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News post – Taxidermy 411, campaign to save Shahn murals, Ann-Marie LeQuesne brings fanfare to NYC, opportunities and more!



Beth Beverly at work.
Beth Beverly practicing her craft on a deceased member of family Leporidae.

We should have known, what with wall antlers all over Pinterest and blogs falling over themselves teaching you how to make terrariums, it would only be a matter of time before taxidermy emerged from the kitsch-niche and became, besides a morbidly-fascinating AMC show, a weekend activity. The approaching Philadelphia Science Festival is the impetus for  Skinned, Stuffed and Mounted: The History, Culture and How-to of Taxidermythe new joint venture from the Wagner Institute of Science and the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science. A one-of-a-kind program about the history of taxidermy along with a live demonstration, the day features words from Rachel Poliquin, author of The Breathless Zoo, and a real-life (woof) demonstration from “rogue taxidermist” Beth Beverly (of the AMC show Immortalized fame), as well as a display of some of her works upstairs for sale. This is all happening Sunday, April 21, 2013, 2-5:30PM at the Wagner Free Institute of Science. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $9 for educators. A small reception follows the talk with light refreshments, Q&A, book signings and jewelry sales.

It’s our pleasure to be the ones to sound the fanfare for our partner Saunter, Philly’s newest and most comprehensive art and music listing site! The site, founded by Adam Kearney is up and running, and our own writers are already contributing reviews – check out Rachel Heidenry’s rundown of the Robin Cameron and Sebastian Black show at Bodega, and keep watching for more to come!

Rafael Ferrer, whose El Gran Teatro de la Luna was commissioned in 1982 and restored and reinstalled in 2012 in Fairhill Square, is speaking at the 141st Annual Meeting of the Association for Public Art on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 5:00pm at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Van Pelt Auditorium.

By this point, there should be no doubt that ViaductGreene has some serious activist muscle behind it, and there’s no wanting for opportunities to hear more about one of Philly’s most exciting civic projects. DesignPhiladelphia and the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts present The Making of VIADUCTgreene on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 6-7:30 PM at the University of the Arts, 320 S Broad St. Leah Murphy, an urban designer, and Aaron Goldblatt, an exhibition designer take charge of a discussion of how the two former railway lines, covering a stretch of fifty city blocks, can overcome the blight and become a future garden, quality-of-life enhancing civic project and economic enhancement for Philadelphia.

via Elizabeth Johnson – Some distressing news has emerged regarding the imminent danger to Ben Shahn’s murals from the sale of the Bronx Post Office on the Grand Concourse, covered in a Daily News article that came out this week. Only the exterior of the building is landmarked, and there is a movement under way to get the murals landmarked as well. Rep. Jose Serrano of the Bronx, Jonathan Shahn (a sculptor and son of the artist) and Peg Breen, President of the NY Landmarks Conservancy, are among the leaders who have spearheaded a letter-writing campaign to Robert Tierney, Director of the NY Landmarks Commission, and they need your help. To add your voice to the petition, send an email to



The Cloud Project, a venture from the folks at Cloud Coffee has put out a call for submissions to the first-ever 2013 Cloud Prize. Juried by Adelina Vlas, the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, three recipients are to be chosen, for an award worth up to $500.  Artists from a range of media are welcome to apply, including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, site-specific installation, video, sound, performance, and socially engaged practices. To submit your work, send a short (no more than one page) statement, a current CV, and 5 to 8 work samples (including media, dimensions or specifications, and title for each image provided, as well as labels with the artist name plus a 2-digit number – johndoe01.jpg, johndoe02.jpg, etc.). Still images must be formatted as jpeg files, at 72 dpi and no larger than 1 MB each. Video or sound files must be sent as a link, either via YouTube or Vimeo. All submissions must be sent electronically to Cloud Prize along with a $20, non-refundable, fee (via Cloud Prize PayPal); this helps to offset curatorial and administrative costs.  The deadline for submissions is May 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM; submissions are reviewed in mid-May and final decisions/announcements are expected by the end of May 2013. Please email Cloud Prize with any questions.

The International Art Expo invites all curators to submit curatorial proposals for the 2013 International festivals program in Bucharest, Hungary at ApPAC and Łódź, Poland at Strzemiński Academy of Art, working with the theme ‘Hybridization and mixing of identities and orders.’ Proposals are open to photography, video art, computer graphics, painting, architecture, installation, sculpture and performing art. Interested curators should email with an exhibition proposal of up to 1000 words, a list of at least five potential artists along with CVs, at least one image per artist, or one video work (send only the link) per artist for video-based work, detailed image list, and a curator’s CV.

The Soap Factory, whose 120-year old industrial warehouse setting near the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is an ascetic escape from traditional art-making, has put out a call for proposals. They’re particularly interested in hearing proposals for exhibits to be displayed in its galleries throughout the year, including group exhibitions with as many as 8 artists. Projects by individual artists that are conceived specifically to use the entire 12,000 sq feet of gallery space are always encouraged.  The postmark deadline is April 30, 2013, by snail mail only. In order to submit, please send a cover page with your name, mail, phone,  address and medium of submission; up to ten color images of your work on disc (Mac-compatible digital images no less than 1500×2100 pixels); hard copies of each image; resume, artist statement, and project description/ proposal. Video submissions are preferred on DVD (Zone 1 format). Keep in mind that work samples are not returning! They’d also like you to indicate, for purposes of measuring of how well they are promoting their submission process to diverse communities, your ethnicity or cultural background. All application materials must be submitted in English. The Soap Factory provides full installation support for all selected projects, a stipend to artists, publicity, exhibition invitations, mailings, opening receptions and artist talks. Mail submissions to: Program Manager, The Soap Factory, 514 2nd St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. For additional important details, please visit their site.

Artist News

“Unconditional Surrender” by Seward Johnson, © 2004, 2005 The Sculpture Foundation, Inc.
“Unconditional Surrender” by Seward Johnson, © 2004, 2005 The Sculpture Foundation, Inc.

2 from Grounds for Sculpture – 1. J. Seward Johnson, sculptor and founder of the 42-acre Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, has been nominated to the New Jersey Hall of Fame! If you’d like to support someone who’s contributed to one of New Jersey’s best public art spaces, vote for Johnson now through May 6. 2. Local artists Pepon Osorio and Katie Murken are included in GFS’ GreenLight series, which features the work of highly talented and accomplished early-career artists, along with four new major exhibitions of work by major living artists. Murken is one of two artists kicking off the GreenLight series (her exhibition runs (July 27 – October 6, 2013), along with Meridith Pingree (through July 14, 2013).

Passage to India, a show at Towson’s Center for the Asian Arts Gallery, features Siona Benjamin and Maureen Drdak, both Fulbright Scholars in 2011. Benjamin’s work, a mosaic inspired by both Indian Miniature paintings and Sephardic icons is a rare exploration of what it’s like to be brought up Jewish in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India; Drdak’s work makes rich use of ancient repoussé techniques learned from her Nepali Masters, eastern and western iconographies and cultural paradigms. Admission is free, and the show runs from April 4-May 11. There’s an artist reception and talks at 2 PM on Saturday, April 13. Note: Benjamin’s ‘Blue Like Me’ dancers perform on April 12 at 8 PM.

Every time there’s news from London-based Friend of artblog, Ann-Marie LeQuesne, we can’t help but notice she gets ever so closer to bringing her fanfare to our little town. This time, she’s orchestrating another crossing at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue. Sunday May 12th, 2013 – 2pm. If you want to be a part of this, please gather on the north side of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue that day, at the scheduled time. For some background, Fanfare for Crossing the Road is LeQuesne’s international project that’s made a celebration of one of the most ordinary activities in life, using uniformed musicians to mimic the digital acoustic crossing sounds that signal the time to cross for the blind. The New York Fanfare is the first performance to involve speaking, and includes two performers and two percussionists to mimic the signals on 23rd Street and 7th Avenue.

Installation view from "All industrious people," by Justin Matherly.
Installation view from “All industrious people,” by Justin Matherly.

Through April 27, Justin Matherly has a faux-excavation site at Paula Cooper Gallery, designed to recreate Nemrud Dagi, an archeological site in Turkey. “All industrious people” comes complete with giant photos of the original dig, concrete stelae, and original monoprints.