Notable – Sarah McEneaney, Karyn Olivier, Sean Kelley, Taji Raoof Nahl, Allan Edmunds, Signe Wilkinson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and the Photo Review Auction

It's notable that the Phillies lost game 7 of the National League Champion Series last night. But there's some upbeat notable news in this news post! So take heart. The Phillies will play again, and lose and win and play some more. But art will give you lots of notable experiences as well. Let's hear it for art this week! And cheer up, All.


A colorful painting in a cartoon mode, shows a person from the rear who is pulling a heavy-looking black suitcase behind them, both hands on the handle and body bent forward with the effort of pulling the heavy case.
Sarah McEneaney “Arrival Departure,” 2023 acrylic on panel. Courtesy of Timor de Nagy

Sarah McEneaney: The World Around: A Mixed Bag, Small Panels and Works on Paper
Tibor de Nagy
October 20 to November 25, 2023

Tibor de Nagy is pleased to present Sarah McEneaney The World Around: A Mixed Bag, an exhibition of small panel paintings and works on paper. This is the gallery’s first exhibition solely devoted to McEneaney’s drawings and small-scale work.

Arranged in three parts, the exhibition is made up of groups of works representing parts of the artist’s experiences from the last two years, both up close and far afield, and the sometimes wonderful and disappointing mixed bag that these can be. The first group of works is made up of small panel paintings and drawings (example pictured above), from McEneaney’s stay at an artists’ residency, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. There she made only small works, as all art materials had to be brought over in her luggage due to the residency’s remoteness. In an intimate scale, she captures the architecture, landscape and interiors of this charming and bright spot in the world.

The second group is an installation of drawings of the Public Hearings of the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack which she watched live streamed in her studio in Philadelphia. The work, consisting of 35 separate drawings, depicts many of the people we came to know through these hearings such as Officer Fanone, Cassidy Hutchinson and Ms. Cheney (pictured above) and also captures our collective discontent from the original event in 2021 and its aftermath.

The third group of works, all small-scale drawings, McEneaney continues her diaristic project of documenting her home and studio life in Philadelphia. Making appearances are her three cats (one pictured below, Julius) and her late dog Mango, her bicycle and sewing machine and other everyday objects that make a comforting refuge.

[Ed. Note. Sarah McEneaney is a Philadelphia artist. For Artblog some of Artblog’s coverage of Sarah’s work see Michael Lieberman’s review of Sarah’s 2016 show at Locks Gallery; and Michael’s equally insightful review of Sarah’s 2014 show at Tibor de Nagy.]

In a gallery, sitting on a polished concrete floor, is a photo printed on plexiglas that shows seven plastic, aqua blue chair tops sitting on the ground missing their legs. The photo, which is large and tilted, is embedded in a small pile of aqua-blue tinted sand. The chairs connote abandonment and the sand, perhaps, connotes a beautiful tropical island that is actually adrift and buffeted about by the ocean.
Karyn Olivier, (DIS)(RE)(IN)PLACE, 2023, transparent photo on Plexiglas, tinted sand, steel, 24 x 52 x 12 inches
Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, via List Gallery, Swarthmore

Karyn Olivier “Seep”
List Gallery, Swarthmore College
November 1 — December 15, 2023
Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk – Wednesday, November 1
Artist’s Talk: 4:30 – 5:30 PM; Reception Follows: 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema

The List Gallery is pleased to present Seep, a solo exhibition of mixed media works by the preeminent artist Karyn Olivier. The exhibition, accompanying catalog, and related events are funded by a generous grant from the William J. Cooper Foundation. The artist will lecture about her work on Wednesday, November 1 at 4:30 PM in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema. The List Gallery reception will follow, 5:30–7:00 PM. List Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, Noon–5:00 PM. Gallery admission and events are free and open to the public.

For nearly twenty years, Karyn Olivier has been creating sculptures, installations, and photographs that transform familiar objects and public spaces. She often repurposes materials from the waste stream such as fence posts, buoys, used clothing, playground slides, and roofing materials. Her artworks engage viewers with a range of issues, including the plight of international refugees, the legacy of slavery, the role of public monuments, and unsustainable construction practices. Through engaging with history, contemporary events, and architectural contexts and by deftly transforming everyday materials, Olivier creates works that are poignant, thought-provoking, and at times, whimsical.

Karyn Olivier was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 1968, and moved to Brooklyn, New York as a child. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 1989, and a MFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2001. Olivier has exhibited internationally including at the Gwangju and Busan biennials; the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Whitney Museum of American Art; and MoMA PS1. Her solo exhibitions have been presented at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis. Her public art projects include Approach, a 52-foot-high permanent installation at Newark Liberty International Airport. Olivier’s numerous awards include the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, the Nancy B. Negley Rome Prize, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, a PEW Fellowship, a Creative Capital Foundation grant, and a Harpo Foundation grant. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia and is an associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University.



A color photo shows a tiered arrangement of steps covered with bight red, perhaps velvet curtain fabric, with the risers showing the gathered curtain material and the steps showing a group of pug dogs, all sitting and posing, with their handlers’s faces peeking through the curtain risers behind the dogs.
Neal Slavin: Group Portrait, Pugs, c. 1994/later, archival pigment print, signed, titled, and dated verso, image size: 16″ x 12″, sheet size: 19″  x 13″  ($3,500–$7,000). Courtesy of the Photo Review

The Photo Review Benefit Auction
Saturday, Oct. 28, 4PM, reception 3-4 PM
Preview: Friday, October 27, 12–5 PM, and Saturday, October 28, 11 AM – 3 PM.
Moore College of Art and Design

The Photo Review, a critical journal of photography founded in 1976, will celebrate its 48th anniversary with a spectacular Annual Benefit Auction on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 4 p.m. — at the Moore College of Art & Design, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The auction will offer a significant array of photographs from the 19th century to the present. According to Photo Review editor Stephen Perloff, prices will range from $25 to $10,000. See the auction catalog – and make bids – here!

Featured local luminaries includeJames B. Abbott, Geoffrey Agrons, John A. Benigno, Howard Brunner, Diane Burko, Charmaine Caire, Gerald Cyrus, Sandra C. Davis, Harvey Finkle, David Freese, Tom Goodman, Marvin Greenbaum, David W. Haas, Jeffrey Holder, Walter Holt, Richard Kent, Brian Lav, Jenny Lynn, Ben Marcin, Dan Marcolina, Stephen Perloff, Thomas Porett, Amie Potsic, Gary Saretzky, John Slavin, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, Blaise Tobia, Sarah Van Keuren, Christine Welch, and Byron Wolfe.

Once again The Photo Review will offer its END THIS AUCTION feature. Bid the high estimate on any unsold lot by 6 p.m. EST on October 27, 2023, by emailing, faxing 215/891-9358, or calling 215/891-0214, and your bid will be considered the winning bid and the work will be withdrawn from the auction.

A preview will be held at Moore on Friday, October 27, 12–5 PM, and Saturday, October 28, 11 AM – 3 PM. A reception from 3–4 PM on Saturday will honor the Spruance Art Gallery and the Photography Department of Arcadia University, the recipient of The 2023 Photo Review Award. Buyers can preview the live auction online and place bids here.



A colorful photo shows a room washed in pink lighting, with two men, one black and one white, standing proudly and smiling amidst a tangle of sculptural tubing out of neon and other materials, and in the background is a DJ setup and a video projection on the wall behind.
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) artists, John Schlesinger, CFEVA Fellowship Alum, and Taji Ra’oof Nahl, pictured alongside their collaborative installation project at Schlesinger’s home studio, October 2022.  Photo credit CFEVA.

Logan Cryer interviews Artblog favorite Taji Raoof Nahl for the Philadelphia Citizen

[Ed. Note. For more on Taji Raoof Nahl, listen to a 2017 Artblog Radio podcast with Taji Nahl speaking about his art with Imani Roach and Roberta Fallon.]


A white man in glasses wearing a light blue shirt and dark blue jacket stands inside a historic prison, long closed and now used for educational programming about the problems with our current incarceration system.
Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President and Director of Interpretation, stands inside the historic site, Eastern State Penitentiary, which he served for 28 years. Mr. Kelley will embark on a new professional chapter following his years of dedicated service to ESPHS. Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary

Sean Kelley Departs from Eastern State Penitentiary after 28 years of service

From the ESP Board of Directors announcement :

Mr. Kelley will embark on a new professional chapter following 28 years of dedicated service to ESPHS.

Mr. Kelley was among the principal architects of the organization’s mission statement, passed by the Board of Directors in 2017, to interpret the legacy of American criminal justice reform. Through Mr. Kelley’s leadership, Eastern State evolved into a place for the public to not only reflect on the history of the world’s first penitentiary, but also to contemplate its relevance today and engage with modern-day criminal justice issues. He curated more than 100 site-specific artist installations, produced the site’s signature “Voices of Eastern State” Audio Tour, and conceived and oversaw popular exhibitions such as The Big Graph, Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, and Hidden Lives Illuminated.

“Sean’s leadership steered Eastern State’s transformation into a historic site with a voice and as a place for reflection on the current criminal justice system,” said John McInerney, Chair of the Board of Directors of ESPHS. “We accept his resignation with gratitude for his dedicated service and the confidence that he will continue to be a positive force for change in the Philadelphia region and beyond.”

“Sean has been an exemplary part of this team for so many years,” said Dr. Kerry Sautner, President and CEO of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. “His work shaped a tremendous culture of excellence, honesty, and truth-seeking that we take great pride in today. I thank him for the work he has done to lead us to this point and wish him all the best as he embarks on the next chapter of his career.”

Sean Kelley was the first full-time employee of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. Since 1995, he has served in a variety of roles, most recently as Senior Vice President, Director of Interpretation.


Four people, two white women with silver hair and two African American men, both wearing glasses, pose for the camera smiling broadly. They are dressed smartly, for a party, and there is a luxurious flower arrangement in the background on a table.
(From left) Allan Edmunds, Signe Wilksinson, Fleisher Executive Director Monica Zimmerman, and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (courtesy of Fleisher Art Memorial, via Brandywine Workshop and Archives)

Fleisher Art Memorial honors Allan Edmunds, Tareek “Black Thought” Trotter and Signe Wilkinson at 33rd Annual Founders Award Celebration

On Saturday, October 21 from 6–9 pm, Fleisher celebrated the honorees at the 2023 Founder’s Award Celebration at Fleisher Art Memorial.

As Founder-President Emeritus of Brandywine Workshop and Archives from 1972 to 2022, Allan Edmunds built an internationally-respected art institution focused on the art of printmaking. An artist, educator, and arts administrator with over fifty years of experience, past honors include the National Endowment for the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship Awards, as well as the New York City Print Center Award for Arts Administration. Honored by the International Review of African American Art as one of 25 Who Made a Difference in American Art in 2001, he is also the recipient of Temple University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Co-Founder of The Roots, a critically-acclaimed solo artist, actor, writer, and producer, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter has become one of the most prolific and prescient voices in hip-hop. He has released eleven applauded albums with The Roots, won four Grammy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards, and has been a beloved mainstay of late-night television since The Roots became the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon over a decade ago. Launching the production company Two One Five Entertainment with The Roots co-founder Questlove, Black Thought also served as executive producer for the AMC documentary series, Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America.

The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons, Signe Wilkinson joined the Philadelphia Daily News in 1993 and The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2013. Retiring from both in 2020, Wilkinson is now an occasional contributor to the Inquirer’s editorial page. During her career, she was one of a small handful of American female cartoonists, receiving a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design in 2011. Other accolades include four Overseas Press Club Awards, two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for Cartooning, and being named “The Pennsylvania Vegetable Substitute” by the PA House of Representatives.