzano. The Lee-Mortorff production got help from their Tyler friends, too many to mention individually, but you can see the list of other participating artists at the end.

Anthony Campuzano, Double Frank, resting on a pediment at the Elkins Estate

The object of everyone’s affection, Frank, himself, was blown away, touched beyond belief. He said he was nervous when he arrived. He still looked nervous a couple of hours later. Wherever he stood on the night of the opening, Aug. 27, a receiving line of well wishers and admirers formed to hug him, shake his hand, and let them know how much he matters to them.

The opulent Elkins Estate where the show hung, on the balcony.

The show is at the barococco Elkins Estate, which is worth a visit in and of itself. The ladies who volunteer there stood watch at the drive and the door, being helpful. They told us Tuesday night was a good one for docent-led tours.

Lineup of Frank’s soda cans

I liked that the tables of nibblies included Frank’s sodas–of course. Megan Bartley Matthews, who had a piece in the show, said the soda brand, which used to be a Philadelphia supermarket staple, was not so easy to track down.

Megan Bartley Matthews, who told us about the Frank’s sodas

Megan was one of our students when we taught a class at Tyler with Frank. Well, really Frank taught the class, and graciously carried us when we were unsure of ourselves, which was most of the time. He never let on that we might need some help. The mix of learning from him and just being around him and seeing how his mind worked was an incomparable experience. What comes out of his mouth is elegant, complex and straight to the core of things. He could speak calmly about the encoded sex or race or violence implied in a student’s work without raising the young artist’s hackles.

Austin Lee, Face, one of the pieces in the show

So sure enough, just in case you thought he was retiring quietly, he popped one of his classic post-length comments  August 31(on Andrea’s post about art fakes at the National Gallery in London), just a four days after the Thanks.Frank opening reception. Now we know at least one of the things Frank will do in his retirement.

Katrina Mortorff, Phranks

The show runs to Sept. 21
1750 Ashbourne Road, (input 750 Ashbourne Road when using a GPS or online mapping service), Elkins Park, PA
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesdays 5-8 p.m.

Here’s who else was in the show:

3axap Bakc, Amy Lincoln,Alngela Washko, Arden Bendler Browning, Bridget Purcell, Christopher Ulivo, Colleen McCubbbin Stepanic Dorian Dean, Dustin Metz, Esmeralda Montes Joe Piconi, Jonathan Allmaier, Joy Payton, Julia Schwadron, Kelly McRaven, Lauren Whearty, Liz Markus, Maanik Singh, Maggie Van Scoyk, Maria Walker, Michael Ambron, Rebecca Saylor Sack, Robert Goodman, Sarah MD Kohn, Sean McBride, Stephen Pentak, Thomas Vance, and Tony Lopez. UPDATE: A couple more artists joined in last minute. They are Ryan McCartney and Liz Atzberger (per comment from Austin Lee below).