The 2015 Liberta Awards!

2015 was a blockbuster year for Artblog. We had a guest editor and an art writing contest; we published 466 posts or an average of 38 posts/month, including reviews, news, features, podcasts, interviews and comics; we debuted our new, mobile-responsive website! And we completed the pilot round of our Knight Foundation-funded Artist and Social Responsibility Project. And now, without further ado, we present The 2015 Liberta Awards, organized by Roberta, Jennifer Zarro and Evan Laudenslager -- and, for the first time -- You, the People, with the People's Choice Awards. Congratulations to all, and apologies for anyone and anything we missed. - artblog editor

2015 Liberta Awards

Matt Kalasky Suzanne Seesman and people respond to art Vox Populi Gallery
Artblog/St. Claire Art Writing Workshop, April, 2015, at Vox Populi Gallery

The “Alone We Can Do So Little; Together We Can Do So Much”** Award

Team St. Claire, our partners in crime, the wonderful artists/writers/thinkers/collaborators of the St. Claire, who were our first guest editors and sparked the idea for our collaborative New Art Writing Challenge, Philly’s first ever online art writing contest, with cash prizes! /

Curator of Modern Art at PAFA, Robert (Bob) Cozzolino
PAFA Senior Curator, Robert (Bob) Cozzolino. Image courtesy of PAFA

The Anne D’Harnoncourt Award

Robert (Bob) Cozzolino, outgoing PAFA Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art, for being a class act at every turn, acting with grace, brilliance and humor, and making his institution shine by his presence. Bob moves to the Midwest, to Minneapolis, 1,173 Miles from Philadelphia, 18.2 hours by car, where this March he will be Curator of Painting at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Congratulations and Bon Voyage, and come back to visit! Bob has a great speaking voice and is highly thoughtful and articulate, so we offer up our 2010 podcast about public art with Bob and Sid Sachs–it’s great.  And here’s Bob speaking about his wonderful Peter Blume survey, earlier this year.

The 3:00 Book by Beth Heinly on sleep dreams


Artblog’s PEW Fellows Wishlist

Beth Heinly (repeat)
Dave Kyu (repeat)
Kay Healy (repeat)
Scott Kip
Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Stuart Rome

Ten Awards for Exhibits/Events/Artists That Elevated the Conversation in 2015

1. The Frodo’s Magical Mystery Hobbit House Installation Award
Scott Kip: Transitional Objects at Marginal Utility – The part-creepy/part-magical house built within a gallery evoked ideas of surveillance, exhibitionism, memory, loss, love and most of all, secrets. And it was worth the knee scrapes and vertigo to go through it.

2. The Best Kept Secret Installation Award
Pepon Osorio, reForm, Temple Contemporary: Work by world class artist speaking truth about school closures in Philadelphia is sited modestly in the basement of the Tyler School of Art, where it rumbles like a boiler of political outrage and energy.


3. The Best Installation Reminding Us That Despite The Power And Authority We Give Museums, The Greatest Poetry And Beauty Is Found In Real People Award
Fred Wilson, The Order of Things at The Barnes Foundation

4. Best Ruin-porn To Preserve and Reveal Philadelphia’s Magnificent But Racist Building History Award
Vincent David Feldman, The City Abandoned

5. Greatest Medici-style Moment
Pope Francis blesses the bronze sculpture, “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time,” by sculptor Joshua Koffman, Traction Company member and PAFA professor


6. Most Hauntingly Beautiful Meditation On Slowness And Embodiment Of History In Public Space Award
Eiko Otake’s “A Body in Fukushima” and her accompanying performance at 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

7. Most Invitingly Tactile Work Award
Anna Betbeze’s burned and dyed Flokati rugs at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, UARTS

8. Most Understated Use Of Material To Staggering Effect Award
Marianne Dages: Distant Operator at Napoleon

9. Best Exhibition Reminding Us That, Yes, Crochet Can In Fact Give You Nightmares Award
Mnemosyne: works by Caitlin McCormack at Paradigm Gallery

10. We Are Artblog Proud Award – Three-Way Tie
Artblog contributors, Andrea Kirsh and Jennifer Zarro, who curated excellent exhibitions in 2015, and Jeremiah Misfeldt, our website manager, who architected our new website, which is a thing of beauty and works like a dream.

Andrea Kirsh – “From the Digital Tool Box,” Rutgers-Camden’s Stedman Gallery

Jennifer Zarro – “Rachel Gross,” Hooloon Gallery

Jeremiah Misfeldt and the Equivocal team – For our glorious new website, which is a thing of beauty and works like a dream

The Help Us Obi-Wan Kenobi, You’re Our Only Hope Award for 2016

The Halide Project’s first year as a gallery and space for education at Crane Arts
Gravy studio and gallery’s new space in Nolibs
Lord Ludd in Old City
High Tide in Kensington
Big Mama’s Cinemateque
The Soapbox
People’s Paper Coop
Tim Belknap
Ken Lum
Amy Sadao
Aaron Levy
Pepon Osorio
Incoming Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney – Please provide leadership and money for the arts!

Alternative galleries who know no bounds Award – Tie

Grizzly Grizzly for Alternative Currencies, an ambitious, multi-gallery festival in conjunction with Strange Currencies at the Galleries at Moore that introduced Philadelphia to many out of town alternative galleries we are delighted to know about.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid for Artist Run, an alternative galleries festival in conjunction with Satellite Art Fair, Miami

Comings and Goings

Bob Cozzolino – from PAFA to Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Mark Mitchell – from PMA to Yale University Art Gallery
Ingrid Schaffner – from ICA to Pittsburgh, as Curator of the next Carnegie International
Hilary Jay – steps away from Design Philadelphia after 10 years of leading that festival
David Yager, takes over as President of University of the Arts in October, 2015
Fjord – November was their last exhibition in their current location, where next?
Annette Monnier – from Clay Studio to Executive Director of University City Arts League
Chris Davison and Erica Prince – from Philly to New York, heeding that siren’s call


Print Center turns 100
Space 1026 turns 18
Schuylkill Center’s Environmental Art Program turns 15

Gallery closings – Sad to see you all go, wah!

Gallery Joe
Richard Rosenfeld Gallery
LG Tripp Gallery
Hooloon Art
Artist’s House

Gallery openings – Welcome, let’s have coffee!

Stanek Gallery
Lord Ludd
High Tide

Passings – We are heartbroken

Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud (1939-2015)
Frank Bramblett (1947-2015)
Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)

Andrew Jeffrey Wright Bananazz comic of Bart Simpson

The 2015 People’s Choice Awards!
The Populous Has Spoken! Here are your favorites

The People’s Pew Fellows Wishlist

Scott Kip (2)
Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Anne Canfield
Becky Suss
Beth Heinly
Chris Eben
Donald Martiny
Dufula Brothers
Kate Abercrombie
Kelsey Halliday Johnson
Leah Bailis
Matt Neff
Meredith Sellers
Patrick Maguire
Sarah Gamble
Steven Baris
Taji Nahl
Tiona McClodden

The People’s Best Exhibitions of 2015

MathThematic, Esther Klein Gallery (7)
Scott Kip Transitional Objects, Marginal Utility (2)
Strange Currencies,Galleries at Moore (2)
Gabe Martinez, Bayside Revisited, The Print Center (2)
The Incidental Insurgents: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, ICA Philadelphia (2)
KaliYugaZoo Brigade, Icebox Project Space
Traction Company, PAFA
Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Bruce Mau: Work on what you love, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Steven Baris, Pentimenti Gallery
Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Screen Time, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
Paul Chan: Alternumerics, Slought
Anna Betbeze, UArts Rosenwald Wolf Gallery
Barbara Kasten: Stages, ICA Philadelphia

The People’s Favorite Art Events of 2015

MathThematic, Esther Klein Gallery (3)
Christopher Knowles, the Sundance Kid is Beautiful, ICA Philadelphia (2)
Artblog/St. Claire Live Review Panel, AUX at Vox
Pepon Osorio, reForm
Jesus Benavente, The Fool, Icebox Project Space
Kim Brandt, Silhouettes, Icebox Project Space
Artist-Run, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Miami
The Great Mother in Milan
Scott Kip, Transitional Objects
OpenSourcePHL, Philadelphia, PA
“Biocode: Performing Transgression After New Media” Symposium, University of Pennsylvania
Barbara Hammer, AUX at Vox, 4/24
Babette Mangolte with Stuart Comer, Thomas Beard, Yvonne Rainer & Alex Klein
A Conversation with Pussy Riot, Penn Museum.
Sharon Hayes artist talk, Temple Contemporary
InLight Richmond 2015, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The People’s Choices for 2016

Lord Ludd (2)
High Tide Gallery (2)
Donald Martiny
Jesse Harrod
Maria Dumlao
Nick Lenker
Timothy Belknap
Tiona McClodden
Samuel Hindolo
Wilmer Wilson IV
International Pop, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Hippie Modernism, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Philly Photo Arts Day, October, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
“Endless Shout,” ICA Philadelphia
The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now,” ICA Philadelphia

A Final Word from Artblog

Thank you to our outstanding Board Members, our terrific Advisory Committee, our Generous Supporters and You, Our Readers, who inspire us to keep producing our online art publication and off-line programs. Special thank you to the hard-working, intelligent and insightful Artblog team and a special shout out to our tech guru, who wrought magic with our website in 2015! As 2015 slinks off, Artblog wishes you peace, love and happiness, and lots of art in the new year.
** Thank you, Helen Keller, for your quote.