Artblog Atlas Update, Louis Kahn Lecture Room moves to Philadelphia Museum of Art, Richard Watson at Rush Arts, and Opportunity

Today's news brings you a more comprehensive (although still not complete!) list of the contents for our Atlas of Art and Food in Philadelphia. In other news, the beautiful and austere Louis Kahn Lecture Room installation by Siah Armajani is moving to the PMA, plus Richard Watson will open a show at Rush Arts on July 2, and Cerulean has an open call for their Artist Member Collective. All is revealed in this post.

ARTBLOG NEWS – Update of Atlas of Art and Food in Philadelphia

We thought you might like to see the working list of contents received or in process in the Atlas of Art and Food in Philadelphia. We are busily at work, and this list is incomplete. Much more content is being developed by the Atlas team right now! And it’s not too late to contribute and get your free copy of the book in 2023! Make a donation at our Paypal. We acknowledge all donations and will add your name to our list of Atlas supporters acknowledged in the book!

Banner advertisement for the book "The Artblog Atlas of Art & Food in Philadelphia" featuring the book title, the phrase "publishing in 2023," and two photos of people featured in the book.
The Artblog Atlas of Art & Food in Philadelphia – Coming in 2023
  • Ken Lum, Story of The Cook, the Diner and Riz Cantonais
  • Roberto Lugo, Growing up in Kensington and Recipe and tips for Puerto Rican Rice
    Yvonne Lung and Dave Kyu, Story of Meal Kit, collecting family recipes and family camping with a rice cooker
  • Chloe Piñero, Story of her Abuelo
  • Justin Favela, Story about “authenticity” of Mexican food, Taco Bell and Family Fiestas at Museums
  • Terri Saulin, Story about working in legendary Philadelphia restaurants and nightspots (Judy’s Cafe, …) and the affect on life and art making
  • Claes Gabriel, Story about not eating or eating once a day and not having access to Haitian foods in Philadelphia
  • Ashwin Suseendran, Story about growing up South Asian in America and changing from hating your culture to loving your culture. Plus, mom’s recipe for Tomato Biryani
  • Roberta Fallon, Story of searching for Ruthie’s fudge recipe, a false “find” and the possible “real” find. Plus two fudge recipes.
  • Chef Kurt Evans, Story of the activist chef who employs de-carcerated people and believes in food for the community
  • Ilana Napoli, Grandma’s Kitchen
  • JamBru Kombucha, Story of activist creation of “bru” house
  • Morgan Nitz, personal story
  • Oli Knowles, Story, illustrated and narrated about a co-worker’s experience in a grocery store.
  • Patrick Coué, Story of a family rabbit’s transformation into family dinner.
  • Rowhouse Grocery, Story of the creation of a small activist “mom and pop” grocery store in South Philadelphia
  • Tessa Mellin, story and recipe
  • Urban Creators, Interview, Plus Recipe
  • Rebel Ventures, Interview, Plus Recipe
  • Ashwin Suseendran, Map of Philadelphia Food Ecosystem participants featured in the book
  • Maria Dumlao, Nicky Uy and Omar (Bahay215), Story of cuisines from the Philippines, foraging of local edible weeds and plants. Plus Philippino recipes adapted with local foraged greens.
  • Billy DuFala, Story of Recycling and waste.

NEWS – Richard Watson exhibit at Rush Arts opening July 2

Missed his terrific show at AAMP? Check out Richard Watson’s wonderful works at Rush Arts!
Rush Arts Philadelphia
4954 Old York Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19141
Opening July 2, 3 PM

An African American man and woman stand together in a friendly pose in front of a large colorful painting on a dark blue wall in a museum
Richard Watson and Betty Leacraft at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

From the Gallery:

Save the Date! Join us July 2nd at 3pm at Rush Arts Philadelphia Gallery for the opening ceremony of Richard Watson’s latest Exhibition.

Richard J. Watson, an alumnus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia, is a multi- faceted artist who is widely recognized as a representational, and collage artist. He has to his credit many public and institutional murals throughout the city of Philadelphia. As one of the most influential figures in the Philadelphia art scene, Watson is not only an artist but an educator, activist, and curator. His works are informed by his own memories and “suggested realities”.

NEWS – Fleisher Art Memorial’s Louis Kahn Lecture Room gifted to PMA, will be moved out of Fleisher

From the media release:

Fleisher Art Memorial is pleased to share that the Louis Kahn Lecture Room, designed by Siah Armajani and originally installed at Fleisher in 1982 as a gift from the Association of Public Art, is being acquired this summer into the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s contemporary art collection.

The Louis Kahn Lecture Room, created by Siah Armajani, was given to Fleisher in 1982 by the Association for Public Art, previously known as the Fairmount Park Art Association. Armajani (1939 – 2020) emigrated to the United States in 1960 from Iran and became a central figure in contemporary public art. His bridges, temporary interior workspaces, gathering rooms, and outdoor garden structures are works of art in service of the activities of daily life, often incorporating passages from favorite writers that extol shared democratic values. The Lecture Room was dedicated to Philadelphia-based Louis Kahn, who attended Fleisher as a child and became one of the most important architects of the 20th century.

Designed to accommodate a class-sized group, the Lecture Room features grayish rose pew-like benches that face a raised lectern and blackboards, as is typical of a classroom or lecture hall. Installed throughout the room are various hardwood elements (from surrounding benches to shutters) each painted in bright yellow and “Pennsylvania Dutch” blues. Armajani’s approach suggests the simplicity of early American furniture and architecture but does not place emphasis on a single center. Rather than assigning a hierarchy to the arrangement of the room’s built elements, Armajani enables participants to grant their own meaning to the space through its ongoing activation and use. A glass transom at the entrance to the room from the street has one of Kahn’s designs etched in it, with display surfaces on the walls intended for rotating reproductions of Kahn’s drawings (from the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania). Mounted on the cornice are quotations from Kahn, one of which reads: “Schools began with a man under a tree who did not know he was a teacher, sharing his realization with a few others who did not know they were students.” An intentionally open space between the sets of seating is occupied by stencil-cut letters inlaid into the wooden floor, bearing a verse by Walt Whitman that begins: “When the materials are prepared and ready, the architects shall appear.”

The room’s simple elegance, suggestive of a Quaker meetinghouse, was intended by Armajani to evoke a meditative quality similar to the feeling of Fleisher’s adjacent Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was originally built as the Church of the Evangelist in 1886, designed by architects Louis C. Baker and E.J. Dallett of Furness & Evans Co. Incorporated into the school around 1920, the Sanctuary reflects Fleisher’s history and uniqueness. Serving as the heart of the campus and an iconic symbol of the organization, the Sanctuary currently provides a unique and flexible space for classes, exhibitions, meetings, performances, and events.

In 2015, Fleisher Art Memorial’s Board of Directors approved a Master Plan prepared by Atkin Olshin Schade Architects to guide the use and improvement of its campus. The plan called for the removal of the Louis Kahn Lecture Room in order to improve access and use of Fleisher’s adjacent Sanctuary, as Armajani’s work was no longer able to be used in the way the artist originally intended. Studios were established on other floors of the building, changing the nature of the room from a quiet space for contemplation into a circulation path to the rest of the building. The Master Plan identified the need to create a separate entrance to the Sanctuary accessible to all visitors, as well as increased restroom facilities and equipment storage.

Working with various staff members at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including curators and conservators, Fleisher is gifting the room to the museum, along with a design model that reflects the artist’s earliest thinking about the Lecture Room. This collaborative effort to honor Armajani’s work and preserve the integrity of the original installation also provides an opportunity for both institutions to honor the history of the Louis Kahn Lecture Room as a unique memorial to the artistic and cultural legacy of Philadelphia.

Carlos Basualdo, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art:

“Siah Armajani’s legacy is much treasured and beloved at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and we are delighted to receive the extraordinary gift of the Kahn Lecture Room into our collection. Armajani’s installation is like a mirror that reflects the best of Philadelphia and allows us to think about the extraordinary heritage of our city in the most hopeful light. His work is about conversation and learning, about beauty and simplicity. We look forward to exhibiting it and to activating it in the future within the walls of our museum.”

Barbara Armajani, widow of the artist, expressed her appreciation for the care taken by the two institutions to preserve the work by her late husband.

“I am thrilled to know that one of Siah’s most important public works – ‘useful for the folks’, as he would say, will be preserved. Siah so admired the work of Kahn and he was so happy he could honor him in the city of Philadelphia. Now it is an honor in Siah’s memory that the Museum is caring for the Lecture Room.”

OPPORTUNITY – Cerulean Arts seeking members for its Artist Members Collective

The Cerulean Arts Collective was established in 2017 as a community hub of creativity, ideas, friendship and support. A cross between a traditional gallery and an artist-run cooperative, the Collective is supported in part by membership dues but without requiring artists to manage the day-to-day operations of the gallery. Five concurrent solo exhibitions at a time ensures visitors are regularly introduced to new artists and members have ample opportunity to meet one another throughout the year. We are seeking new members for the 2022/2023 season; membership dues are $95/month or $1000/year if paid in full.

Collective Member Benefits:
· Solo exhibition every 12 – 18 months (15 months on average)
· Cerulean Arts manages installation, sales and all staffing (No gallery sitting required)
· At least one work always on display in the Group Gallery or storefront windows
· A minimum of six works stored on site for visitor inquiries
· Artists’ page on Cerulean Arts website with works available for sale online
· Reduced commission of only 35% on sales of artwork
· Gallery promotion including exhibition postcards and email announcements
· 10% discount on all gallery purchases and classes
· Cerulean Arts is easily accessible by public transportation and has limited free parking

For consideration, please email your artists’ statement, resume and website link or five digital images (jpg, tiff or pdf) to with “Cerulean Arts Collective” as the subject line.

Review for the 2022/2023 season will begin on July 1 and continue until spaces are filled. Invitations to meet in person will follow the initial review. Priority will be given to under-represented artists who are not affiliated with another gallery.