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Congratulations, Judith Stein on Eye of the Sixties! And David Orr’s perfect skulls at Mutter! Plus, Renegade Company plays with food, seriously; Awbury Arboretum+Yes! And… pair for summer musical theater; 1193 Production helms Tales from Shaolin, a hip hop-Shakespearean via Tarentino; Plus plus Good Reads and Good Opportunity

Congratulations are in order for some and several good-sounding theater and film productions get a shout out in the News Post. Also, Dont Forget Who's in Town This Week.... -- Artblog editor



There’s politics in the hot air, which seems like it will never cease (both the hot air and the politics). Be sure to check out what’s available in both, but stay cool, no matter what. Here’s one exhibit that has a good lineup and might be worth getting out for: Truth to Power/Rock the Vote. But I recommend you keep your eyes open for political art on the street, like the Joe Boruchow piece seen below, featured prominently in West Philadelphia.

Joe Boruchow poster
Joe Boruchow poster on a bus shelter in West Philly.

David Orr debuted his new photo project of skull photographs from the Hyrtl Collection at the Mutter Museum on Bastille Day, July 14, which is actually an eerie day for a photo project of 130+ skulls to debut if you think about it. Flora and I dropped in to the press preview on July 14 for a look and to hear Orr talk about his project.

David Orr, Perfect Vessels, at the Mutter Museum. The artist gave us a pin featuring one of his skulls. I chose this skull for it's wide grin and writing on the top, which I can't make out.
David Orr, Perfect Vessels, at the Mutter Museum. The artist made small-sized pins with his skull images on them and gave Flora and me the choice of which skull we wanted. I chose this skull for it’s wide grin, lack of teeth, and writing on the top, which I can’t make out, but nevertheless like.
David Orr, Perfect Vessels, installation
David Orr’s project Perfect Vessels is on view at the Mutter Museum now. Photo taken at the press preview.

The Los Angeles-based Orr said he had been studying symmetry for a while. The Mutter Museum, which houses the Hyrtl Collection, made a travel grant available to Orr so he could come in as an artist in residence and photograph the collection. But the photos are not straight photography, because, in order to explore the idea of symmetry, which is what fuels Orr’s works, the artist actually digitally duplicated the skull images and replaced one side in his image with the identical and mirrored image of the same side to create a perfectly symmetrical final skull image.

David Orr, Perfect Vessels
David Orr, Perfect Vessels, installed in the exhibition room at Mutter Museum, along with a cabinet of some skulls that were photographed.

According to Orr, skulls were functional sculptures thousands of years ago. They were drinking vessels, and there are etymological roots entwined for head and cup, which the artist pointed out. Also, and slightly more recently, Lord Byron had a skull chalice for drinking from, he said. Orr’s skull images are spooky, as are all skulls, but Orr’s are beautiful, the perfect skulls showcased on dense black velvet like the perfect icons they are. Perfect Vessels will be on display for 6 months. Museum admission required.

Big Congratulations, Judith Stein! Judy’s book Eye of the Sixties is out and getting a lot of buzz! Stein has a full roster of readings, signings, talks and a great-sounding panel at the NY Public Library this fall. More about the book and see the full schedule of book talks here.

The Renegade Company is again playing with food, this time, riffing on literature in Animal Farm to Table, an audience-engaged dinner theatre adaptation of the George Orwell seminal classic about power and hierarchies in an authoritarian state. Sounds good to us! Last time, Renegade presented food and visual art, as in The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, re-imagined in a community garden. See Flora’s review here.

…Animal Farm to Table is a new form of dinner theatre where we are using subject matter, philosophy, and themes of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and transposing it Philadelphia today. One part performance, one part town ­hall style discussion, one part meal. We are hoping to engage in conversation with the audience to talk about where food comes from today, food hierarchy, and the choices we make with consumption. This will culminate into a community created meal, where the audience has foraged for food amongst the farm. What is our food utopia?

The performance will be presented as an interactive walk through the Urban Creators’ Farm, 2315 N 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19133 (11th and Dauphin Streets)….The audience will be traversing through the garden performing tasks related to creating a vegetarian meal that will be consumed at the end of the production.

…Now in it’s 9th partnerships, Renegade will be collaborating with Food Truck, Local 215. The chefs will be preparing the food as well as incorporating food from convenience stores in the neighborhood into the meal.

Performance dates and times are in September, in conjunction with the Fringe Festival. General Admission tickets: $20, discounts for Industry, Seniors, Teachers, and Students. Paywhat you wish at the box office for residents of the North Philadelphia community. Tickets can be purchased:­farm­table/

More information here.

Here’s a worthwhile outdoor musical theatre performance that you might want to bring the family to:

Yes! And… Collaborative Arts presents their first annual summer family musical theatre production, ALL HANDS ON DECK Wednesday, August 17 through Friday, August 19. The production is a remount of their 2012 production, featuring new lyrics and songs by Germantown residents Brooke Sexton and Sarah C. Butts Manzo. It runs outdoors on the historic Awbury Arboretum grounds at 1 Awbury Rd, off Chew Ave in

… With a story that is sure to appeal to young and old alike, ALL HANDS ON DECK, features slapstick comedy, rousing sea shanties, and soaring ballads.

Shows are at 6pm. Tickets are a suggested donation of $5 and families are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. Some concessions will be available to purchase at the performance as well as $5 activity bands for kids that allows them to get their face painted, an activity book, and a pirate prize. The show runs approximately 85-90 minutes, is performed without an intermission, and is appropriate for all ages. More about Yes! And… here and more about Awbury Arboretum here.

poster for Tales from Shaolin

The ambitious young group, 1193 Productions, is putting together a free online hip hop trilogy, called Tales from Shaolin; the first part is Shakey Dog. Much of the team is local (poster is by Brian Koenig of Rebel!). Michael Neal encapsulates what they’re doing as “What if Hip Hop was done like Shakespeare.” Ok, I’ll buy. What if? See the trailer —

Neal, who is a writer on the project, said in an email:

We have recently released the first half of Shakey Dog, the initial installment of a web series we call Tales From Shaolin. This series uses Wu Tang Clan songs as inspiration for short films that weave together various grind house film genres and pop-culture references in such a way that we have dubbed the first three our “Tarantino Trilogy”.

More information here, including link to their fundraising campaign.


Olivia Jia writes at Title Magazine about the recent Tiger Strikes Asteroid show Bedrock

Architecture lovers, find out about Mexican architect Luis Barragan in this week’s New Yorker piece by Alice Gregory.

Fine piece by Beth Kephart in the Inquirer about PMA’s dynamo craft curator, Elisabeth Agro. Want more Elisabeth? Listen to our 2012 podcast interview with Elisabeth, or watch the audio slide show, here.


Call for work for upcoming exhibit in conjunction with LGBTQA conference in Bloomsburg, PA

Navigating Intersectionality: (De)Constructing Our Identities
November 4 – 6, 2016
Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference – Art Exhibition

November 4 – December 5, 2016
Reception: Friday, November 4, 2016, 6-10 pm
The Gallery at the Greenly Center

Navigating Intersectionality: (De)Constructing Our Identities invites artists to submit work in all mediums for an upcoming exhibition to coincide with the Ninth Annual Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference in Bloomsburg, PA. Our aim for the exhibition is to feature artists who explore how all facets of a person’s identity impacts their lived experiences as members of LGBTQA communities. Artists should submit work that addresses this theme of being members of potentially marginalized identity groups.

This year’s conference deals with navigating our identities and (de)constructing our realities. Through intersectionality we realize how the crossover of our identities impacts our everyday lives and in doing so we will discover ways to move towards a more socially just world for all. We invite you to be a part of this exhibition as we build action plans for the future.

Artists may submit up to 3 works. All media will be considered. All work needs to fit through a standard sized door and must arrive ready to display. It is an artist’s responsibility to ship or drop off work as well as provide return shipping or arrange for pick up. The committee reserves the right to refuse any work that does not meet these requirements.

Please submit the following documents to

Submission of 3 images as .jpg or pdf (one detail image can be included for each work) 72 ppi, under 3 mb. For video work, please include a link to Vimeo or Youtube.
An image list including title, dimension, media, and year created.
Artist Statement
Important dates:

Submission Deadline: August 15
Notification of acceptance: September 30
Exhibition: November 4 – December 5
Reception: November 4, 6 – 8 pm
Selected artwork may be included in the printed conference program; so higher resolution images may be requested at a later date. In addition, selected artists may be able to participate in a panel presentation at the conference discussing their work and its relationship to intersectionality.

The show will be juried by Dave Kube, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, in collaboration with students enrolled in the fall Exhibition course.

Please direct any Questions or Concerns to Dave Kube,

More information here.