Midweek News on Artblog Radio, WHYY, Mummers, Future Fair, Henry Bermudez, First Friday openings, May the Fourth Be with you!

Join Roberta and Ryan as they explore the Philadelphia art scene this week! From the WHYY Civic News Summit to a glitter-filled costume making workshop, there's something for everyone. Don't miss out on all the exciting events and exhibitions happening on this midweek podcast!

Roberta: Hi, it’s Roberta.

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

Roberta: On Artblog Radio … And in the news, Ryan.


Ryan: Yeah.

Roberta: This week we’re going to talk about WHYY’s Civic News Summit. WHYY is our local NPR station, as you probably know. Terry, gross, fresh Air, the news, et cetera, et cetera. We love them. And our blog is a member of a part, is a partnership member with WHYY through their Neighborhood Information and Education Community Exchange, the NICE program.

So we are going to be participating in the WHYY Civic News Summit this weekend. It’s Friday, May 3rd, nine to four. And Saturday May 4th, nine to four. It’s free and open to all, and it’s an opportunity for you to come and mingle and be at big tables talking with WHYY reporters and other members of the community about your story idea. About your problem idea, but whatever you want to talk about that is newsworthy and that you would like to meet someone and share your story with, I think it’s a great opportunity for community members no matter what your issue is. WHYY covers politics. They cover art, they cover science and health, whatever your issue is, neighborhood.


Come in and talk to them and plus, lunch is free. They’re providing lunch, always a plus. Free to register, but you do need to register. We’ll put that link in the news post so you’ll have all the links and you can register there. So I’ll be there and I hope to talk to you if you have an art issue that you want to talk about that we can facilitate with WHYY.

Here is one thing I want to say about another opening that is notable that is not exactly in Philadelphia. In fact, it’s in New York. The Future Fair. It’s an art fair. Yes. And if you’ve never been to one, I think this might be a good one to check out. One of the reasons being that there are three Philadelphia participants –  this is a good thing Blah Blah gallery will be there, Bertrand Productions will be there. And Susanna Gold, who is an independent curator, has curated a booth with three Philadelphia artists. So. I’m going to put a link to the Future Fair in the news post. It costs money to go. It’s in Chelsea, which is easy enough to get to once you’re in New York. And for this year, they are offering a special ticket price for artists, students, and educators. $25. You can only get this in person, so go to the tickets window at the fair. Get yourself a free, well, it’s not free, sorry, a $25 deal on a ticket to the Future Fair, and those dates are Thursday, May 2nd, Friday, May 3rd, and Saturday May 4th.

Ryan: That sounds great. Yeah.


Roberta: Yeah. Yeah. I, I haven’t been to an art fair in a while, but Libby and I used to go, and if you look back to the early days of Artblog, you’ll find lots of coverage of the New York art fairs. They’re, they’re notable.

Also, I want to tell you, I saw the Henry Bermudez show at Woodmere Art Museum over the weekend.

Henry is a fantastic draftsman. He’s taken over the entire rotunda, upstairs and down. His work glows,  literally and figuratively. He uses gallons of glitter and bright colored paints, and he is, like I said, an exquisite draftsman painter drawer. His subject is social justice and mythology, he’s about myth making.

He uses a lot of animals and animal snake hybrids and animal humans, and I mean, everything is anthropomorphized. He’s a, a storyteller and his paintings come at you. They’re very big, physically, and they also have big thoughts behind them. Like he’s talking about his journey as well as other people’s journeies –  migrants. He’s from Venezuela, but he is been in Philadelphia 20 years.

I hope you get up to see Henry’s show at Woodmere. It closes on May 19th, so there’s not a lot of time to get up there. It’ll, it’s really worth the visit. It’s hi, beautiful, fierce. Excellent and full of glitter. You’re going to love it. You’re goint to just love it.

Ryan: Fierce and glitter in the same sentence is a, is going to be a good show.

Roberta: I think so, and yes. It’s, it’s so wonderful to see the mix of kind of high, low and what’s considered low craft. Huh? Come together. I really love that. And it’s unabashedly celebratory of the materials. It’s just a wonderful package.

Anyway, over to you. To you, Ryan.

Ryan: I was curious with the WHYY thing I was thinking about, have we ever interviewed Terry Gross? That’d be pretty interesting for our blog to do. We’ll have to put it on the to-do list.

Roberta: I love that idea.

Ryan: I do too. I think it’d be really funny. But I’d love, I’d still love to hear it.

So this week, obviously it’s we’re coming up to the end of April, going into the beginning of May, which means first Friday is coming up this Friday. So the usuals in Old City are going to be open and active. There’s a lot of fun things that are happening. A lot of great shows are opening.

There was one that had just passed, I, I’m not sure if you were able to see it, but Woodmere had a show. It was just the opening, the celebration of the poetry gumball machine. That was last weekend, but the, the gumball machine should be around. So go check that out. If you miss that in person. I, I missed it and I would love to see exactly what it is.

It looked really interesting. I

Roberta: haven’t heard of this. And I was at Woodmere. Where, where is it in Woodmere?

Ryan: It’s actually not Woodmere. I misspoke. It’s a museum for Art and Wood.

Roberta: Oh, oh yes, I have heard of that. The Museum for Art and Wood.

Ryan: Yeah. So they have,

Roberta: That does sound great.

Ryan: It does sound great. So I am curious to see what that’s about.

Other shows that are opening. Axiom has their first Friday. I’m not sure if there’s any specific openings for them. But they have a lot of great work that’s happening.

Roberta: I’ve not heard of them. Axiom?

Ryan: Axiom, yeah. They’re on, on second, just off of market. Paradigm. Paradigm has an opening Deep breath.

It’s a group exhibit. That’s gonna be worth seeing. You haven’t been to Paradigm lately. This is a great weekend to get over there. This one, I’m not quite sure what’s going to be, it’s the Science History Institute, but it looks kind of interesting. It’s called Poisons and Panaceas. It, it looks quite, it looks quite interesting.

Take a We’ll put the description, we’ll put all the information in our description. Take a look at it, see what you think of that one. There’s a lot of interesting shows. Pie Gallery has a, a first Friday opening. CBP architects are working with some friends at tiny WPA, which could be really interesting.

I’m not quite sure what that’s going to be, but they’re having a first Friday opening as well. So if you’re doing a first Friday, there’s quite a bit of openings at least five that are happening, that are opening, plus shows that already exist, that are already happening. Not to mention our friends at Mente.

Old City Jewish Art Center, 12 gates. Those kind of places are all open, that that’s gonna be this Friday and hopefully the weather is nice. This is, we we’re celebrating Mexican week, so Cinco de Mayo’s coming up this week. So there’s a lot of different cultural celebrations surrounding that. So take a look at some of the different Mexican cultural.

Events that are happening throughout the week. We’ll put a, a list of those, a link to those as well. A lot of these other shows, you can also find an art blog Connect. So, you know, I love People Light and Theater. They have a show hurricane Diane Opens. Take a look at that. That’s available on Art Blog Connect.

For those for that show. Our friends at Third Street Gallery have openings as well. Graver Lane has an opening their, their friend in Chestnut Hill. Take a look at that. A lot of really great shows. Did I mention Paradigm? Paradigm Artist is doing has a show. Belli also has a show that’s Chestnut Hill.

So there’s a lot of fun things that are happening. And there’s also on the fourth, obviously May the fourth be with you and all of that, which is, I guess you have to know your audience if you’re into that. But there is a South Street festival that’s happening. Atomic City Comics is doing a free comic book day.

And that’s on the fourth appropriately. And the South Street Festival is Saturday, May 4th. It’s at 11 to seven. And I’m not sure where that’s shut down to, but probably till to eighth Street. So from eighth and down to second is going to be blocked. Lots of things going on there. And then I also wanted to point out our friends at Commonwealth have an opening on the fourth.

That’s teamwork. That’s Saturday, May 4th as well. From five to nine. Take a look at that. Also available on our blog Connect. Yeah, there’s, there’s just a ton. First Friday is, I was mentioning it to someone and they said, oh, is that still happening? And it’s like, boy, there are so many things happening right now.

Is hard to get ’em all in in a short amount of timeframe. But we’ll have all of the listings, we’ll have links to it. Art blog is a great place to find. Events. If you have an event that you want to have listed for first Friday or any other time that you have things happening it’s free to submit, free to list.

So feel free to use that service. And if there’s something I missed or there’s a great show that I missed and you want to review it or you want to let me know how the pinball was, send me a note. I’d love, I’d love to hear you got pictures. I’ll post it. Let me know. I’d love to see it.

Roberta: The gumball gumball.


Ryan: gumball.

Roberta: Yeah. Not pinball, what I say,

Ryan: not pinball, but that’d be cool too. The poetry gumball machine.

Roberta: Very good. I’m, I’m overwhelmed. There’s so much going on. It’s wonderful. It looks like the weather may cooperate also. Yeah. Which is good for all these street fairs. And I want to say comics are so great in Philadelphia.

There’s such support of them. There’s so many makers that are making comics in Philly. Our blog has always supported comics. Going way back 10 years ago, we started commissioning comics. Excuse me to put their comics on Art blog. We’ve been so happy and proud to run comics. It’s such an important part of the arts community.

It’s so arty. I love it. Yeah. People that make comics should be celebrated more than they are. And after that, PSA is over about supporting comic artists, I’d like to talk about glitter some more because over the weekend I went to the, golden Sunrise Mums costume making workshop. This was through the DVAA Da Vinci Art Alliance.

Everyday Futures festival. They’ve been organizing with a lot of partners and the moms partnered up with them and they opened their clubhouse, which is two row houses together. One of them is a total barn where they store a lot of the big costumes. I’ll put a picture in the news post so you can see it.

And it used to be a slaughterhouse. Hmm. So Philadelphia history, they’re, yeah, they’re right down there in South Philly. Anyway there were two tables of people that came, so that was a really good turnout and there were a bunch of mums there. Joe Baumberg was the mummer who was their costume designer for the Golden Sunrise, and he was our leader and had made templates from which we.

Put the glitter on and the mirrors and the foil things, and put some costumes together for a man named Chuck who’s a mum and his grandson. He and his grandson are going to go in a Mario Brothers themed costume. So we were gluing down things that would become a Mario Pipe, you know, the big pipes that Mario things come in and out of.

Yeah. And we had a lot of fun with that. Meanwhile, Joe, when we all quizzed him about his background, how did he get to be a designer? He said he is not the typical designer, a a costume designer, he just loves to make things. Hmm. He went to a technical high school for art and design. He is a welder, I believe for.

Maybe an autobody shop. I’m not sure. Something having to do with cars, that’s his day job. But he welds metal out of love of welding and he makes cakes. Hmm.

Ryan: Metal cakes.

Roberta: I didn’t ask about that. Darn, interesting. I will circle around. I think he meant cakes to eat, but I, I think I will circle around and see if that’s right.

Ryan: They’re interesting. Both are good.

Roberta: Yeah. But he creates things every day. So, the Mummers are actively looking for new members. They put on a hard push for everybody that was there. It costs to become a member and you can be a member at whatever level you want to participate in. But they did tell me at one point that at certain points of the year, probably getting up to January, it, they would like you to come in two times a week to help with the costume making. So it’s a commitment. It’s a commitment out of love and passion for doing this and community. I don’t know. I had fun. My good friend, friend of Artblog, Betty Leacraft was there. She had a good time. They gave us snacks and this wonderful tour of their storage unit and I’m glad I went.


Ryan: that sounds amazing.

Roberta: Forever, glitter! And hot glue guns forever!

Ryan: I imagine there’s a lot of history there with all the different outfits and costumes and

Roberta: For sure. For sure. And all the materials. Yeah. Yes. And some, sometimes they reuse them from year to year. Sew them up and reuse them. And sometimes they don’t.They create from scratch,

That’s about it for me.

 Ryan: Don’t forget to follow us. Our, on our newsletters, both our, the Artblog newsletter as well as Artblog Connect. You want to stay connected to those things. Also, also follow us on social media. For the Artblog, and if there’s something that we’re missing, again, let us, let us know. Shoot us an email, otherwise at or and let us know what you think.

Roberta: I’m signing off now, Ryan. Thank you everybody for listening to Artblog Radio’s Midweek News. Bye.

Ryan: Goodbye everybody.