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News post – Mary Smull SPINS at the Baltimore Museum, Volta ’14 powers up, Ellie Brown’s diary onstage, opportunities and more!



The postcard for "Dear Diary, Bye," a new play by Ellie Brown.
The postcard for “Dear Diary, Bye,” a new play by Ellie Brown.

The mind of a child of the eighties, as read by a grown man in 2014: Ellie Brown has a comedy Dear Diary, Bye coming to the Skinner Studio on the 3rd floor of Plays and Players Theater, from April 4-13.  Originally workshopped for the SoLow Festival in 2013, Dear Diary, Bye is based on the diary of nine-year old Ellie Brown, but – and it’s a hilarious but – performed by an adult male actor. This is Ellie’s first play, so it’s got an extra new feel despite its 1984 vintage. Student tickets are $15 and adult tickets are $20. Show times are: Preview 4/4 8pm, Opening Night 4/5 8pm, 4/6, 4/9-13 8pm, 4/6, and the final on 4/13 at 3pm. 

James Dupree’s fight for his studio continues unabated, with his new show the latest missive. “Stolen Dreams in the Promise Zone: Mask of Despair and Uncertainty” opens this Saturday, March 1, at Dupree Gallery, located at 703 S. 6th Street. James is planning to speak briefly at 7 pm.

The Guggenheim had it all this week, from protests over the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s trammeling of labor rights to a swanky gala for the Young Collectors Council. If you live for the full spectrum of art world drama, this was a good time to be hanging around with your phone at the ready.


Kinetic sculptors who can act fast and have river-themed ideas on the backburner: Invisible River wants you by March 1. They are looking for 3 teams (at least 2 people per team) to create floating, Schuylkill River-themed kinetic animal sculptures that float (i.e., shad fish, beaver, catfish), with plenty of room for invention. Each team gets a $500 honorarium for materials, time and effort; contact for more info if this sounds like your thing.

Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, PA is not taking our latest round of wintry punishment lying down. They’ve announced a spring-themed juried group exhibition scheduled to hang May 2 – 31, 2014, with the mindset that if we can’t have actual spring yet, creating work with tons of botanical elements and rebirth will certainly help. This call is open to all artists ages 18+, emerging or established, regardless of location; they’re accepting work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media, digital painting and sculpture. Work must be ready to hang. The submission deadline is April 11, and accepted artists are notified on April 14. April 25 is the last day for accepted artwork drop off, and finally, the show opens on First Friday, May 2 with a reception from 6-10pm.

Artist News

Mary Smull is on the Baltimore circuit this weekend, taking a role at the SPUN Kiosk at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Besides hosting a free stitching session on Saturday, March 1 (materials provided), as befits the founder of the Society for the Prevention of Unfinished Needlepoint, she’ll be giving a talk about Elaine Reichek’s grid of digital embroideries in the revitalized Contemporary Wing.

Siri Berg's "Endless Blue." Photo: Gallery 705.
Siri Berg’s “Endless Blue.” Photo: Gallery 705.

This year’s edition of Volta finds an artist from a way-back Philly landmark – Siri Berg, renowned for a 1986 show at the American Swedish Historical Museum – delivering her legendary color theory-based work for the exhibition. Also worth checking out: two new series in gouache and collage on contemporary social and racial politics by Zoë Charlton, who participated in The Bearden Project at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Volta comes back in June 2014.

Michael Hall's new mural at Beautiful World Syndicate.
Michael Hall’s new mural at Beautiful World Syndicate.

Michael Hall, who we’ve barely seen since he showed at Space 1026 a year ago, visited recently from Austin, TX to do a mural for the record-lovers at Beautiful World Syndicate. There’s now a fantastic display of retro-looking vinyl adorning the shop’s walls at 1619 East Passyunk Ave.

 In case you missed it…

Lianna got some curatorial insight from a panel of photography experts at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Nate found enticing contradictions watered down by disappointing machismo in Julie Auth’s Artists’ Space group show. 

Michael studied the particulars of the unfeathered bird.