The 2014 Libertas!

(Dear folks, 2014 was a good year for The Artblog and we hope it was great for you as well. 2014 saw 433 new posts on The Artblog, an average of 36 a month, including reviews, interviews, news, podcasts, comics and more reviews! We began our Knight-funded The Artist and Social Responsibility Project and many of you gave generously for this groundbreaking collaboration between The Artblog, local colleges and The Village of Arts and Humanities.  We Thank You and look for your continued support in 2015 as he class begins! Without further ado, the 2014 Libertas, brought to you by Roberta, Dre Grigoropol and Lianna Patch.  Congratulations to all and apologies for anything or anyone we missed!)

The 2014 Liberta Awards

Golden Milestone award – Libby Rosof

woman smiling
Libby Rosof, Co-Founder of TheArtblog! Photo by Christopher Paquette

Libby transitions out of active duty on The Artblog, flying off with grace and happiness to new activities. We are happy for her but we will miss her posts, deep insights, passion and wicked good use of the English language. See short video here.

Artist Triumphant award – James Dupree – nominated by Dre Grigoropol

man smiling
Victory for James Dupree over eminent domain threat to his studio.

With help of Institute For Justice, the artist took on the developers who wanted to raze his Mantua studio under the mantle eminent domain! —


Philadelphia Colors award – Anonymous City Officials who spike the Love Park fountain with color and this year let Candy Coated (Depew) paint the Eakins Oval neon green!

fountain with pink water
Love Park Fountain with pink water
fountain with very blue water
Love Park Fountain – ultramarine blue
fountain with green water
Love Park Fountain shows its colors this year.
green painted parking lot
Candy Coated’s colorful installation at Eakins Oval.

Better Than Twitter – Instagram

Wired says Instagram’s pictures are worth many thousands of Twitter words.  We kind of agree.

It Helps to Have a Philadelphia Curator – The 2014 Whitney Biennial

Ken Lum, Midway Shopping Plaza, 2014, powder-coated aluminum and plexiglas
Ken Lum, Midway Shopping Plaza, 2014, powder-coated aluminum and plexiglas

Co-curated by ICA Associate Curator Anthony Elms, the 2014 was a biennial that shone a light on four great Philadelphia artists — Ken Lum, Josh Mosely, Dona Nelson and the late Terry Adkins. (Jacolby Satterwaite, a UPenn grad now living in NY, was also featured!)

Hum a Bar or Two Will You award – John Kelly

John Kelly brings his one-person performance The Escape Artist to Bryn Mawr College this Friday.
John Kelly brings his one-person performance The Escape Artist to Bryn Mawr College this Friday.

Continuing a tradition of artists singing on our podcasts, New York performance artist John Kelly sings for us !


Most ephemeral temporary art project ever – Dave Kyu

sky writing
Dave Kyu’s Write Sky project happened in September.

Dave Kyu’s complex community art project, Write Sky, saw the light of day September 14 after a year of planning and several postponements due to weather. Four messages — representing the sentiments of four organizations and 5 artists — left a brief but lovely vapor trail of words over Philadelphia’s partially-cloudy skies.

A Philadelphia Biennial By Any Other Name – Ryan McCartney and Tim Belknap

art installation
Begin Where You Are, at the Icebox Project Space.

Begin Where You Are, McCartney and Belknap’s wonderful show at The Icebox, rounds up elder statesmen and Young Turks of the Philadelphia art scene and leaves many hoping for a repeat in 2016.  Funders, take note.  This is Worthy.

World’s Edgiest Internet Project – Random Darknet Shopper robot — Nominated by Lianna Patch

display on wall
Darknet Shopper Robot

A robot trolls the web, buys some drugs, and puts the drugs in an art show. Nate Keller’s Reader Advisor brought this to our attention. Thank you, Nate!


PEW Wishlist

Frankie Martin
Beth Heinly
Shanna Waddell
Dave Kyu
Tim Eads (repeat)
Kay Healy (repeat)
John Gibbons and Isobel Sollenberger (repeat)

The Cubism Surprise award – Rob Matthews

black and white collage of person
Rob Matthews’ Cubistic drawing at Gallery Joe
collage with guitar
Rob Matthews conquers Cubism at Gallery Joe

In an outstanding and courageous experimental turn, Rob Matthews (now in Nashville) in his recent show at Gallery Joe whipped up cut-paper assemblages, graphite drawings and 3-D objects that held more than a candle to those Masters, Picasso, Braque et al in Met’s Cubism show.

Raise your hand if you saw it and tell the class how long you watched award – Jayson Musson and Alex Da Corte for Easternsports

two video screens
Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson’s Easternsports at ICA.

The reportedly 3-hour long multi-channel video projection in the broken-walled and colorful viewing salon in ICA’s upstairs gallery was much anticipated (by us too!) but while the installation looks fantastic (colors! Neon!) the video defeated many who really really really wanted to love it. No place to sit except a couple folding chairs or the floor and a running scroll of words at the bottom that was impossible to keep up with were two of the issues. Plus points: the runic neon signs on the exterior walls and color, color, color. Some of us saw the part with the horse and Mongolian-esque rider. It was majestic, spectacular, even though we didn’t quite get it.

Comings and Goings

woman smiling
Adelina Vlas, formerly of the PMA, now in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

After 7 years as a curator of contemporary art at the PMA, Adelina Vlas moves to Toronto to become Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Philadelphia art community sighs in sorrow. Adelina’s commitment to the art community in Philadelphia was deep and strong. Congratulations, Adelina!

Jodi Throckmorton takes over at PAFA as Curator of Contemporary Art, moving here from Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University — Welcome!

Bree Pickering, the new Executive Director at Vox Populi comes from Australia. Howdy!

Candy Coated announces she’s quitting Philadelphia and moving to California to live by the ocean and become a shaman!  We can see it!  Thanks for all your colors, Candy, and good luck with the move!

drawing of building
Taller Puertorriqueno’s plan for its new El Corazon Community Center

Taller Puertorriqueno turns 40! The Art Center in the Barrio is going strong and right now has a capital campaign for its new building, El Corazon Cultural Center, at the corner of 5th and Huntingdon.

New media gallery, CruxSpace opens at 7th and Master with monthly shows. Congratulations Andrew Cameron Zahn!

woman and man smiling
Virginia Maksymowicz and Blaise Tobia at TandM Studios gallery.

TandM Studios opens its doors for First Friday showings on the 4th floor of the Vox building. Great programming so far — way to go, Virginia Maksymowicz and Blaise Tobia!

Through the grapevine we heard rumblings about closings — Rosenfeld Gallery and Gallery 339, but have nothing official to confirm at this time.



Sadly, Philadelphia lost three wonderful and important art community members this year.  We mourn their loss. They leave big shoes to fill.

young woman, older woman smiling
Dina Wind, who died this year.

Dina Wind (1938-2014)
Terry Adkins ( 1954-2014)
Janet Kaplan (19__-2014)

A Final Word

Thank you to our board members, our advisory committee, our supporters and our readers who inspire us to keep producing our online art publication and off-line programs. And thank you to the wonderful Artblog team of writers, editors and tech helpers! Without your help we couldn’t make it happen!  As 2014 creeps away, we at TheArtblog wish you peace, love and happiness, and lots of art in the new year.