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Congratulations 2016 NEA awardees, Artist-at-Sea Rebecca Rutstein, Blum+Poe exhibitors Quentin Morris and Julian Hoeber; Brent Burket on Barnes’ new Digital Initiatives guru Shelley Bernstein, Peek at the SI’s new African American Museum, Pepon Osorio’s reForm ends with Fairhill Fun Day, some Good Reads by John Muse, Stan Mir, the New Yorker, plus Opportunites

A heaping helping of Congratulations in today's News, with opportunities and artist news, too! - Artblog editor



Washington News #1 – Actually it’s Philly news too. From Philly Voice – NEA awards $807,000 to local arts organizations to foster learning and engagement. Congratulations, all!

Washington News #2 – Sneak peek at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture via the Washington Post. The museum opens September 24. Overlooking the Washington Monument, the new museum is 400,000 sq. ft, with 3,000 artifacts, some installations 40-feet underground, a 350-seat auditorium and a 400-seat cafeteria. From the Post…

The familiar bronze-clad structure on Constitution Avenue represents only about a third of the museum’s total space, Yetter said. After entering the central court, visitors will be encouraged to take an elevator 40 feet underground, where the journey begins with the global slave trade. A series of ramps will take visitors through time and space, through slavery, segregation and the civil rights era.

Barnes Foundation gets tech guru Shelley Bernstein as new Deputy Director for Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer. From the press release:

The newly created position of Deputy Director for Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer—a hybrid role that is currently unique in the field—was designed to embed visitor-centered thinking into every aspect of the Barnes Foundation. In this role, Bernstein will lead a visitor experience team and develop both onsite and online points of engagement aimed at deepening and enhancing the visitor experience before, during and after their visit to the Barnes. An expert in engaging the public through technology, Bernstein will collaborate across departments to develop new ways for visitors to engage with the Foundation and create meaningful, long-term relationships with the Barnes. These initiatives will also be aimed at cultivating new audiences and making the Foundation’s exceptional collections, exhibitions, programs, and resources broadly accessible…(Link to NYT article featuring Bernstein talking about her work at the Brooklyn Museum.)

At the Brooklyn Museum, Bernstein spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process. Her most recent project—ASK Brooklyn Museum—is a multi-year initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which enables visitors to ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time…

Very good Friend of Artblog, art blogger Brent Burket is very excited for Shelley Bernstein’s arrival in Philadelphia. When we asked why, he told us in an email that came with many links to many effusive stories about Bernstein as well as a link to a video (below) where you can see the tech guru talking about visitor experience:

It’s been inspiring to watch her find new ways to enhance audience engagement at the Brooklyn Museum. Even when her team did something that yielded mixed results it was a thrill, because a) you knew somebody was trying without the fear of failure and b) you knew the lessons learned would be applied to make something else even better down the road. I’m going to miss seeing—locally—what she dreams up next…

WONDERFUL talk she gave a year ago. It’s about a half hour long. Really great. I couldn’t stop watching. It’s actually a good overview of both her hits and misses. But even the misses were integrated into the overall success of her tenure there.

Drum band at Fairhill School
Drum band warming up at the FIRST Fairhill Fun Day, last May 1, 2015

Fairhill Fun Day 2.0, Friday, May 20, 4PM-6PM – This Friday, May 20, marks the official ending of Pepon Osorio’s reForm project. Join the celebration at the Fairhill School, whose closing was the catalyst for Osorio’s project.

Fairhill Bobcats, part of the reForm project
Fairhill Bobcats at the FIRST Fairhill Fun day, May 1, 2015.  Bobcats are the students from Fairhill who worked with Pepon Osorio in the reForm project learning about how the public schools are administered and how to advocate, among other things

Former Fairhill students, teachers, and parents are invited, as well as anyone who cares about education and our communities. There will be food, music, activities, fun, and reflection. This event is free and open to the public.
For more info: (267) 578-6580
Fairhill Fun Day 2.0
Friday, May 20, 4PM-6PM
601 W. Somerset St., Philadelphia, PA 19133


1. The thoughtful artist and Haverford College professor John Muse in dialog with Jacob Lunderby and Martha Macleish at Grizzly Grizzly. Nice pictures too. Here’s the Q&A.

2. Newly-revealed early Diane Arbus street photography and short write-up in the New Yorker.

3. Stan Mir in Hyperallergic on Michael Gallagher’s new turn to abstraction on view at Schmidt-Dean Gallery until May 21.


Do you know about Philadelphia Artist’s Exchange?
No self-promotion, just a sharing site for items to sell/give away and opportunities, says Liz Long, who set this FB page up.


We just told you about Quentin Morris’s show at Larry Becker Contemporary. Quentin also is featured in a show in Los Angeles at Blum and Poe; the other featured artist is Philadelphia-native Julian Hoeber. Congrats Quentin and Julian, what a great pairing!

Congratulations, Artblog favorite Rebecca Rutstein, who writes:

It’s official – In late June, I will once again test out my sea legs with the Research Vessel, Falkor, as an Artist-at-Sea!

I have been invited to join the Falkor team in Vietnam, and sail through the South China Sea to the island, Guam. I will set up a studio in the wet lab of the ship, explore seafloor map data collected in the region, and create art along the way. I will also be blogging about the experience and doing some ship to shore communications. Feeling grateful for this extraordinary opportunity!