News post – Frank Rizzo’s yarn bikini, Saffron defends PSFS legacy, Jenny Lee Maas at the Thought Lot, opportunities and more!


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Too hot for JFK Plaza: Frank Rizzo in a custom Ishknits bikini, before its removal by security.

On Tuesday morning, Frank Rizzo’s statue at 15th and JFK got a richly symbolic – if short-lived – dressing-down by Ishknits aka Jessie Hemmons, Philadelphia’s resident yarnbomber. For approximately three minutes, Rizzo was clad in a hot pink bikini, causing much hilarity and consternation for passerby before security came out and removed it. Derive whatever political commentary you will from this, it got people’s attention, as a thong bikini on one of Philadelphia’s most polarizing politicians is wont to do. Hemmons has put a statement about the incident on her blog.

In other street art news, Conrad Benner of Streets Dept raised some hackles this week with a proposal to put a mural on the blank wall of the PSFS building. Architectural expert Inga Saffron was particularly incensed by the idea, castigating Benner’s apparent disregard for one of Philadelphia’s most iconic landmarks. It remains to be seen whether this will spur a renewed interest in International architecture; in the meantime, it’s been the consensus that a mural is pretty unlikely to actually happen.

Etiquette expert Mary M. Mitchell is publishing a new book, Woofs to the Wise: Learning to Lick at Life and Chew on Civility. The publication comes after the untimely passing last year of her co-author, Nessa Forman, the former VP for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at WHYY-FM. Mitchell has made good on her promise to publish their book; Woofs to the Wise comes out on November 14, with a launch party beginning at 6:30 pm at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central location. All of the profits benefit the Philadelphia Foundation’s arts education for middle school students.
The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is holding the 2012 Project Stream Check Ceremony on Thursday, November 1st, celebrating the 2012-2013 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts – Project Stream grantees. The evening begins with registration at 5:30 pm, with the ceremony at 6. The check ceremony is the first opportunity for grantees to receive their Project Stream award check and for guests to network with this year’s grantees. Visit the above link for tickets.
Our friends over at Hidden City have joined forces with a fantastic and insightful collaborator for the next month. Thanks to an award from international arts organization CECArtsLink, they’re hosting Nini Palavandishvili from Tbilisi, Georgia. Palavandishvili is the curator of GeoAIR, the Georgia Art-in-Residency program, known for creating interdisciplinary art projects that meld architecture, anthropology, and urban planning. Hidden City creative director Lee Tusman interviewed Palavandishvili about her most recent project with GeoAIR, “undergo. the parallels,” a public art project held May 24 – June 3.
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Emily Cobb, from the “Legends” exhibition.
On Thursday, November 1, artist Emily Cobb and Moore College of Art and Design Art history professor Maureen Pelta are hosting a conversation about jewelry, narrative, and myth as they appear in decorative arts. Both work at the intersection of craft and imagination; Tyler MFA Cobb’s exhibition “Legends” (which we  reviewed not too long ago) features jewelry inspired by fairy tales of her own devising, while Maureen Pelta, a PhD from Bryn Mawr College, is an expert in Renaissance Art and holds the Chair of Art Education at MCAD, where she previously co-taught the History of 20th Century Craft and Design with Professor Lewis Knauss. The talk begins at 6:30 PM; reserve your tickets here.


Napoleon is now accepting applications for a one-night performance/installation for Friday, December 14, coinciding with the National Performance Network Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. They require a 300-word written proposal, a CV, an artist or group statement and still images or short video examples. The exhibition is scheduled to open Wednesday, December 12 and wraps up Friday, December 14. Selected artists are responsible for transporting and mounting their work, as well as cleaning up by December 16. For your reference, gallery dimensions and a floor plan can be found on Napoleon’s site. Email materials to and title the email with your name and “One-Night Performance Submission.”  There’s a $10 application fee.

Creative professionals looking to learn about independent publishing, look no further than Blurb. This print-on-demand publisher presents a free lecture by Darius Himes and Daniel Milnor, held at University of the Arts’ CBS Auditorium, Hamilton Hall on October 31. Blurb’s “Photographer at Large” workshop aims to show students how Blurb can benefit creative industry careers. The talk is at 11:30 a.m, so you can still hit the town for Halloween afterwards. For more information call 215-717-6300 or visit UArts’ site.

Attention curators and artists of Philly: Little Berlin needs you!  They’re seeking new members ASAP, from now through November 18. Check out their website for details on how to apply and the great things they have to offer.

Cranbrook Academy of Art is seeking applicants for a one-semester residential teaching fellowship for Fall 2013. Rather than studio artists, they’re looking for candidates who hold advanced degrees in critical theory and/or contemporary art, craft and design theory. Their stipulations also include graduate-level teaching experience and an interest in the links between theory and visual art/craft/design studio practice. This fellowship includes stipends and private residence on campus; fellows must reside on campus and hold no other professional duties during the fellowship (September 9–December 20, 2013). Their application requirements are stringent: to apply, send 3 copies of a packet that includes a completed Application Form, a letter of interest, an academic CV (including a bibliography of published work), a proposal of a series for the Fall 2013 semester (to include two lectures and three discussion topics), and names and contact information for three references (must include telephone number). Mail applications to Sarah Turner / Critical Studies Fellowship, Cranbrook Academy of Art, PO Box 801, 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801. The deadline is December 1.

Artist News

Multimedia and public works artist Jenny Lee Maas is having a solo exhibition of her short film work at the Thought Lot Contemporary Arts Center in Shippensburg, PA. Opening with a reception on Friday November 2, 2012 at 6PM. Maas is also giving a lecture at 2 PM. The exhibition centers on “Procession at Dawn”, the first chapter of a larger work titled “Psyche’s Lullaby”; this installment was recently published in Visual ArtBeat Magazine. A percentage of the proceeds from the opening reception benefit the creation of the next chapter of “Psyche’s Lullaby”, which Maas plans on filming in 2013. Maas is also set to film part of a new short film in December at The Thought Lot. She’ll need a cast, so participants are welcome to join in!

An appetizer of Mike Geno’s latest series.

Mike Geno has turned his talent for literal culinary art into another success. One of his cheese paintings is featured on page 30 of the new issue  of Cooking Light Magazine for their 25th anniversary double issue; they commissioned one of his paintings for a full page spot, while four paintings from his newest series – portraits of sushi – are showing at Skidmore Contemporary Art at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica in a couple weeks. In December, another cheese portrait is making an appearance in Cheese Connoisseur Magazine. It’s a tough job painting the best foods in the world, but someone’s got to do it.

If you’re north of America this week, there’s a few more days to see “Permanent Demand,” a show featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell and Jesse Harris at Toronto’s Cooper Cole Gallery. It opened October 11 and runs until November 3.

Two Philly artists have been honored with making the shortlist for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Portraits by Jennifer Levonian and Martha Mayer Erlebacher are slated for inclusion in this juried exhibition, comprised of works created from traditional media as well as unconventional media such as rice, glitter, thread and video. Levonian and Erlebacher are two of seven artists selected for the shortlist. The exhibition runs from March 23, 2013, through Feb. 23, 2014.  Congratulations, Jennifer and Martha!