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2010 Liberta awards!


It may be a recession year, but 2010 saw a whole lot of good art stuff happening in Philadelphia. Here’s our annual awards roundup!

6 best shows of 2010 that we saw:
Mika Rottenberg @Mary Boone
Paul Outlaw and Jennifer Catron’s The Honeymooners @Grizzly Grizzly
Value City @Little Berlin
Failure to Show @Extra Extra
Philagrafika @Temple Gallery (especially for Heavy Industries)
Bauhaus @MoMA

Derek Frech RGB Cube iRL projection, wood, in Value City at Little Berlin. (It’s the opposite of James Turrell)

Explorer extraordinaire award
Duke Riley kayaks on the Delaware to Petty’s Island and produces one of the best Philagrafika shows, at the PA Historical Society.

Photo by Duke Riley of his King of Petty Island commemorative seal atop a Citgo tank there. The island is owned by Citgo which is owned by Venezuela.

Can’t believe it’s over award
Zoe Strauss’ Under I-95 exhibit

Picture stalkers bringing home the goods at 4:01.

Snark and Mirrors Award
“The Art of the Steal.” Lies with high production values and Friends of the Barnes propaganda.

Crowd watching The Art of the Steal on the big screen tv in the Piazza

Major Leagues Award
Huff Post names Julian Hoeber’s Hammer Museum show to its top 10 art shows, a list that includes Tino Sehgal, Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, and Christian Marclay. Hoeber, who works in LA, comes from Philly.

Julian Hoeber, Demon Hill 2010 Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. From

Mother Theresa Award
Marianne Bernstein for respect and help to the homeless in Dilworth Plaza, where she curated Philadelphia Underground video show (one of the videos shown below).

Katya Gorker, Starts

Tempest in a Teapot Award
False internet rumor accuses Arcadia Works on Paper biennial of dirty pool and pisses off the masses. Here’s the truth on audio.

Community meeting at Little Berlin, to clear the air of foul play rumors

Best Helpers Award
Hooray for our interns–Tiernan, David, Emily, Becca, Catherine, Chip, Clarissa, Kathleen, Erica, Jayne, Cari, Jennifer, Montana, and all the interns who have helped us cover the scene this year. Some of them are still writing for us.

Gross Oversight Award
Whitney Biennial passes on Philly artists this time. What the hell!

Our Pew Wish List.
Even though the nominators identities are secret, we like to think they read artblog. So here is our wishlist for the Pews:
Tim Eads
Jayson Musson
Jennie Thwing
Bohyun Yoon
Leslie Rogers

Tim Eads’ painting machine “spray” painting stripes on a building


Bohyun Yoon’s shadows animate his studio wall.
PuppeTyrany at Vox Populi, Leslie Rogers and Zack Paladino performing the sexy-weird Mouth Theatre piece

Wish we’d thought of it first award
Wine flowing from the kitchen tap in Paul Outlaw and Jennifer Catron’s tricked out kitchen installation. It went perfectly with the cupcakes and the bickering,

Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw’s Honeymooners installation with wine in the kitchen tap

Irrelevancy award
Bravo’s Work of Art. In spite of the local connection, that would be Abdi Farah, who won the goods and went on to a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, there was no reason to watch.

Abdi Farah, painting from his senior thesis exhibition at Penn in 2009

Theoretical Award
Machete (goes the extra mile with its reading group, attended by dozens of  local theory-hungry people)
Machete Cover December 2010 web e1292298044553

How Much is That Doggie in the Window Award
Matt Savitsky’s sexy puppy performance in the window at Bodega

Matt Savitsky’s puppy in the window performance at Bodega

Best aluminum foil installation
Tyler Kline’s maze reinvented the art space at Little Berlin

Tyler Kline’s inventive aluminum foil walls, at Little Berlin, Oct. 2010

New galleries rising
Extra Extra
Jolie Laide Gallery opens
Great and Terrible Collective
Heavy Bubble
We know we’re missing a few, so add them to the comments, gang!

Bodega, a new performance and exhibition space on 3rd St. in Old City. Emily Rooney and Strauss Bourque-LaFrance

Invisible Man award
What happened to Jayson Scott Musson’s Hennessy Youngman stand-up comedy videos this month at Sande Webster Gallery? We hear she was worried about the content, then changed her mind, but no videos. Instead he’s showing paintings.

The No-Award Award
Whither the Wolgin Prize? The last one (and only one) was in 2009.

ryan trecartin
Ryan Trecartin, happy, after being awarded the Wolgin Prize, fall, 2009.  No Wolgin Prize awarded in 2010.

Worth noting–City Hall gets a real art gallery this year; PEI gave away a cool $1 million; Knight Foundation commits $9 million over next three years; Pew grants disappointing if you’re a visual artist; Sue Spaid goes to Baltimore Contemporary Museum, and we’ll miss her; FPAA creates Museum Without Walls, first-in-the-city app tour of its public art collection; Sid Sachs’ Women of Pop show goes to Brooklyn Museum and Tufts–the catalog selected as a notable book of the year in New York Times.

Gary Steuer, Director of the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, speaking at the opening of the new art gallery in City Hall, June, 2010.
Knight Foundation’s Dennis Scholl and Mayor Michael Nutter speaking at the launch of the 3-year, $9M Knight Challenge, Oct. 2010
Sue Spaid, standing in Caroline Lathan Staffel’s piece, Abington Art Center.  Former Art Center curator’s on her way to Baltimore Contemporary Museum.
PAFA Curator Bob Cozzolino, left, and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery Curator Sid Sachs, pictured at a recent artblog radio taping.  Sid’s Women of Pop show got deserved national recognition.  Bob’s Narcissus in the Studio is a highpoint this season.

A warm happy holiday wish from the artblog team, without whom this list would be impossible. So thanks to Andrea, our art historian in residence, to Beth the ad coordinator and so much more, to Kelani the tech wizard and so much more, to Peter Crimmins without whom artblog radio would drone on and on, and to all our wonderful contributors!