Congratulations to Donald Hunt, Matthew Rose, Jesse Krimes, Matthew Green, Zoe Cohen; Dumpster Divers explained; Museum News galore and Artblog podcast coming up!

Many congratulations to many folks - yay! Plus, read all about the Dumpster Divers and some museum news. -- Artblog Editor


Artblog contributor, Donald Hunt emailed about his participation as an Artist Scholar at the Marian Anderson Historical Society. Donald, who writes about music for Artblog and was our graduate assistant on Artblog’s Artist and Social Responsibility (ASR) project, will perform in a special concert Aug. 27 at the Ethical Society–congratulations, Donald!  And for you Daniel de Jesus fans, Donald says Daniel will be playing in the concert as well!

Donald Hunt
Donald Hunt, pictured in 2015 at the Artist and Social Responsibility class site

I was recently selected as a Professional Artist Scholar with the Marian Anderson Historical Society and we have a performance coming up entitled “Marian, Mahalia & Paul: The Music, The Movement & The Legacy”, which takes place at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia onSaturday, August 27 at 5pm. This concert is especially meaningful in light of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the systemic racism that African Americans still face today. Please let me know if this can be featured in the artblog’s next news post!

Marian, Mahalia and Paul: The Music, The Movement, The Legacy Theatrical Concert Event
Saturday, August 27, 2016, 5pm – 9pm
Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Admission Tickets: $35.00 In Advance; $40.00 at the Theater Door
Purchase advance tickets at The National Historical Marian Anderson Residence Museum (762 South Martin Street. Philadelphia, Pa. 19146), by phone at 215-779-4219 or online at or email
**A Dessert Reception to Follow the Concert

The National MAHS Museum cordially invites you to join us for a powerful evening of music and majesty as we pay tribute to three of the most dynamic, unique & talented voices of the 20th Century. Celebrate in the Memory of the great Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson and Paul Robeson with the classics and spirituals that these iconic artists made famous all over the world.

Starring: Lyric Soprano Miss Jillian Patricia Pirtle, Soprano Miss Regina A Smith, Lyric Baritone Donald Hunt, Master Pianist and Baritone Reddick Cunningham


You’ve heard of dumpster divers, surely, but have you heard about The Dumpster Divers, a group of Philadelphia-area art-makers whose focus on recycling and re-use propels them to work with discards from, yes, dumpsters, but also flea markets, thrift shops and their mom’s attics.

Curiosities" by Carol Cole, on exhibit at Media Arts Council through AUG 28.
“Curiosities” by Carol Cole, on exhibit at Media Arts Council through AUG 28.

The group has been in Philadelphia since 1992, but has been under the radar of late. They currently have a show coming up Aug 11-28 at Media Arts Council, 609 W. State St., Media PA 19063.  The opening reception is Aug. 13, 4PM – 7PM.  Here’s who’s in the exhibit: Betsy Alexander, Joel Spivak, Diane Keller, Joanne Hoffman, Dan Enright, John Jonik, Charna Eisner, Jim Ulirch, Sally Willowbee, Sara Benowitz, Kim Alsbrooks, Ellen Benson, Carol Cole, Susan Richards, Eva Preston, Ann Keech, and Alden Cole.

Mixed media work by Diane Keller, on exhibit at Media Arts Council through AUG 28."
Mixed media work by Diane Keller, on exhibit at Media Arts Council through AUG 28.”

I did a Q&A with DD’s Jim Ulrich about how the group works. See below for more about the Divers.

Dumpster Divers group photo, 2016
Dumpster Divers annual group photo and costume award gala, 2016.  Do I see James Dupree and the late Randy Dalton in this group?

Artblog – Can you tell me more about the Dumpster Divers?
Jim Ulrich – Attached is a fairly detailed c.v. of the group, recycled from a proposal I’d sent on the group’s behalf to a regional gallery. A more condensed version:

The Dumpster Divers is a loosely organized group of friends and acquaintances with a shared interest in recycling and re-purposing. The vast majority fashion artwork from such materials in varying ways. The six founding members first gathered at a Center City restaurant (now called Silk City) on April Fools Day, 1992. Each invitee was tasked to bring a like-minded friend to discuss creative uses of trash, over a shared meal. At first, they adopted the unfortunate name of Dumpster Diners Club before recognizing the unsavory implications of that name, then later changed the name to The Dumpster Divers of Philadelphia. The group has grown in size over the years as additional kindred spirits have been encountered and brought into the fold.

Many Divers have formal art training, while quite a few are self-taught. The Divers have exhibited collectively in a number of group shows at such venues as Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA, the National Archive, Philadelphia Region, the Noyes Museum in Hammonton, NJ, Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, and the Garbage Museum in Stratford, CT, just to mention a few. Individual Divers have also exhibited independently at the Philadelphia International Airport, Carnegie Museum and Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, the National Watch and Clock Museum, Philadelphia’s Snyderman Gallery and Magic Gardens, and elsewhere.

Several Divers have been featured in such publications as “Found Object Art” (2002), and “Found Object Art 2” (2005), by Tina Skinner (Schiffer Art Books), as well as in various national and regional periodicals.

A number of photo-rich articles focused on individual Divers may be found within the website at
an ongoing blog created by Divers, Kate Mellina and David Christopher.

Artblog – How does the group operate?
Jim Ulrich – The group operates very loosely. (Trying to get the Divers moving in the same direction has often been likened to herding cats.)

Artblog – Do you have meetings?
Jim Ulrich – “Meetings” are mostly parties with a smattering of “business” mixed in, and are typically held on 2nd Thursdays, usually at the homes of various Divers. (Divers with swimming pools host the summer meetings.)

Artblog – How did the show in Media come about?
Jim Ulrich – I think that Joel Spivak, a founding member and longtime chief cook and bottle washer, was approached by the folks that run the Center.

Artblog – How many members do you have?
Jim Ulrich – Roughly 50, but not all are what you might call “active” members.

Artblog – Do any of your folks actually dumpster dive?
Jim Ulrich – I certainly do, and I’m confident that a number of others do as well. But as we all age…and run out of room in which to store our “finds”…there’s probably less and less diving in dumpsters taking place. We also all drive slower on trash day. I find a lot of my own preferred materials along railroad tracks, in brown fields, along roadsides, wherever and whenever my trash radar detector goes off. Most Dumpster Divers also peruse the occasional yard sale, flea market, resale shops and thrift store.

Artblog – How long have you been with the group?
Jim Ulrich – I’m one of the newest members and have been with the Divers for roughly 5 years. (I had to look back through old emails to determine when I first got involved; April 2011.)

Artblog – What kind of art do you make?
Jim Ulrich – Nearly all of my own art work incorporates found material in some fashion; that’s typically what I rely on to spawn ideas. But I often have to fabricate other elements in order to flesh out whatever ideas might be generated by stuff I’ve found, using whatever materials seem to be called for to get the job done. (In the past I’ve also worked with various printmaking media, photography, ceramics, welded steel and varied mixed media.) Examples of much of my own work can be viewed at Illustration website:

Lately, I’ve been working to incorporate a greater portion of hand-made content under the theory that the average viewer is more appreciative of work created using more traditional art-making methods than they are of compositions created solely from re-purposed materials. I’ve attached an image of my very latest, a piece called “The Prosecutor”. It’s being exhibited at the current Divers show in Media. While the “fencing” is all found material, the dog was fabricated from sevral layers of scroll-cut plywood and a paper mache tongue, then painted with artist’s acrylics.

Artblog – …that great photo of the group? Tell me about it.
Jim Ulrich – Note that this is the 2016 group photo from the Dumpster Divers’ Annual Awards Banquet held every year at the Famous Deli. It is never a photo of all the Divers, just those who make any given year’s “banquet”. (One staple of this annual event is the annual “Golden Hanger” award for best outfits, one male, one female. I actually won the mens division this year. That’s me far right 3 rows back in the short waisted military style dinner jacket with medals made from found materials and duct tape, shoulder boards made from smoked oyster tins, and nut and bolt cuff links and shirt studs.)

Artblog – If you can send me a little blurb about the group…
Jim Ulrich – If you want a “little blurb” you’ll need to render my big blurb little. It’s not in my nature to be brief and I probably couldn’t do it to save my life.

Jim Ulrich, The Protector
Jim Ulrich, The Prosecutor, found fencing and hand-crafted dog made of wood, papier mache and paint.

Speaking of recycled goods, Taller Puertorriqueno announced its First Annual Flea Market, Saturday, Aug. 20 at 557 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19133-2602. The market includes household goods but also chairs, desks, tables as they prepare for the move to their brand new home, expected opening celebration on Oct.21/22!!! More information here. Taller P’s website.


Artblog favorite, Matthew Green, has a solo show at Gravers Lane Gallery, opening Aug. 18. Congratulations, Matthew! Listen to Matthew speak about his beautiful and haunting landscapes of the New Jersey Meadowlands in our 2014 podcast interview. Click Gravers Lane for more.

Our Paris-based correspondent, Matthew Rose, paints a great picture in the NY Times of a riverboat festival of Appalachian music in Paris — Congratulations, Matthew! (Matthew is a musician/writer/artist and I imagine him playing along at the festival…) Read Matthew’s NYT article.

Zoe Cohen is offering Collaborative Artists workshops. Check out more here:

Jesse Krimes has debut solo exhibit in Chelsea, open now until Sept 24th at Burning in Water Gallery, 317 10th Ave. The show, Marking Time in America: The Prison Works (2009-2013) features three bodies of work he created while in prison: Purgatory, Apokaluptein, and the Masterwork series. Congratulations, Jesse! More here and here.

Independent curator, Julie Courtney, who has been mentoring Jesse after his time in prison and encouraging his career in the art world emailed more information:

…The Wall Street Journal is doing a feature article in the Weekend Arts section on August 6th. (Ed note: article is behind a paywall so I am not linking it). I’ll be sure to send you other press as it comes in.

On a side note: Jesse just won a class-action lawsuit, where I was the lead plaintiff against JPMorgan Bank for their predatory practice of issuing debit cards to all inmates released from prison.

Bloomberg News:

More about Julie at her website:



Museum News #1 – Versailles added on to its amazing building — by digging underground, in a project that was recently completed. Kind of reminds me of the PMA’s plan for the Modern and Contemporary expansion — which calls for a big dig under the east plaza. Read about the Versailles underground addition here. Read about the PMA’s underground expansion here.

Museum News #2 – The Santa Monica Museum closes and rises anew as ICA LA. If you’ve been in Philadelphia a while, you will remember that Elsa Longhauser, former Director of the Galleries at Moore, moved to Santa Monica to head up the Santa Monica Museum. She’s now head of the ICA LA and just hired a Curator. More below in this LATimes story by Carolina Miranda.

Hammer Museum’s Jamillah James named curator of new ICA LA — formerly Santa Monica Museum of Art

For a time, the Santa Monica Museum of Art was an institution without a home. Last year it lost its building at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, and its future was uncertain. But now it is busy rebuilding. In May it announced a new location — on East 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles — and a new name: the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA).

Now the museum moves forward with more news: It has announced the appointment of Hammer Museum assistant curator Jamillah James as its curator. James joins the ICA after two years at the Hammer, where she worked on project installations and major exhibitions, and helped oversee a range of programming at Art + Practice, the arts space the Hammer runs in collaboration with artist Mark Bradford in Leimert Park.

Elsa Longhauser, the executive director of ICA LA says she has followed James’ work for the last couple of years — from the project show she organized of the painted collages of Njideka Akunyili Crosby at the Hammer to the group exhibition “A Shape That Stands Up” at Art + Practice — and has been impressed with what’s she has seen.

“Seeing the work that she was doing and talking to people with whom she had worked made me think she would be perfect for ICA LA,” she says. “She’s a speaker and a critic and a writer in addition to being a curator. I think Jamillah, with her sensibility and her experience and her knowledge of the global and local art world, will add a dimension that is new and exciting and expansive.”

Museum News #3 – Delaware Art Museum hosts a big retrospective of Elizabeth Osborne’s work from the 1960s. Sixties fever is upon us, and we will be there.

Elizabeth Osborne: The Sixties
October 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Philadelphia-based artist Elizabeth Osborne (born 1936) is best known for her glowing landscapes and seascapes. She is also known for her interior and figurative paintings which were influenced by Richard Diebenkorn and Color Field painters such as Helen Frankenthaler. Following her graduation from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Osborne spent a year in the mid-1960s studying in Paris through the Fulbright Program. This period was of great importance, resulting in the artist’s first mature paintings. Elizabeth Osborne: The Sixties traces the influence of Osborne’s contemporaries, such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and presents the first survey of the artist’s haunting, black paintings from this decade.

Press release:


Live Radio interview coming up tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 5:30 PM! Roberta interviews Julius Ferraro and Amanda Wagner of Curate This!