2011 Liberta Awards!

Looking over our shoulders, this was a year with some good shows in spite of the tough economy.  Also in spite of the economy, West Collects adds an infusion of dough into its collecting pouch — and earmarks $100,000 a year for Phily artists! Meanwhile artblog had some excitement – we won the Knight Arts Challenge for our art safaris and fundraised successfully to match that grant; we lost the maps&listings (boo hoo–we miss them!) and took on some new writers and helpers. We’re sorry to see three artists we admired pass on:  Warren Angle; Twins Seven Seven; Walter Edmonds.

The 2011 Libertas!

The What’s in a Name? Award
1. Best show title — Hungerstrike Wonderland Force Multiplier at Pageant Soloveev Gallery
2. Best magazine title — The Nicola Midnight St. Claire
3. Best artist name -Liz Magic Laser


Voldemort Unmasked Award
To the mystery blogger who formally identified cyberstalker/bully Vincent Romaniello as the artblahgger

artblog Stalking Victims
Jayson Musson, Jordan Griska, Matt Kalasky

Stalking the Stalkers Award

Hannah Price, photo of harrassing man in Philadelphia

Photographer Hannah Price takes pictures of men who harrass her on Philadelphia streets, work which got this 20-something artist into a PMA show.

Julien Robson Award
Julien Robson, curator of Contemporary Art, for outstanding energy and enthusiasm in Contemporary curating at PAFA

Holy Smokes Award

Comet: God’s Particle, 120 x 32 x 32 inches, neon/glass/aluminum

The Percent for Art Program commissions Tristin Lowe’s wild, neon comet for the SWAT/Bomb Disposal/K-9 training center!

Attagirl Award
Penny Balkin Bach of the Fairmount Park Art Association for her instrumental role in working with the Center City District, Olin Partnership, and City of Philadelphia for commissioning Janet Echelman’s light and water transit map in Dilworth Plaza–sooo 21st Century we hardly know how to describe it! Hey they all deserve kudos! (This is a correction.)

Let Them Eat Weeds Award
Temple Gallery Director Rob Blackson gets people to eat foraged greens from around Temple — and enjoy it!

And the Oscar goes to
Mike Ellyson and Jacque Liu’s real live chicken; what a performance!!!!
Runners up–  Hennessey Youngman, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Matt Savitsky and Jenny Drumgoole (we love them all)

And the Oscar goes to #2 — Best Costume Design and Direction Award

Nick Cave’s dancers and musicians breathed even more life into Cave’s costumes.

Nick Cave for his performance at the Fabric Workshop

The Uplifting Art Award
Maiza Hixson and Lauren Ruth’s Shafting — art programs in the elevator at 319 N. 11th St.

Crazy idea we wished we thought of ourselves
Libby and Roberta on your voice mail–The Nicola Midnight St. Claire raffled off our elocutionary wizardry at the magazine’s fundraiser.

The Big Nothing Award
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts – raised money for Kimmel Center…brought a lot of people in.  They’re gonna do it again in 2013.

The Big Whoop Award
The “Contemporary Art” hype that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Woodmere.

Major Dissonance Award

Yin Xiu Zhen’s work in the Half a Sky exhibit at Drexel’s Pearlstein Gallery

Half the Sky, a fantastic show, survives its most unlikely venue – Drexel’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, now in a temporary (and less than) space.

Best concept of the year
Virtual Assistance, Andrew Norman Wilson + Akhil C.  at Extra Extra gallery

Best Phantom Department of City Government Award
The Department of Alternative Affairs with Little Berlin, Extra Extra and FluxSpace in residence at City Hall!

Best Opening Ever Award
Epic Pain, at Little Berlin.  Leslie Rogers rounds up great stuff for one night of performance art.

Pew wish list
Tim Belknap
Derek Frech
Erin Riley
Dave Kim
Jenny Drumgoole

Galleries-new ones/closed ones/reopened ones
Jolie Laide , Screening. Bambi, Sande Webster, Nexus (is it? isn’t it? we don’t know – somebody tell us the skinny)

Notable Openings (in no particular order)
Napoleon, Fourth Wall Gallery opens a space – leading with Claes Gabriel; Prelude; The Diplomat ; Gravy; Chestnut Hill Gallery; The Arts Garage in Mt. Airy joins the first Arts Garage in North Philly and now there are 2, and Ola Solanke (of the first Arts Garage says that’s ok by him!) These are the ones we know about. If you have more to add, put them in the comments.

Reopenings that Make Us Happy

Little Berlin’s courtyard in their new locale at Viking Mills sports a perfectly toxic bbq pit

Bridgette Mayer Gallery; Carbon 14 Gallery; Little Berlin (whose new space has the scariest entryway and barbeque pit in town)

2011 Best Helpers Award
They make artblog happen…we couldn’t do it without them…we love them!!!–Andrea Kirsh, Alison McMenamin, Alyssa Greenberg, Andreea Bailluc, Cate Fallon, Chip Schwartz, Corey Armpriester, Daniel Forrest Hoffman, Deb Miller, Dennis D’Alesandro, Diana Jih, Edward Epstein, Emmy Thelander, Erica Minutella, Joshua Weibley, Julian Phillips, Kaitlin Pomerantz, K-Fai Steele, Kathleen Vaccaro, Kim Paynter, Laura Adams, Matthew Rose, Max Mulhern, Peter Crimmins, Samantha Slade and, and Stefan Zebrowski-Rubin. Thanks to them we’re ready for 2012 and art safaris!