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News from Fishtown – The Art Dept., Philadelphia Sculpture Gym and Gravy Studio and Gallery


—> Roman follows up on a couple of Fishtown-area favorites, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym and Gravy Studio, and introduces us to the newest kids on the block, The Art Dept.—the artblog editors——————————->

The newbie – The Art Dept.

The Art Dept. is located at 1638 E Berks Street. (On the corner of Berks and Tulip Sts.) This is Fishtown’s newest gallery founded by long time friends Emily Carris and Kitt Fraser, who formed a friendship back in their high school art department. It’s a very friendly gallery to visit.

Emily and R-Kitt at The Art Dept.
Emily (left) and Kitt at The Art Dept.

Emily holds a Master’s degree in photography and spent the last four years as a photography teacher and museum educator at the International Center of Photography. Kitt is currently pursuing her Master’s in Textile Design. Together they took a broader business approach by not only exhibiting a wide variety of art but also providing the artist an opportunity to market their work through totes, t-shirts and screen prints.

The Art Dept. merchandise.
The Art Dept. merchandise. Photo by The Art Dept.

The current exhibition, Future Primitive by Joe Boruchow features fourteen original black paper cutouts.

Man on Ledge by Joe Boruchow. Photo by the Art Dept.
Man on Ledge by Joe Boruchow. Photo by the Art Dept.

His method in producing his art starts with a skillful intricate cutout that is carefully placed on a white background. It is then enlarged to the desired size print for exhibiting in a gallery or in public spaces. This exhibition runs through September 1, 2013. [Ed. note – See Libby and Roberta’s 2008 studio visit with Boruchow.]

The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym – Come Together

Philadelphia Sculpture Gym
Philadelphia Sculpture Gym members celebrate successful fundraising

The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym,  located at 1834 E Frankford Avenue (between Berks St and Susquehanna Ave), exceeded their fundraising goal and celebrated their official grand opening. This party was well attended by close to two hundred people. I got in as many as I could for the celebratory photograph because they all couldn’t fit. It was a night of joy.

This is only one part of the story. Donations of time, food and services by staff and supporters put on the finishing touch to the building and catered to the masses at the party. John Siemiarowski, Master of Electrical Wizardry installed a new electrical system to handle the power demand of the workshops. McKenna Home Services handled the plumbing and hot water heater.

The best part of the story is that the charming founder and owner Darla Jackson brought together a staff that inspires each other and works together as one incredible team to make this vision and grand opening possible.

Their next gallery exhibit features sculptor Jedediah Morfit in a solo exhibition opening August 2, 2013. Please also read the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym Blog for more information.

Gravy Studio and Gallery

The gang at Gravy Studio
The gang at Gravy Studio and Gallery

Gravy Studio and Gallery has made a successful transition to their new location easily accessed from Fishtown’s Frankfort Avenue Art corridor at 155 W Cecil B. Moore Avenue. (The corner of Mascher St and Cecil B, Moore Ave, the Sharktown building). Their monthly photography exhibitions draw a steady stream of people and they have recorded a higher sales volume of exhibited works in their new location.

Gravy remains a work in progress. They hope to expand their function by having workshops and bringing together other studios in the building and surrounding area for more inclusive First or Second Friday events. Given the number of artists studios in the building and the area, it is a realistic goal.

Gravy will host a Second Friday opening, On The Road, featuring photography by Steve Dyer and Kevin McWilliams with a reception July 12 from 6PM to 10PM.