Marion (Kippy) Stroud, Frances P. Aulston pass, Sarah Martinez-Helfman leads Fels, Opportunities – Reading Viaduct, Vox Pop, the Plastic Club, David Romberg’s award, Frank Hyder’s inflatables, Hunter Stabler’s news

Sad news today about Kippy Stroud and Frances P. Aulston, but many other bright spots in today's roundup by Roberta -- Artblog editors


We report sad news today of the passing of two important women in Philadelphia’s art world, Marion (Kippy) Boulton Stroud and Frances P. Aulston.  Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and community of these amazing women.

Marion (Kippy) Boulton Stroud

Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud, 76, the seemingly indefatigable founder and director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia and the Acadia Summer Arts Program – a.k.a. “Kamp Kippy” – in Maine, died suddenly Saturday, Aug. 22, at her home in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

From the Inquirer obituary today:

Though her many friends considered her a visionary who, among other accomplishments, helped break down boundaries between craft and art, Ms. Stroud characterized herself as “a facilitator.”



“The Board of Trustees and staff of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) mourn the loss of their beloved founder and director Marion (Kippy) Boulton Stroud. One of the art world’s true visionaries, Kippy founded FWM in 1977 to encourage leading artists to experiment with fabric and ultimately a wide range of materials and methods and to share their creative process with the public. Through her leadership, FWM has developed into an internationally renowned contemporary art museum, distinguished by one of the most innovative artist-in-residence programs in the United States and an acclaimed education and apprenticeship program. For more than four decades, Kippy was a curator, author, editor, educator, administrator and force for positive social change, all at the same time and always at the highest level of achievement. The Board and staff of FWM are making plans not only to maintain her legacy but to advance it, as we know she wished.”


A private funeral service will be held in Maine. There are no definite plans for a memorial service. Contributions may be made to the Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch St., Philadelphia 19107, or at

Frances P. Aulston

Frances P. Aulston, age 75, of Philadelphia, PA passed away on Sunday, August 9, 2015. A beloved cultural activist, educator and civic leader, Frances was the Founder, President and CEO of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA), and steward of the historic Paul Robeson House Museum. Under her leadership, the WPCA partnered with over 80 organizations and institutions throughout the Delaware Valley to present a multitude of cultural programming. Through her steadfast guidance and direction, the historic Paul Robeson House Museum has undergone critical restorations and has transformed into a vibrant community and cultural center full of activity and energy. A wake will be held on Friday, August 28, 2015, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, at the Ivan Kimble Funeral Home, 1100 North 63rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19151.

Funeral services will take place on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, 2251 North 54th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19131 with a viewing from 8:00am – 10:00am and funeral service from 10:00 am – Noon. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in honor of Frances’ work to the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance or the Paul Robeson House Museum.

In Other News

On a more upbeat note, Samuel S. Fels Fund has announced a transition to a new President, Sarah Martínez-Helfman  Congratulations, Sarah and congratulations, Fels! With a background in foundations and non-profits, Martinez-Helfman currently is president of the Eagles Youth Partnership.  She takes on her new role on Oct. 1, 2015.

Emma Allen’s Talk of the Town piece in this week’s New Yorker is about the archive of the late artist, Jack Smith. Barbara Gladstone Gallery has purchased the entire archive of the artist and filmmaker who appeared in Andy Warhol movies and of whom Warhol said he was “the only person I would copy.” High praise indeed. – via the New Yorker


The Plastic Club open call “The Great Outdoors,” Sept. 13-Oct. 1.  Open to all.  The show is of works about or related to the outside natural world and the experience of being outdoors.  Either representational or abstract.  Delivery Friday, Aug 28 and Sat. Aug. 29, at the Plastic Club, 247 S. Camac St., Philadelphia PA 19107. Hanging fee $10 ($8 members).  Prize juror: Paul DuSold, artist and teacher, — Via DaVinci Art Alliance newsletter

viaduct over a street
Rail Park, illustration of the viaduct, for the Percent for Art commission. Image courtesy of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

The City of Philadelphia Percent for Art Program has a call to Artists/Request for Qualifications for a commissioned site-specific project at the Viaduct RailPark.  The Project Budget is $33,000 and deadline for submissions is September 23, 2015.  The commission is part of the $9.6 million Phase I renovation and re-purposing of the Viaduct RailPark.

Click here to view the entire Call to Artists

Contact:  Public Art Director Margot Berg,; or Percent for Art Project Manager Jacque Liu,

Vox Populi is accepting applications for guest artists! Send this to your out of town friends! Deadline Sept. 14, 2015.


inflatable two faced head
Frank Hyder inflatable, Janis, will be at Brandywine Workshop and Archive this September.

Frank Hyder wrote about a small show of his works — including two inflatables — at Brandywine Workshop and Archive, opening September 2. “The Exhibit will feature three never shown in Philly  paintings and two of my inflatable  sculptures,” Frank says. The inflatables — one is a thirty foot figure called the sentinel which has been exhibited in many locales from Beacon NY to Toronto CA, Caracas and traveled from village to village in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela, but never shown in Philly; the second is Janis, which has just returned from a three month  European  sojourn from Istanbul to St Petersburg, Russia.

paper cut painting
Hunter Stabler, cut paper work.

Hunter Stabler has lots of work in many places around the country, including in our back yard at Pageant Soloveev on Bainbridge St.  And, spoiler alert, for all Hunter’s fans, he’s moving to North Carolina!  We will miss you and your art, Hunter!

From Hunter’s email:

The group show, Hyperintersection at Pageant Soloveev will be up for another week. Please check their website for closing event information.

Opus Hypnagogia at the Morbid Anatomy Museum curated by Stephen Romano will be on exhibition until October 15th 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. This is a really interesting show featuring both contemporary and historical visionary artists. The Morbid Anatomy Museum has events and lectures on a wide range of subjects on a regular basis, so please go see the show and check out their programming if you are in the area.

Strange Waves will open on September 3rd 2015 at Flat Color Gallery in Seattle, WA. This is going to be an excellent exhibition featuring some really great artists including Bruce Bickford, Hannah Stouffer, Hilary White and many others. The exhibition runs through September 26th.

Lexicon Infernali will open on September 3rd 2015 at Stephen Romano Gallery. This is the inaugural exhibition of Stephen Romano Gallery in its new location in Bushwick Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Stephen Romano, the show featurs an impressive roster of both contemporary artists and works from Stephen Romano’s collection. The show will run concurrently with a solo exhibition of Rithika Merchant at the gallery and runs until October 15th.

Finally, I am very excited to announce that I will be relocating to Marshall, North Carolina just outside of Asheville next week! I will be immediately setting up my new studio which sits directly on the French Broad river. I will miss all of my great friends in Philadelphia, but I am looking forward to making a bunch of new artwork in a new environment. I have just updated my website with a few new images, and I will be updating it regularly in North Carolina.
My Instagram


David Romberg wins Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects award! “I’ll be leaving Philly to develop my new film “Future Islands” for half a year in Latin America starting this December! So much planning to do!”  Indeed!  And Congratulations, David!