Midweek News on Artblog Radio, Imani Roach, Kensington Bike Derby, Art Opportunities, News, Radio Call signs and more

In this Midweek News podcast, Roberta and Ryan talk art news in Philadelphia, Imani Roach's new appointment at PMA, artist opportunities, radio call signs and much more.


Roberta: Hi everyone, it’s Roberta.

Ryan: And this is Ryan. And this is the Midweek News.

Roberta: On Artblog radio. And Ryan, I want to start out this morning by giving a shout-out to Imani Roach. Imani is now the Director of a new center being created or is created at the Philly Museum of Art called the Center for African and African Diasporic Art. It’s a big job and Imani is an Africa scholar, African art, and who has taught all over the place and was previously at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Africa Wing as a curator there and she’s going to be marvelous. And we love Imani because Imani was Artblog’s first managing editor in 2017, 2018, and she brought herself her whole self to Artblog and actually was transformational to our approach to how we deal with art. So thank you, Imani. Congratulations, Imani. We’re really glad that you’re there and can’t wait to see you in your new role.


Ryan: Yeah, that’ll be an exciting job.

Roberta: Very exciting. It’s, and a lot of work. I’m sure there’s so much to do. Starting a new center. It’s a center. Whatever that means as opposed to a department, I’m not sure. But doesn’t matter, she’s there. Alright, so in the news, other news, I want to start out talking about the opportunities that I, that came in our inbox and some, a couple of them are really good ones.

So first is Tattooed Moms, which we love, on South Street, has an open call for a wheat paste show. With a wonderful title called — I mean, depends on your point of view, “Wonderful.” “Now I wanna sniff some glue”. That’s the title of the show. And it’s an event show. It’s going to be one day on June 14th, 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM and you can drop off your art there. It’s an open call. You drop off your arts on the day of. There’s an application. We’ll have the application information in the news post this week, so where you go or you can submit it via mail if you want to do it that way, and then go on June 14th. This, this is going to be something to experience, I think if it all goes up on the 14th. Of course, Tattooed Moms, as we all know, has that wonderful second floor that is completely wheat pasted over and stickered over, so. I don’t, I don’t know if they’re going to cover things up or, I guess I should follow up with them and ask them.  Yeah, you, you can’t cover up what’s there already, can you?!


Ryan: I wouldn’t think so. They want to keep it.

Roberta:  I wouldn’t think so either, but that’s, we’ll, we’ll follow up on this for you and let you know.

Ryan: Yeah, that sounds interesting.


Roberta: Second opportunity, is Teaching At the End of Times and Vox Populi together have joined for an open call for teaching artists who want to teach the people. And this is a wonderful project by Stephanie Bursese, who also worked for Artblog for a while. Hello Stephanie, and Emmanuela Soria Ruiz, who do Teaching At the End of Times. And you can, there’s a 100, a $1,000 stipend that comes with it and the use of a mobile teaching unit, which they have, and you have to submit a project, a workshop. Application and we’ll put all those links and whatnot for the application in the news post. So shout out to Stephanie and Emmanuela and it sounds like a wonderful thing. And wouldn’t you like to be taught out of a mobile teaching unit? 

Ryan: I think that’s interesting.

Roberta: I think it sounds wonderful. So teaching artists, do it. Again, the deadline is May 10th for that. So that’s right around the corner. But, and there’s a Google Doc for the application, so yeah. Yeah.

Ryan: That’s great.

Roberta: Those are great opportunities. There’s not opportunities every week, but these came in and they seemed like we have to tell you about these, which is what we do. Next I want to turn to some notable exhibits, just a couple of them and shout them out. One is, Dear Philadelphia: Photography of North Philadelphia by Renee Maria Osubu, who is a Nigerian-born London artist who, who’s focused in the past and with this North Philly series. Also of black and white photographs is on fathers and children.

And this body of work was turned into a short film that was Oscar shortlisted, debuted at the Sundance Festival and won a prize at Black Star, our own film festival here in Philadelphia that we’re very proud of. So the show opens on May 9th with an opening reception at 6:00-9:00 PM at Tilt Institute.

So, I’m looking forward to seeing that. And the next one I want to tell you about is Spirit in the Dark at Prism. Now Prism is a gallery that is on Hamilton Street and the it’s run by DJ on Mars, and he has a wonderful curatorial statement. It’s called, and it’s a group show introducing a new group art exhibit channeling Aretha Franklin’s gospel song “Spirit in the Dark.” And so this is going to transform the thoughts behind the thinking behind Aretha’s wonderful song, which I can hear in my head right now as we’re talking about it. Then he goes on to say in his curatorial statement, “This show is about illumination, radiating and reflecting light. lightness, brightness, and bold colors. Cultivating and celebrating joy like a beam of light in the night, flashing across the darkness, being the light, moving with the light, sharing light as a way of caring for each other. Exuding joy as a revolutionary act.”

That is a powerful curatorial statement, and so I’m looking forward to seeing this show. There’s a lot of artists in it. I don’t have their names in front of me at my fingertips, but we will put them again in the news post and I hope to get out and see that show as well. So that’s it for my news update, Ryan, over to you. 

Ryan: So, this May is Bike month. So cycling, advocacies, and advocates organizations are celebrating Bike Month in Philadelphia. The city has some interesting videos culminating of multiple events that are happening. And one in note coming up is the annual Kensington Kinetic Art Sculpture Derby. That is always a good time. That’s on the 11th that’s coming up.

Roberta: Wait. Is that bicycle? Are those floats?

Ryan: Yes. Well, yeah, it’s bicycles that are people-powered.  It’s a people-powered show.

Roberta: Oh, see. Got it.

Ryan: So there’s obviously that the, the mud pit and a lot of art and vendors. There’s food. It’s a whole day event. I think they, I maybe I heard somewhere that they’re changing the location slightly, but it’s just up the street from where it was. Anyway, so if you’re going to that, take a look at that. That’s the 11th.

Roberta: Have you ever been in that? Ryan, you’re a big bike enthusiast. You’re a biker.

Ryan: Yeah. I help, I work with some youth programs that, that built their own floats and did their, their own bikes to, to ride across it. So we, we’ve helped build a few of those, like big giant paper mache, dinosaurs and that kind of thing that ride through the, the muck.

It’s a, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great time to see. It should be a good time for everyone and hopefully the weather holds out for that.

The Tilt show opens this Thursday, and this is the second Thursday, which means Crane Arts will be having open gallery sessions for everybody in the building and usually everything along the, the N. American Street corridors open and vibrant, and it’s a lot of things going on.

So that’s this Thursday, so take a look at that. That’s Tuesday, I’m sorry, Thursday May 9th. So take a look at that. That would be a lot of exciting things happening there as well. I.

Spring is in the air. So then that makes me think of gardening. And then Chestnut Hill has a big gardening show that they do every year. This year’s been pushed back to May 19th. So that’s coming up. You have a little bit of time for that. That was supposed to be this weekend, but it got canceled. That’s why I mentioned it. Or postponed.

Roberta: Can I ask a question?

Ryan: Yeah.

Roberta: Where is the garden in Chestnut Hill that they are showcasing?

Ryan: They block Germantown Ave.

Oh. It’s a block party. It’s a block party gardening show. It’s like six, six blocks. Yeah. 

Roberta: What’s the date again? 

Ryan: that’ll be the 19th. So it’ll be next weekend. Not this weekend, but the following. Yeah, so that looks like a lot of fun. You know, I’m a theater lover. One show I wanted to shout out this week is Children of the Sun. It’s Pac is doing this show, so that’s going to be a great show. That’s Philadelphia Artist Collective. This is a Gorky play. If you’re interested in theater, that that’ll be an interesting one. That one runs May 2nd through the 19th.

Also, there’s been a lot of listings that Philadelphia is getting listed as an interesting place to visit. Lonely Planet has listed it amongst just a handful of the cities. Nairobi, Paris, Montreal, Manus in Brazil, Jakarta, Prague, Ismir, Kansas City. Interesting. And Philadelphia. So if you’re walking around town, you see tourists be interesting.

Roberta: They’re not suggesting you do all of them in a tour, are they, ’cause that would be quite a tour. That would take a year, that would be interesting. Mm-Hmm.

Ryan: Yeah, I’d, I’d be up for that. I haven’t been to most of these places, so I’d, I’d be very interested. So there’s a couple other shows. Automat has a show coming up that we want to give a shout out to. Second City comedian Rhapsody is coming up at Bristol River Theater. That’s next week. But may not make the news ’cause it’s happening May 14th.

Second Thursday. So again, a lot of those, all those galleries are going to be open at Crane Arts. Hope you had a good time. At first Friday, I was able to make a few things, saw some interesting shows. Oh, one other show that I wanted to shout out, like Roberta mentioned Black Star.

The Film Festival obviously comes up first week of August. But in anticipation of that, they did a special previewing of a film called Power directed by Yancy Ford that was at the Barnes, and this was on, on the United States and policing. It was a powerful film. It was a, it was a, it was a tough one, obviously, as you can imagine, but it, I think it was really well done and well worth watching. That’s coming out in Netflix. I’m not sure the release date, but look for that. That’s Power by Yancy Ford and Black Star put that on and we’re looking forward to their film festival in August.

Oh, also, I wanted, I also meant to mention that, sorry. Yeah, go ahead. That Artblog, the website itself is, has made some changes, some updates and hopefully that you find it to the better.

So we had previously had some ways to connect to get to the newsletter. We try to make that a little bit more obvious so people could find it a little bit more easily. ’cause obviously there’s thousands of people that are on our newsletters, so we love to keep everybody up to date on what’s going on.

And because there’s so much interest in, in news and happenings and finding it all in one place, that’s why this podcast kind of grew out of that. We’ve also adapted to a more mobile centric features. So we have the, the standard menu that you’ll find on, on phones and other devices. So you’ll find our menus there.

Let us know what you think of that. Let us know what your, your feedback is. As far as that goes. We’ve moved some things around. Our homepage is different. The way that we show articles is different. We also have an update to how we show our comics that’s different. We also are popup free. We keep our ads light and unobtrusive and out of your way.

Listen than tell us what you think about that.

Roberta: No. No gif’s, no video ads. No audio ads, right? Just quietude.

Ryan: Also, has, has some updates. Take a look at that. Our listing is, is longer. And hopefully is not too overwhelming. We’ve also, added some other features, like if there’s events that are closing fairly soon and you want to see what’s closing.

Things that are opening specifically will continue to be listed, primarily. And if there’s something that you’re not saying you would like to see or a feature that you would like to have incorporated that you think would be worthwhile to our community and yourself and others, let us know. Send me a note.

I’d love to incorporate it. All right, I think that’s it for real this time. That’s my third stop.

Roberta: Yes, I, it could go on and on. You, you know, folks, you’re you’re lucky that we don’t go on and on because the news comes in. We are inundated with it and the events and a lot of it is so good. And so this is an encapsulation of, of vast universe out there that we can’t get to.

But I wan to leave everyone with this last note. I went to a WHYY. Panel discussion over the weekend at which I was talking about art blog with other people of other organizations that are part of the NICE organization, which is our participation with WHYY to share news amongst our platforms.

Anyway, I was talking with Latif White, who is the operations manager of WJYN think it is. He wrote it down here which is a low frequency radio station out of north Philadelphia. Upland Theater. Uptown Theater. They’re at the Uptown Theater. And he told me the call letters w either J or S can’t rita’s writing here.

W-J-Y-N-I think it is. And I started thinking. Why is it that all the radio stations and TV stations start with a W on this side of the country and on the other side of the country? They start with a K, right? KQED and all that kind of stuff. So what’s, and I can’t get this out my head, you know why I haven’t looked it up, so I’m sure Google can give us an answer, but what do you think, Ryan?

Isn’t that. Weird.

Ryan: Weird. It is weird. Yeah. East of the, and west of the Mississippi. Why they picked the Mississippi to, to be the dividing line. I don’t know. When I lived in the Twin Cities, we’d, we had, we had both, so that’s always funny. But then Oh, because you’re

Roberta: on the Mississippi, the Twin Cities are exactly on the Mississippi.

Ryan: Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s not exactly living next to, to a time zone change or something, but it’s, it was pretty funny. Something you don’t really think of or consider, like those letters are completely random.

Roberta: When I grew up our radio and TV station was WTMJ and the Milwaukee Journal, I grew up in Milwaukee was the MJ? I think so, but I don’t know that. I’ve never studied that, but it just, since I’ve been thinking about this, I think MJ stands for Milwaukee Journal.

Ryan: Oh, okay. It’s not like TMJ like. The lock jaw.

Roberta: Oh, no, no, no, no. Oh, please. You went to a very dark place. Not lock jaw.

Ryan: Not lock jaw.

Roberta: Well, we’ll let you go with that. Any thoughts on the W/K? Issue of radio stations, just send them in. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy. I hope you enjoy the day and we’ll be back next week. It’s Roberta signing off.

Ryan: And this is Ryan for the Artblog Radio Midweek News. See you again.

Roberta: Bye!