Nathan Young at Pennsbury Mansion, Questlove at the Free Library, new video series from The National Gallery of Art, The People’s Paper Co-op at Haverford College, KeyStone Jazz Collective at the Barnes Foundation, plus opportunities and more

Hi, spring is starting to grace us with some warm weather and billowing winds. Alongside the beautiful days lots of new exhibitions are opening. Hot Bed is showcasing some spring colors with the exhibition Leading a Colorful Life. The People’s Paper Co-op is exhibiting at Haverford College until April 21st. Pennsbury Mansion will soon open a year-long immersive art and sound installation by Nathan Young. The Barnes Foundation will be hosting a first Friday concert with KeyStone Jazz Collective and QuestLove, and S.A. Cosby will be speaking at the Free Library. Lot’s more to do and see, enjoy the weather!


The National Gallery of Art has launches New Video series West to East

The National Gallery of Art has launched West to East, a new cross-country video series about contemporary artists whose work actively explores connections to their distinct communities and to the nation at large. Through interviews and extensive footage captured on location, the series will focus on artists working outside of well-known “art hubs.”

Episode 1 of West to East, Turtle Island, features Marie Watt (Seneca Nation of Indians/European descent, b. 1967). In her artistic practice, which draws from Native histories, knowledge, biography, and belief systems, Watt investigates past, present, and future in community. “I think in a lot of my work, I use our stories that have, for me, cultural resonance. In our community, Turtle Island is considered North America. But in some tribes, Turtle Island is the planet Earth, and is an integral part of our creation story,” said Watt.

Learn more here.

Watch the first episode!



HOT BED presents six-person exhibition LEADING A COLORFUL LIFE

Yellow and orange hands reach towards the center of the canvas from the bottom and top. A man on a horse in multicolored garb of blue, yellow, white, tan and more. On the left a green, red, orange, magenta, and pink amorphous figure fills i the space. At the center a calm dark green mixes with lavender and blue, the center is tannish.
Leading a Colorful Life show card, Image courtesy of HOT BED

April 22, – May 27, 2023

Opening reception April 22 at 6 PM

723 Chestnut St Floor 2, Philadelphia, PA 19106

HOT BED is pleased to present LEADING A COLORFUL LIFE, an ambitious six-person exhibition of painting, print, and sculpture featuring works from Ziui Chen, Krista Dedrick-Lai, Sean Gertsley, Su Knoll Horty, Eric Uhlir, and Maria Zamora. LEADING A COLORFUL LIFE asks viewers to reflect on what color means to them personally: where in your life do you find color? What might it mean for you to live a “colorful life?”

With its many variances in tone and hue, color is a complex realm of expression for artists around the world. Its uniquely individual qualities enable artists to capture emotions with pinpoint precision. LEADING A COLORFUL LIFE invites viewers into the colorful lives of six artists whose work, though similar in their expansive color palettes, charts vastly different terrain. Rich in emotion and teeming with life, the works in LEADING A COLORFUL LIFE exemplify the infinite range of color’s expressive abilities.

RSVP for Opening here.
More information here.


Let’s Get Free: The Transformative Art and Activism of the People’s Paper Co-op exhibiting at Haverford College

In a pink, blue, and purple flowery background from the top a banner says "Lets Get Free" Below a black woman holds a sign above her head. The sign comes in the form of a hand with free along the forearm. The woman and lettering is in black and white.
“Let’s Get Free,” by the People’s Paper Co-op (PPC) made in collaboration with Katie Kaplan. Featuring PPC fellow Ivy Johnson, the print raised money to pay for billboards across PA created by the PPC and Lets Get Free. Image Courtesy of the People’s Paper Co-op.

March 17 – April 21, 2023

Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

Let’s Get Free: The Transformative Art and Activism of the People’s Paper Co-op showcases nearly ten years of cultural organizing campaigns and collaborative public art by the People’s Paper Co-op (PPC), an ongoing project of The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Looking to women in reentry as society’s leading criminal justice experts, the PPC uses art to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world. Curated by Raquel de Anda, Sharita Towne, and Daniel Tucker, the exhibition explores the PPC’s work as a model for effecting change through art and helping free people from an exceptionally adversarial and punitive criminal justice system.

More information here.

Learn more about the People’s Paper Co-op here. And here’s an interview ArtBlog did with the Co-op in 2019!


Nkwiluntàmën, a year-long immersive art and sound installation by Nathan Young opens at Pennsbury Manor

Wednesdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 PM

April 15, 2023 – Spring 2024

400 Pennsbury Memorial Rd Morrisville, PA 19067

A year-long, immersive sound installation embedded in the landscape of Pennsbury Manor, nkwiluntàmën: I long for it; I am lonesome for it (such as the sound of a drum) is a new work by artist Nathan Young (Delaware / Pawnee / Kiowa). Amplifying indigenous agency, the project takes listeners on a journey through Pennbury’s riverfront grounds, honoring and reimagining environmental song-making practices that survive the diaspora of Young’s tribe across North America. The outdoor experience augments the landscape by transforming the historic site with original, collaborative musical compositions include vocals and environmental recordings that invite audiences to meditate on the enduring relationships indigenous peoples have to land.

More information about the exhibition here.

More information about Pennsbury Manor here.

Ice Cold Presented by James Oliver Gallery

A figure concealed in black clothing and gloves holds a weathered metal plate with an upside down red, white, and blue R. Resembling the logos seen on ice-cream trucks and slushy brands ice slopes off of the R.
“Upside Down R” By Mecro. Image Courtesy of HOT BED.

Opening reception: Saturday, April 8 6-9 PM

On view April 8 – May 27, 2023

James Oliver Gallery in Philadelphia presents Ice Cold, featuring renowned freight writer, MECRO. Also known as Glossblack, MECRO is a Philadelphia-based artist who has established himself as an internationally recognized practitioner of graffiti and typography. The “Upside Down R” has been his stamp on freight trains for many years and is now the artist’s trademark. He continues to test the boundaries of bold, effect-driven lettering and although each piece is much different from the next, they are instantly recognizable as his own.

Learn more here.

Scribe Video Center launches Gary Smalls Gallery Project

A black woman with short hair with a cigarette loosely hanging from her hand stands in the right middle plane of the picture watches as a boy and man with only their bodies in the shot stock a crate with what appear to be cigars.
Image Courtesy of Scribe Video Center.

Opening receptions Friday, April 7, 6-8 PM

On View April 7 through June 2, 2023 – Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM. Free.

Scribe Video Center, 3908 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Scribe Video Center is pleased to announce an exhibition of the newly inaugurated Gary Smalls Gallery Project. This initiative ushers in the celebration of Scribe’s 40th anniversary.

This first showcase includes four photographers: Harvey Finkle, Ted Lieverman, James O’Neal, and Ron Tarver. Join us for the opening reception of our first art exhibition since relocating to Lancaster Avenue in 2018. Curated by John Abner, the exhibition features the photographs of four outstanding photographers working in the Philadelphia area. The namesake for this gallery is the late Gary Smalls (1949 – 2022). Smalls was a vital part of the cultural community of Philadelphia, and was a supporter of Scribe Video Center from the very beginning.He is responsible for introducing many people to the Scribe community over the years. Small worked on numerous projects at Scribe, co-producing documentaries for the Precious Places Community History Project, Community Visions, serving as an advisor on the Documentary History Project for Youth, and producing his own projects. The Gary Smalls Gallery Project intends to keep his legacy alive through supporting local artistic initiatives.

RSVP for opening reception here.

Learn more about the exhibition here.


KeyStone Jazz Collective at The Barnes Foundation

A sharply dressed Black man holds a double bass in his right hand near a window.
Bassist Nimrod Speaks to perform with KeyStone Collective. Image Courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.

Friday, April 7, 6 PM

Live music sets at 6:30 and 7:45 PM

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19230

Enjoy an evening of art, live music, cocktails, and light fare at the Barbes monthly First Friday mixer with aprogram featuring two sets by the Keystone Jazz Collective. This all-star ensemble, cofounded by Philadelphia bassist and composer Nimrod Speaks and Pittsburgh trombonist Reggie Watkins, brings together musicians from across the state to entertain, enrich, and educate through performances and workshops. Collectively and independently, these musicians have shared the stage with an impressive roster of acts, including the Temptations, Jason Mraz, Bootsie Barnes, and Tim Warfield. In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, the Keystone Jazz Collective will bring its masterful musical stylings to the Barnes.

Tickets are $28 for the public; $10 for students, National, Patron, and Contributor members; Supporters and Sustainers free.

Buy tickets and learn more here.

Free Library hosts talk with Questlove and S.A. Cosby: The Rhythm of Time

Sunday, April 16, 2023 3:00 PM

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

In conversation with Maori Karmael Holmes

The Academy Award-winning filmmaker, drummer, DJ, producer and best-selling author Questlove, is a member of the influential hip-hop group The Roots, which serves as the house band for The Tonight Show, where he is also the Musical Director. Questlove is a six-time Grammy Award winner and has worked with everyone from D’Angelo to Jay-Z. He was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2022” by Time. In 2023, he launched his own book imprint, AUWA Books. Next up, he will make his feature film directing debut with a live-action hybrid reimagining of The Aristocats for Walt Disney Studios.
S. A. Cosby is an Anthony Award-winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, which won the the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of the year by NPR, The Guardian, and Library Journal, among others. His next adult novel, All the Sinners Bleed, will be published in June.

More information here. Tickets for $26 here.

P.S. there’s an interesting exhibition of maps exploring the art of world-building in the Rare Books Department. Here’s more information if you’re interested.


The Rebeccah Milena Maia Blum Curatorial Fellowship

Deadline: May 31st

The fellowship will provide funds, mentorship, and a chance to curate an exhibition at Allens Lane Art Center for an up-and-coming local curator. Artists and aspiring curators are invited to submit exhibition proposals that may range from group, two-person, or solo exhibitions. We are accepting proposals for all media and conceptual frameworks. The fellow will be selected through a juried process by an established curator. We will select two fellows in this cycle of applications for the exhibitions in 2024 and 2025. The exhibition will take place in January at the Allens Lane Art Center Alber Gallery.

The selected fellows will receive $1,500 stipend to help support the curatorial research and work of preparing an exhibition. An extra $500 will be available to cover installation costs, framing and shipping.

More information here and apply here.