News post – Philagrafika begins anew, Flying Kite art project, 1616 Walnut sold, opportunities and more!


Economic news – As much as we long to believe in the vision of recovery the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has painted for us with glowing news of Philadelphia’s rebounding cultural sector, another depressing barrage of bad news for the arts flies in the face of their optimism. NPR is confronting the specter of major budget cuts, while 1616 Walnut, the building that houses the Fleisher-Ollman Gallery and the GPCA is being sold to be developed into residential space. Both the GPCA and Fleisher-Ollman are moving to new locations (the Cultural Alliance’s new home is the Philadelphia Building at 1315 Walnut, while Fleisher-Ollman’s is yet to be determined), with all the cost and disruption those moves entail. As if that were not enough, the Savoy Company, the world’s oldest amateur theater company dedicated solely to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, and the Academy of Music’s longest-standing tenant, is leaving the Academy due to rising rents after a staggering 80-year run. Adding to the sad news, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore has suspended operations, with May 31st the last day for its four employees and executive director Sue Spaid. A former curator at the Abington Art Center, Spaid was greatly missed when she left Philly – we hope she will find an even better position here and come back to us.

Sue Spaid, at Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum

Via Daniel Heyman and Rick DeCoyte of the Philagrafika board – Philagrafika, having undergone a drastic redesign, is hosting the first artist talk in its new program at ultra-hip Rittenhouse space Studio Christensen. Local artist, Pew Fellowship recipient and Philagrafika Portfolio alumni Nami Yamamoto and Mary Anne Friel of RISD (and formerly of the Fabric Workshop and Museum) present “Natural Discourse”, their year-long collaboration, co-curated by Shirley Watts and Friel. Yamamoto’s work from this collaboration will will run at the University of California at Berkeley Botanical Gardens from June~October 2012, and the talk will be about the collaboration and the exhibit. The talk — which is free — is Thursday May 31 at 6:00 pm, the first event in Philagrafika’s “Working States” on-line project. Studio Christensen, aside from hosting the talk, is also currently showing an exhibition of selected works from Philagrafika’s Invitational Portfolio. Reserve a free ticket here.

Visit the PMA on a Monday for a change: The Philadelphia Museum of Art is open on Memorial Day this year.

In the media – Bridgette Mayer has been named one of the top 40 under 40 business leaders in Business Journal! You can read the full article here.

“Light” at Longwood Gardens.

On June 9 Longwood Gardens launches the US premiere of Light: Installations by Bruce MunroFew guests get the chance to see the Gardens’ 23 acres after hours, but this exhibition allows that to happen with large-scale, site-specific light installations. More information at their site, as well as more on SmART Nights, their accompaniment to the program. SmART Nights, a kind of science cafe and storytelling mashup facilitated by First Person Arts, take place on select Thursdays throughout the exhibit (Light is on view June 9—September 29) and are free with the purchase of timed admission tickets.

Philadelphian doughnut connoisseurs, who have lucked out with the news of a second Federal Doughnuts opening in Center City, may want to make a sugary pilgrimage to the latest Kreemart event, “Doughnut” at the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art. Brought to you by Bastien Aubrey and Dmitri Broquard, a tantalizing video of the event, which began on April 30, can be seen here.

Gallery news – Alex Baker is coming back to town to take over as director at Fleisher-Ollman. Current director Amy Adams is  going to Portland, OR, after her husband was offered a great new position at Nike. Congratulations to the Adamses! Baker, who starts in June, is a much-loved former Philly curator whose experience includes curating at the ICA and PAFA; we will be glad to see him back!  Projects Gallery, it seems, is closing for the summer while its owners take some much-needed R&R in the Mediterranean and Miami. Bruce Hoffman, curator and co-artistic director of Fiber Philadelphia 2012, is the new Director of Gravers Lane Gallery in Chestnut Hill.

Kataryzna Kozyra, an amazing Polish video artist who first captivated us at Carnegie International in 2004, is searching for artists to audition, in front of a camera and the artist, for the for the leading role in her upcoming autobiographical film. Along with her film crew from New York’s Bunker Media production studio, auditions are set for Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1 at Family Business, the Maurizio Cattalan project space that was the site of Hennessy Youngman’s recent exhibition extravaganza. If you think this is the role for you, email with your preferred date and time or inquire onsite. The exhibition is open for viewing May 29, with an opening reception on May 31 from 6-9 PM at Family Business on 520 W. 21st Street in NY.



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4017 Lancaster Avenue, the site of Flying Kite Media’s new art initiative.

Flying Kite Media is sponsoring “On the Ground,” its first artistic neighborhood revitalization effort. Curated by Bonnie McAllister, the project is accepting proposals for art to display in a storefront at 4017 Lancaster Ave. from June 8 to July 31. This opportunity is open to artists in the 19104 zip code, working in any medium, whose work coincides with the theme, Transformation. The deadline for submissions is June 1. The opening exhibition is in conjunction with Second Fridays on Lancaster Ave, with a reception and exhibition from 5-8pm on Friday, June 8 at 4017 Lancaster Ave. After 90 days in Mantua, Flying Kite plans to move on and continue the project in another neighborhood. More information here.  We want to say it’s a great idea and very much like the No Longer Empty project in New York, which we saw a couple years ago in one of its first iterations at an old Tower Records store in Lower Manhattan.

Brookes Britcher has announced the New Wilmington Art Association’s Call-For-Artists for RSVP 2012. an annual juried exhibition open to all artists and mediums. Application details found here. 

Artist News

In other Brookes Britcher developments, he and Bryan Rice recently participated in a great interview project based out of NYC called “Bedfellows,” in which they took turns interviewing one other on their baseball-themed project, A Certain Slant of Sunlight. Check out this site for more details.

Bay Hallowell, “Sri.”

Longtime Artblog friend Bay Hallowell has had two monoprints selected for shows in Santa Barbara, CA, for LIFT 2012, Westmont College’s Annual Juried Show, which can be seen from May 17 to June 30 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, CA. More information at Hallowell’s site.

Gabriel Martinez is the recipient of the $10,000 Meredith J. Long Core Program Award for 2012, given by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). Congratulations, Gabe! More information on the award here.

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Chris Lawrence, from “Hedge Magic.”

Chris Lawrence is part of a group show, “Hedge Magic” at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, which runs from June 2 at 7:00 pm until August 5 at 5:00 pm. The opening reception is June 2nd, from 7-11pm. The Soap Factory has more information on their site.

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Lesley Mitchell, “Balada Para Un Loco (Song For A Madman II).”

Lesley Mitchell, maker of artists’ books, has a couple of out-of-town gallery offerings this summer. Her book “A La Milonga/At the Milonga” is included in Artists’ Book Cornucopia III at Abecedarian Gallery in Boulder, CO, with a reception at 4 PM on June 2. There is also the San Diego Book Arts Fourth National Juried Exhibition at UC-San Diego from May 26 – July 8, 2012, where “A La Milonga/At the Milonga” is also included.

“Wild Oats,” new work from Dolores Poacelli. Courtesy of the artist’s site.

InLiquid artist Dolores Poacelli’s work has been included in a group show at the Noyes Museum, as a part of the Visual Art Fellowship Awards Exhibition. The opening reception is Friday June 8, from 5-8 PM, and more details can be found via the museum’s site.

Rebecca Gilbert, also of InLiquid, joins Poacelli at the Noyes Museum, where six of her shadow boxes and an installation piece are included in “Clip, Cut: Paper Thin,” an exhibition at the Museum’s satellite gallery in Hammonton, NJ. Also in the group show is Tyler MFA Patricia Brentano. The show is May 15 – June 19, with an opening reception on May 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.