Posts tagged Philadelphia
Opportunity for emerging art writers from Artblog!
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We always love sharing great opportunities with our community and this one hits close to home as it is from our friends over at Artblog! If you’re not yet familiar with this amazing organization, Artblog is a Philadelphia based online arts publication that covers art news, exhibitions, events, and more both locally and internationally. They are huge supporters not only of artists, but also of art writers and have an exciting opportunity for emerging art writers that any budding critics should be aware of.


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Artblog is thrilled to announce the 2019 Art Writing Challenge, a FREE contest with cash prizes, to support emerging writers who are passionate about the arts in Philadelphia. Our motivation? To get more people talking, writing, and thinking about art in our wonderful city. Apply today!

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Dear Readers,

We are excited to announce the 2019 Artblog Art Writing Challenge – a regional writing contest for emerging writers, with cash prizes and publication on the award-winning arts publication, Artblog. The focus of the Challenge is writing about art (and music) in Philadelphia. The contest’s goals are: to encourage more people to write about the arts, to discover new writers in the arts community and to honor and promote those writers.

This is the fifth year for the Art Writing Challenge. Thanks to the generosity of our donor, Mari Shaw, the 2019 Challenge includes prizes for music writing.

What kind of writing are we looking for? Essays, reviews, and interviews, as well as poetry, free-form responses, and experimental methods are all eligible. To get a sense of the full scope of forms and genres, please take a look at the material published on Artblog.

Sincerely,
The Art Writing Challenge Team
Roberta Fallon and Matt Kalasky, Co-Founders, Wit Lopez, Artblog Managing Editor
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SPECIAL NOTE FROM THE ART WRITING CHALLENGE TEAM:
The Art Writing Challenge is a contest for emerging writers.

a. Writers who are or have been salaried to write articles for print or online publications are not eligible within the scope of this contest.
b. Writers who have made $3000 or more in one calendar year from their writing are not eligible.
c. Writers who have contributed previously to Artblog and been paid are still eligible as long as they meet the above criteria.

Find all of the details for the contest here.

Interview with Mari Shaw
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Over the summer, Create! Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with Mari Shaw, an intellectual property lawyer, author, and art collector. While the original purpose of our call was to discuss Words, Books, and the Spaces They Inhabit, Book One of her series on The Noble Art of Collecting and her forthcoming book, The Noble Art of Art Writing, we ended up having a lively conversation about how she became interested in art, her experiences in Berlin where she lives four months a year, trends in the art world, and more.

Mari Shaw’s interest in art didn’t happen by accident but it certainly wasn’t by design. It began bubbling at a young age. In her upcoming book, The Noble Art of Art Writing, she explained:

“When I was a child, the place that most impressed me was my Uncle Martin’s three-story house with a clinker brick façade topped by a pitched roof that sloped down to one side. It sat on a narrow lot of a block of shorter symmetrical houses in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago. My father called Uncle Martin’s house an eyesore. Admittedly its irregular dense blocks of cement burned into various colors and patterns was at odds with the surrounding mostly beige homes and curtained windows, but I found my uncle’s house brilliantly modern and enchanting, both outside and inside. The living room furniture included an Eames Molded Plywood straight-backed Lounge Chair, a flat sleek fireplace with a stack of logs at the ready, a phonograph system and a collection of classical records. The walls were lined with pictures, most of them made by my uncle, and shelves and shelves of books. When I visited, which was often, my uncle talked to me about art and music, frequently illustrating his point by reading from one of his books. “Art reshapes how we respond to the world”, he would tell me. And so it was that I came to understand the restorative and uplifting powers of art.”

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On her eleventh birthday, Shaw’s nascent interest in the arts hit another gear when her parents granted her permission to ride the ‘El’, the elevated subway line that runs from the suburbs, including Skokie, by herself into the heart of Chicago to visit the Art Institute. With unfettered access to this renowned collection, she became a museum regular. Closer to her suburban home, she spent untold hours in bookstores and libraries feeding her omnivorous reading addiction, a compulsion which served her well when she wrote for her college newspaper, alongside its editor Roger Ebert, who went on to become among the most important American film critics of his generation. Surprisingly, Shaw never took an art or art history course in college or graduate school. In fact, although she loved going to museums and circled around the arts in a meaningful way, she wasn’t much engaged in collecting art until later on. Like most young collectors, she started with inexpensive prints and posters.

Shaw says that moving to the east coast in 1972 marked a turning point for her. Already a self-described ‘art addict’, she was thrilled to be living across the Parkway from the Philadelphia Museum of Art which she visited every Sunday, capped by a weekend in NYC every couple of months. Before long, frequenting Philadelphia galleries sparked an enthusiasm for collecting original works by Philadelphia artists. The art of these Philadelphia artists still hangs in the five-story home she now shares with her husband Peter Shaw, including works by Thomas Chimes, Tristan Tristin Lowe, Quentin Morris, Bill Walton, Eileen Neff, David Goerk, Felipe Jesus Consalvos, Kocot and Hatton, and Jon Poblador Poblkdor. She became an active participant in the arts community in Philadelphia and still is.

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Mari & Peter Shaw

In The Noble Art of Collecting, Shaw explains how her collecting jolted into an entirely new dimension in 1985, the year after the Shaw’s married.

“The first serious fight I ever had with my husband Peter was over whether we should collect [expensive] art. I had been buying art for decades…But Peter was proposing a whole different thing: buying a 5-foot oil painting on canvas by Dorothea Rockburne, titled Balance (1985). Though Balance enchanted me with its brilliant colors and scrumptious strokes, the notion of possessing it was abhorrent to the vestiges of my 1960s flower-child mentality. This painting is a masterpiece that belongs in a museum [not in our house]. ”

On the Shaw’s next Sunday visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Peter pointed to labels indicating most of Mari’s favorite works were donated. Mari softened, but, ever the lawyer, she required conditions for collecting, which the couple have followed with only a few exceptions, before agreeing:

(1) They only buy the work of living artists in the primary market, rather than at auction or through secondary market dealers, to ensure the artists profit from the sale of work the Shaw’s buy. Similarly, they seek out artists who are out of favor in the market, or emerging artists and artists in their local communities who have demonstrated a serious practice when they first buy their work.

(2) They do not buy to sell, though on rare occasion they do sell work they have owned for more than a decade to raise money for a non-profit. Shaw believes conservation and patronage are integral aspects of collecting. “I think the privilege of living with art in your lifetime comes with the responsibility of conserving it and supporting artists and cultural institutions.”

(3) Finally, Mari was and is passionate about sharing their collection with the public. She did not want works to sit unseen in storage permanently. Peter agreed, and the couple makes sure their works are exhibited, loaned, or displayed in their home most of the time. They accept at least one museum group per month for a private tour of their collection during the times they are in Philadelphia, and Mari enjoys making the artworks available to students, including repeat visits from classes she has taught over the years at the University of Pennsylvania and other schools. Her granddaughter Lucy’s preschool class once came for an art tour.

Read an Artblog feature with Mari Shaw  here .

Read an Artblog feature with Mari Shaw here.

So, it was that in 1985, the Shaw’s bought Dorothea Rockburne’s oil painting from the Andre Emmerich Gallery in New York, which at the time seemed a very expensive acquisition. The painting still hangs in their living room, but is promised to the Whitney Museum. Other works from their collection have also been promised or donated to other museums, including ten film and video works they donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2017. They do not turn down requests to loan work in their collection to museum exhibitions if the artists who made them request that they do.

In 2004, the diversity and pace of the couple’s collecting took a leap when Mari bought an apartment in Berlin, where she spends four warm weather months every year. While their collection which began primarily with American artists had already broadened to include European and Latin American art, and unwittingly, a concentration of women artists, the Shaw’s knowledge and access to art dealers and art knowledge soared when they established a Berlin base. Every spring, Peter joins Mari the last weekend in April for Berlin Gallery Weekend and spends two weeks looking at art in German’s exciting capital. Peter returns in early summer to travel with Mari to other European cities for a couple of weeks of Biennales, Museum exhibitions, or art fairs.

During her time alone in Berlin, Shaw reads, draws, walks, and haunts bookstores and galleries by day and often goes to the theater or a concert in the evening. In 2007, Mari served as the first American representative on an advisory committee for the quinquennial Documenta XII art exhibition held in Kassel, Germany. In 2009, she began to write her first book, Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes alone in her apartment and across the street at the internet café housed in a museum dedicated to the Ramones, the band that introduced punk. She went to the café as soon as it opened, long before the Ramones crowd roused, where the owner supplied her with free tap water, a rarity in Berlin, and, now and then a free cup of coffee. In 2015, Mari met Caroline Schneider, owner of Sternberg Press in her morning Yoga class. Schneider encouraged her to write a book to be published by Sternberg Press, which eventually became The Noble Art of Collecting.

Among Mari’s current on-going projects in Philadelphia is working with Artblog to enhance its annual Art Writing Challenge. Shaw has been connected with Artblog, Philadelphia’s top online art publication, for decades. She has gone from having been featured in interviews to contributing guest posts, serving on the advisory committee and now sits on the Board. She loves the story behind the organization’s founding and its commitment to diverse, quality writing.

To this end, she saw an opportunity to expand expend and secure Artblog’s annual Art Writing Challenge by making a three-year commitment to up the amount and number of money prizes awarded to the winners. In 2019, she established a new award category in music writing as a match to contributions from others to the Art Writing Challenge. While it was exciting to solidify this online platform for celebrating emerging writers, She wanted to do more. Recognizing that there is something special about having one’s work published on printed paper, she decided the next step was to create a paper book to memorialize the history of Artblog, its Art Writing Challenge, and each of the winning essays selected since the inception of the competition. Voila! She introduced the idea for The Noble Art of Art Writing, which will be hitting bookstores next year as Book Two in her “Noble Art of Collecting” series.

We end our conversation thinking about the iconic opening to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of Incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…

Shaw pointed out how beautifully these well-crafted words give us perspective in our own troubling times, 160 years after Dickens wrote them.

“Bravo to Artblog for continuing to encourage and professionally acknowledge a new generation of art writers in Philadelphia”, bravo to the artists who took the Art-writing challenge, and bravo, to the winners,” she said.

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Mari Shaw will be moderating a discussion on November 15, 2019, from 2 to 3:30pm at the Kislak Center of the University of Pennsylvania at 3420 Walnut Street discussion called “Invisible and Illuminating illuminating”, based on a chapter in her upcoming book The Noble Art of Art Writing. Two-time Art Challenge winner Janyce Denise Glasper Glazer, Manager of the Percent for Art Program Manager for the City of Philadelphia and Artblog Board member Jacque Liu, and multidisciplinary artist and educator, Shelley Spector, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Deisgn and the University of the Arts will be panelists.

Mari Shaw’s books Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes and The Noble Art of Collecting can be purchased on our web shop.

Studio Sunday: Ekaterina Vanovskaya

This Studio Sunday meet Ekaterina Vanovskaya, a Russian born and Philadelphia based painter. She is one of the 14 international artists participating in PxP Contemporary’s exhibition ‘Faces & Figures’ and we’re pleased to be presenting two of her stunning figurative works in the show!


Bio

Ekaterina Vanovskaya was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 and an MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2015. Ekaterina has exhibited nationally, which includes shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, among others. She completed the Artist in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and recently participated in the Governors Island Art Fair in New York and the AIM Biennial at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Ekaterina received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in 2017 and 2018.

Statement

Pale, distressed figures inhabit my large-scale oil paintings. There are several repeating themes in the paintings: loneliness, nostalgia, longing, melancholia, and a search for a sense of place. There are often figures depicted doing mundane tasks, or caught in a state of hesitation or fear, in forlorn atmospheres. A specific emotional longing translates into a painting.

I was born and spent my childhood in St. Petersburg, Russia and memorable childhood experiences frame the core of my work. These memories symbolize isolated experiences and therefore have a strong emotional impact. The physical places I no longer occupy and they do not exist in the same state, as when I knew them, all is imagined.

How does our past impact our emotions, responses, and ways of being? These perceptions of our childhood inevitably define the way we live our lives today. Painting starts to serve as a reconciliation with the self. It is as if I am painting about a secret that nobody else knows.

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When did you first become interested in art?

I started painting when I was fifteen years old, by accident really. Then during my senior year of high school I saw a poster on the wall for Portfolio Day in New York. (An event where you can show up with art work and get accepted into art school.) Completely on a whim, I gathered all my paintings into black garbage bags and made my mother take me to Portfolio Day. That’s how I ended up at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I did all sorts of things there, including painting, and generally had an amazing time. My last year there I already knew I wanted to go to graduate school for painting and I went to grad school a few years later. I think the School of The Art Institute of Chicago really opened my eyes to the world of art making and that’s where I realized that I can and want to pursue art seriously.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your work and what your creative process is like.

All my paintings start with a feeling. I was born and spent my childhood in St. Petersburg, Russia and a lot of my paintings are about memories of my childhood, my family and friends. I can think about a painting for months and years before actually painting it. There is usually a faint picture or idea in my head and the more I think about it the clearer it gets. I used to make a lot of drawings for my paintings - of each person, object, tree, room and so on. Now I don’t have to do that as much - and I try not to draw anything besides my composition sketches. I am afraid that making too many drawings will take away from the impulse of making the painting. I always have a sketchbook and I write down ideas for future work and notes about each painting as I am making it. Sometimes when I am trying to figure things out, I will write in my sketchbook something like, “Is the window in the painting blue?” And then the answer, “No.” It’s really funny. I usually have four or five paintings in my head and four or five different paintings that I am physically working on in the studio.

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What do you hope your viewers take away from seeing your paintings?

I hope they take away an experience of looking that is memorable. I want to share something about my life and say, “This is how I am in this world, come with me”.


What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?

I would say, don’t worry so much and do more stuff. Enjoy college even more, for example. But maybe it was good to be so stuck on one thing - painting, who knows. I was always too worried about how things are. Someone said to me once, in painting class, “Whatever gets you through the day is fine.” I still think about that phrase, especially in terms of painting, and I think it's good advice.


How do you overcome creative blocks?

I don’t. I have creative blocks all the time actually and until fairly recently I would think, “Oh no, I have a creative block again, but I must paint!” But I hate doing something just to do it and I think it’s a waste of paint, energy and time to work on a painting “just to keep going”. I only paint in service to the idea I have and if I don’t want to paint, I don’t paint. I used to be really regimented in the way I work and now I am trying to be more loose and instinctive because I am always trying to make my paintings more personal, more diaristic, different from the previous work. So that’s a strange demand to make while at the same time saying, “but you must paint continuously for this many hours just like you did in grad school" and so on. I want to be free to follow my pattern of thoughts in painting form. In my experience a creative block comes before there is a change of direction or approach in the paintings. I would say trust that change and go on in whatever way possible for the time being.

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Are there any exciting exhibitions, projects, or collaborations going on the rest of this year that you’re currently working on or will be soon?

I was just invited to participate in a group exhibition at Mercer County Community College, October 28th - December 19th, 2019. There is also POST - Philadelphia Open Studio Tours in October, where artists open their studios to the public. I enjoy it every year and I am really looking forward to it.

Color Pops by Su Knoll Horty
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Color. Form. Space. Once only childish playmates, this tempestuous trio has become a passion for Su Knoll Horty.  Her love of bold colors and abstracted space has been inspired by the work of Nicolas de Staël, Josef Albers, Richard Diebenkorn and David Hockney. Exploring the power of color to elicit emotion, Su sees it as her task to convey the exuberance she feels when working with the saturated colors in her painting. She is also fascinated by the spatial dimensions, which can develop through the relationship of colors.  That’s passion. Once you’re in its Jack Russell grip, there’s no shaking it off – no matter where life takes you.

In 2012, Su completed the CE Core Curriculum Program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Pafa). Su continues with Master Classes at Pafa. She received an Award of Merit by Manhattan Arts International in the online exhibition of The Healing Power of Art 2019. Su is a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club and received two Honorable Mention awards for her entries in the Absolutely Abstract shows, in 2012 and 2013 as well as being a juror in the 2015 Absolutely Abstract Show. Su exhibits regularly and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, including The Biggs Museum of American Art. Her work is held in the Camden County Art Bank in New Jersey and in numerous private collections.

Su Knoll Horty is represented by Bluestone Fine Art Gallery in Old City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has recently exhibited at SOMA NewArt Gallery in Cape May, New Jersey.  From 2012 until 2019, Su displayed her paintings in Senator Chris Coons’ Washington, D.C. office.

Artist Statement:

Moving beyond the stain to a more fluid style of painting is what’s on my mind these days. The paint stain is still there during the inception of a painting, but it is more of a building block than a final presentation of schematic color. Gone too, for the moment, are the straight edges. I’m exploring fluidity, in all its measures: organic form, undulating movement, saturated ‘liquid’ color, and stylized gestural marks. It’s through fluidity that I find color to be most expressive. The challenges of creating visual depth through vibrant color, along with subtle and not so subtle shifts in tone are the things exciting me now in the studio, The depth and unexpected form that comes from working with intense color is giving me tremendous satisfaction and leading me into intriguing directions.

Color relationships are still important to me, as are tonal variations. With highly saturated pigments, building form through variation in tone is possible in new ways and presents a deeper ambiguity of space in my work. This ambiguity allows viewers to find what they will in my paintings. This is important to me because I want my viewers to find something they relate to in my work, making each viewing experience unique. 

My latest works offer an intriguing spectacle of color and form, which I call Color Pops.

Website: www.suknollhorty.com

Instagram: @su_knoll_horty

E-mail: sckh@comcast.net

Philadelphia 'Summer Rush' All Female Art Exhibition at James Oliver Gallery
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Kristen Reichert Dark Sister - 45” x 45”, Oil on canvas

Summer Rush will be curated by and take place at James Oliver Gallery as well as their sister gallery HOT•BED, where custom horticulture by Bryan Hoffman will accentuate the organic feel and intense color pallets of this show. The incredible line-up includes a diverse array of works by artists: Michele Kishita, M.K. Komins, Elizabeth Bergeland, Nat Girsberger, Alicia LaChance, Juliet Sugg, Kristen Reichert, Caitlyn Grabenstein, Molly Goldfarb, Ekaterina Popova, Erica Bello, Katelyn Liepins, and Nikki Painter. 

The scope of media includes abstract, surreal and hyper-realistic painting, collage, illustration, jewelry, and much, much more. Summer Rush will magnify the entropy of the season and eviscerate a notion of excitement and activity brewing and cultivating in our spaces. Don’t miss this enticing exhibition! 

The exhibition will be on view from July 13 - August 31, 2019

For more information or private viewings, please contact jamesolivergallery@gmail.com or by phone at 267-918-7432.

www.jamesolivergallery.com

Beth Beverly
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Practicing taxidermy since 2000 and state and federally licensed in 2010, Beth Beverly is Philadelphia’s premiere couture taxidermist, specializing in wearable mounts and unusual home decor. Her hats have won awards at the Devon Horse Show, Brandywine Polo, and Radnor Hunt Clubs. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AMC's series about competitive taxidermy "Immortalized" and most recently the Netflix series "Stranger Things." 

Beverly has been giving lectures and leading workshops on taxidermy since 2013 at The Wagner Institute, The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, Morbid Anatomy and University of the Arts. Her knowledge on the craft and restorative skills have been tapped by museums such as the Academy of NaturalSciences, the Franklin Institute and The Vadon Hunting Museum in Transylvania, Romania.

Statement

The raw materials in my work are sourced via scavengry, as in no animals were harmed for the craft of taxidermy. All my specimen have either expired of natural causes or are the byproduct of humanely raised farm stock. My recent work with stillborn farm animals is deeply fulfilling to me as I explore my understanding of time and our attempts to bend it to our will as a means of holding on to that which we prize.  While these infants are frozen in time as an eternal blank slate of innocence, they have younger siblings who will age, reproduce, and die. My taxidermy is meant to be touched and handled to provide a sense of intimacy rarely attained with nature in the wild.  It is my hope that those who experience my work -be it a piece of decor for home or self- share my wonder at the treasures existing right before us in the natural world.

www.instagram.com/diamondtoothtaxidermy

Caitlin McCormack
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Caitlin McCormack is a Philadelphia-based fiber artist who works primarily with crocheted cotton thread that is dredged in a mixture of glues, stiffened, and positioned in the form of animal and humanoid skeletons, which are showcased in velvet-lined shadow boxes and under glass display domes. She earned a BFA in Illustration from The University of the Arts in 2010, and originally pursued illustration as a career, but has found her footing, and a sense of fulfillment, in the creation of these sculptures, which convey her thoughts regarding memory, and how the authenticity of a recollection becomes distorted over time.

Caitlin's body of work, which originates as sketches drawn from memory after observing osteological specimens, transforms throughout the process of its construction and becomes a hybrid of recognizable, skeletal forms, and the artist's own visual biases. She has taken part in gallery and museum exhibitions across the US, as well as in Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands, and receives representation from Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia.

STATEMENT

The act of stiffening intricately crocheted cotton string with glue produces material that is structurally similar to delicate bone tissue. The string utilized in this process can be viewed as the basic cellular unit of fabrication, and by utilizing media and practices inherited from my deceased relatives, I aim to generate emblems of my diminishing bloodline, embodied by each organism's skeletal remains.

With a majority of my work, I employ pseudoscientific principles and antiquated methods to generate material, in an attempt to impart a visual indication that something has transpired in a fabricated reality. I aim to construct the likenesses of creatures suspended in a state of perpetual dormancy, by way of crocheting - a practice that is based upon active proliferation. Little by little, this process permits me to construct a very personal taxonomy of creatures symbolizing my memories and experiences.

The material out of which my work is composed acts as an alchemical conduit between the garment and the clothesline; it acknowledges the latter as a symbol of the ancestry and familial bonds which have greatly informed my work. I wish to give the impression that a garment has disintegrated and reformed itself, warped by the passing of time, in the image of a tenacious animal's remains, a reflection on both the persistence of memory and the significance of cloth and thread in the realm of human experience.

www.caitlintmccormack.com

Sarah Detweiler
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Sarah Detweiler is a Philadelphia-area based, mixed media painter whose most recent works incorporate embroidery with watercolor, gouache, and oil. Sarah has a BFA from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited in group and solo shows in various locations including New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania.

My work explores narratives around themes of feminism, female empowerment, and the human experience through figurative, mixed media paintings. I integrate the traditionally feminine craft of embroidery to challenge the boundaries of feminism. The embroidery allows my work to be revealed in stages and acts as a visual invitation to take a closer look. My art reflects the feminine experience through personal and global issues because, in many ways, a woman's experience is universal.  Whether it acts as a mirror to the viewer or as a window into another person's narrative, ultimately, my art is about making connections.

www.sarahdetweiler.com

Interview with Chris Kotsakis, Founder of Artistacon
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Chris lives in Southern New Jersey in the same house where he first discovered his passion for art after doing an extraordinary job drawing his favorite characters from Greek Mythology at age 5. His 27 year professional illustration/creative direction career has been influenced by his love of comic books and adventure heroes like Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. Former collaborators have commended his professionalism and ability “to deliver superior work from concept to completion.”In a fully equipped studio, he utilizes various mediums combining traditional art techniques and digital technology.

Artistacon 2019 was founded by Chris and Janet Kotsakis after the first successful iteration of Artistacon 2016, founded by Enrico Botta, Chris Kotsakis, and Janet Kotsakis.

Artistacon is a conference for seasoned and aspiring artists celebrating the creative process and the mentorship of a new generation, it will be held in Philadelphia, PA on March 22, 23, and 24, 2019. Hosted by Moore College Of Art and Design.

This event promises to be a unique and intimate engagement featuring well-known Guests of Honor and Featured Creators. They will be conducting workshops, educational symposia, portfolio reviews, demonstrations, and displays from featured guests, all willing to share their expertise with those looking to build and expand professional bridges or pursue a career in the Arts.

Join the cast, crew, and special guests for a weekend of creative growth and inspiration is one of the oldest and most culturally important cities in the United States. Level up your creative game and explore America's founding city.

WHEN/WHERE:

Friday, March 22, 2019 – Philadelphia Sketch Club: Meet and Greet , Drink And Draw

Saturday & Sunday, March 23-24, 2019– Moore College of Art & Design : Conference Venue

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Tell me about yourself and what you do. 

I’m a life-long artist myself, drawing since age 5. In 1992, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Since then, I worked as a full-time freelance illustrator for many years, with diverse clients in all genres of illustration including advertising, editorial, and publishing. 

What inspired you to start Artistacon? Tell us about the event and why you decided to create it. 
My colleague and I were guests of NY Comic Con’s Artist Alley in 2012, and while we were speaking to people, as we promoted our own art and product, we noticed we were getting just as many questions from people asking how to get into the Art field – how did we get work, where were the best resources for learning, etc. We decided to help people who are eager to learn, and Artistacon was founded. We held the first one in 2016 in The Lyceum in Burlington, NJ.  

What can attendees expect from Artistacon? What are some topics that will be covered by your guest speakers? 

We use the word “intimate” quite a bit when we speak about Artistacon. This is not a “con” with 5,000 people, this is an intimate educational experience where people who are either just beginning their journey into a career in the Arts or are interested in doing so can actually meet and speak with professionals who are experienced and successful in their respective fields. Attendees can get portfolio reviews, mentorship or advice from Art Directors, publishers, Fine Artists – you name it. We have worked hard to ensure there’s something for everyone, and that is evident in our programming. 

Our topics are geared to those exploring a career in the Arts. Many artists and writers have a great deal of talent, and they have to work to continue developing their craft. We will have workshops and panels from Fine Artists like Dave Palumbo, Neilson Carlin, and John Wellington, as well as writers, illustrators, and comic artists to help them continue that part of their process. But there’s a business side that many art professionals have to be knowledgeable about too, and we are providing information on subjects such as social media, self-promotion, what Art Directors are really looking for, self-publishing and many more. 

How do you choose your guests of honor and presenters? 

We are artists, too, and we know who we admire in the industry, and we aren’t shy about asking the best of the best to be a part of Artistacon. Most people we speak to jump at the chance to give back and share their wisdom. We also want to make that we have a diverse group of people with a variety of talents, from a variety of genres and disciplines to ensure that we are providing attendees with a great experience. I think we have accomplished that – we have 40+ presenters among our Guests of Honor, Featured Artisans, and panel participants. 

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What is your favorite quote or mantra that helps you on your creative journey? 

All ships rise with the tide. I support a lot of artists and am passionate about the importance of the Arts, whether as a field of study, career or simply as a hobby. It has fed my soul throughout my life, and I see what it does for others who share their talents. We as an industry need to be there for each other, support each other, teach each other and ultimately, mentor the next generation by sharing what we’ve learned along the way. When we work together, all of us will succeed.

What are you most excited about in regards to your event? 

Personally, I am excited about seeing many of my friends in the industry, and, in turn, watching as they share their experience and expertise with the attendees. I recharge being in an environment with other people who are as passionate about art as I am. My team and I have been working on this event for two years, and we are excited about seeing the attendees learning, networking and collaborating with our guests and presenters. Having it all come to life.

Any tips for creatives inspire to create their own conference or event? 

Don’t be afraid to try. Introduce yourself, ask the hard questions – you never know what will come of it if you just take the chance.

Learn more about the presenters

Tiny Room For Elephants Festival in Philadelphia | April 19th-21st
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After speaking with the organizers, Create! Magazine is thrilled to be supporting TRFE and their upcoming event in April! Learn more about this exciting festival in Philadelphia that combines art, music and more below.

Tiny Room for Elephants Festival (#TRFE19) is a month long, collaborative, multi genre art and music experience, held throughout the month of April at Cherry Street Pier.  It is a living art ‘gallery’ that incorporates styles and mediums of 25+ Philadelphia artists painting/installing live from April 8th-April 17th. The finished works are celebrated on April 19th, April 20th and April 21st with live music, djs/producers, panels and interactive elements. 

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The schedule of events is as follows:

Opening Exhibition 

Date: Friday, April 19, 2019

Time: 6:00pm-10pm

Fun Stuff:  Standing Room Only, A Wearable Art Show

Sounds: Camp Candle, Club Crusades, Eric Boss, Johnny Popcorn, Joshua Lang

Music Series

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019

Time: 9:00am-9:00pm

Fun stuff:   Day Breaker (Tickets sold separately) "1000 Ways to Make It", panel moderated by Cosmo Baker; Live screen printing w/ Do It Now; Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede); DIY Donut Station w/ Federal Donuts

Sounds: Aime, Cierra, Drew Mills, Emynd, Eric Boss, Expo, Femi, Jabair, John Morrison, Kayin x Sylo, Killiam Shakespeare, Kingsley Ibeneche, Mellowbastard, Pierson, Rover Rover, Shane tha Great, Suzanne Sheer, Tha Riva, The Bul Bey

Family Fun Day

Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019

Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fun Stuff:  Easter Egg Hunt, World's Largest Kid's Sip n' Paint (tickets sold seperately), Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede)

Sounds: Lee Jones & Friends

Sponsored in part by: YARDSPhiladelphia Weekly, HabithequeDo It Now T ShirtsFederal Donuts, Joe Werner ProductionsBlickTru WaveThe ParlorBeauMonde OriginalsChampionDWRC

Interview with James Oliver, Artist and Owner of James Oliver Gallery

James Oliver is a painter whose precise visual language pushes the tradition of twentieth century abstraction into a contemporary context. Oliver is a conceptually driven formalist whose work is inspired by his dreams and emotional states, which he abstracts into an undetermined and subjective viewing experience by emphasizing line, color, and form. Even as Oliver turns to a figurative practice in recent series, rendering cultural icons like chopper bikes, Pontiac Firebirds, and his childhood poodle in detailed line drawings, these representations similarly evoke broadly accessible affects abstracted from his mental landscape.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your art.

I'm known as a near-minimalist painter that first got attention working abstractly. Now I'm getting known more as being a painter who delves into representational and figurative works. I have been working on a series of paintings of muscle cars and vintage motorcycles and completely enjoying it. I use minimal color in my works and am known for my line-work.

What inspired you to start your gallery? Give us a little history of the beautiful exhibition space in Philadelphia.

I have been presented a huge space for my studio practice. I quickly realized that the space was bigger than the amount I would really need. Shortly after receiving the keys to the space, I showed it to some close friends and most determined I should open an art gallery; the landlord also mentioned this. I quickly concluded with their input and my own background in the arts, that I can do this! So, long story short, JOG (James Oliver Gallery) was born. We have featured many great artists from the local talent pool to artists from near and far at our gallery that generally showcases works that may be on the minimalist and clean side, both abstract and figurative. All mediums. Over the course of the years, people have mentioned that maybe we should expand within the building at some. An opportunity arose in 2017 to take over the second floor, and we would make this a particularly unique endeavor. This all came about with the partnering through partnering up with our neighbor, Bryan Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Design Group. His company specializes in interior landscape and does business throughout the city. We decided in this partnership to "marry" horticulture with contemporary art. The artwork we feature at Hot-Bed would be a plant, animal, or science-driven exhibitions. So far so good!

Over these years I had the good fortune of working with some great interns and assistants. Most notably, Aubrey Loftus who first interned here for a year and then became staff and now is director of both galleries. She is a very talented artist and curator/director that has helped bring us into our biggest phase.

How has running a gallery influenced your own art making?

As one might imagine, being surrounded by great quality works over these months and years has uniquely inspired and driven me to create and develop my best works to date. My recent series of works was inspired not only by being around the gallery and the art scene but from input by visitors and fellow artists and their encouragement to develop the series. Lovin' it!

Sacred Geometry: Interview with Phyllis Gorsen and Paula Cahill
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Phyllis Gorsen

I have created a series of multi-canvased paintings that describe how we are all connected together by having elements of everyday life in common. I use symbols in both visual and written language as depictions of these commonalities highlighting the connections created by their universality despite varying perceptions. I use a combination of abstraction and representation in the work.These paintings explore connection in two ways: larger multi-canvased compositions that are broad symbolic illustrations of elements of common human experiences, and smaller “couples” paintings that represent two universal elements symbolically paired together in written language. These works are more specific in nature. 
My paintings are intended to move the eye using energetic patterns, movement and vibrancy. My hope is that viewer is captivated by the visual allure of the surface to allow for a slow unveiling of the meaning of the work – which is that we all connected by sharing many of these human experiences.

-Phyllis Gorsen

Tell me about your creative journey so far. 

I have been painting most of my life, primarily figures.  What I loved most about figurative work is that many times it contains the thing that is most basic to all of us. Race, gender identity, religion, etc. inform our experiences and perspectives and thus there are multitudes of viewpoints stemming from that. But, even with these differences, there are overarching similarities that we are share. That is the place that I want to put the emphasis on. As an artist, my work has always been about connection. I try to portray the human aspects that are intrinsic to all people regardless of our differences.  

When I went back to school and got my MFA in 2014 from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, I studied the figurative painters that I loved so much, mainly the Bay Area Figurative Painters like David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. It was then that I started to concentrate on figurative work that captures the patterns of everyday life, but I never made my work autobiographical. I was always much more interested in those spaces that are common to everyone. And although the figure was a catalyst for my work, between the use of color, collage, and pattern, there has always been a strong abstract component. After I graduated, I started to play around in the studio thinking more about the literal interpretation of patterns of everyday life. That’s when I took the turn into geometric abstract work.

As I delved deeper into the abstract elements, both in subject matter and execution, I began portraying components of everyday life in symbolic terms. I created paintings mimetic of the human experience without the use of figures. Most people don’t realize that my paintings contain symbols, I think mostly because I try not to make them too obvious. I prefer a slow unveiling of the meaning behind the work. I do fuse abstraction and representation within many of my paintings as long as I feel they describe the various facets of our commonalities. Some of these elements are recognizable and others are symbolic interpretations of components such as language, technology, nature, culture, etc. Often, I use lines to bridge these symbols together, illustrating how they connect us together. Linguistically, I am exploring the use of symbolism through my titles. These play a critical role in telling the story of each piece and drive the composition of some paintings. All of my work has a high degree of vibrancy and vibration that is a constant within my practice.

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What inspired you to create the work you are including in the exhibition at James Oliver Gallery?


My works in the show contain pieces that are more complex and have various visual components and meanings, as well as paintings that are more distilled and simplified. In addition to the complex paintings that are attached to multiple canvases, I wanted to include paintings that were separate but related. So I have works that are both interconnected such as “Essence and Pursuit” and outwardly connected such as “Of a Circular Nature…”- which are a set of four paintings? It was an exciting exploration in the idea of connection to depict it internally and externally. All of the work is painted on circular canvases or within circular spaces. The circle to me is beautiful in that there are no defined edges. They feel like complete bodies to me and allow me to investigate the idea of connection in a more fluid way.


What are some ongoing themes or ideas you have been exploring within your paintings?

As I mentioned before, I focus on how the commonality of shared patterns connects people together by using symbolism- both abstract and representational. I personally feel that the most powerful works are the ones that combine visceral sensory experiences with fundamental content underneath. I like making the surfaces of my paintings beautiful with the hope that the viewer is enticed enough to uncover the underlying message of human connection. In “Interweave”, the idea was to illustrate that regardless of our differences, people are internally woven together creating a society. In “Interlink #1-12”, the 12 separate canvases each represents a microcosm of a society that is linked to ones surrounding it. In “Essence and Pursuit”, there are eight canvases representing elements of humanity. From the top left panel going across and down, they are: Connection, Essence (red rings emanating outward), diverse populations of people moving together and apart (top middle), Vegetation, Geography, Technology (bottom middle), Knowledge, and Cities.


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What can visitors expect from this exhibition?  

Sacred Geometry describes the patterns found in nature from the most minuscule particles to the greater cosmos. We obviously took on the title of the show “Sacred Geometry” with some poetic license. The idea behind the show was to exhibit work that had geometric abstract elements that also incorporated the meaning behind it.

When you walk into Hot-Bed Gallery, the viewer is immersed in a room of vibrant pattern and color. It really is visually exciting due to the interplay of color and movement from our work. I was really happy to be exhibiting with Paula Cahill because I am an admirer of her work and I felt that our paintings would fit well together. Hopefully, the audience will be seduced by the luminous surfaces to want to know more about the paintings.

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Paula Cahill

Is it possible to pinpoint when straight and curved lines were invented? The contours of ancient rock paintings give us organic lines and line is evident in the motifs of early Greek vessels and Egyptian Funerary art. Renaissance artists were lauded for their invention of perspective, a system contrived of straight lines that extend to infinity. Modernists isolated and formalized gestural line as subject. I strive to extend this conversation by painstakingly mixing and repeatedly laying down up to 100 gradients of color in my attempts to contemporize line.

- Paula Cahill

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Tell me about your creative journey so far. 

I studied figurative painting for many years before transitioning to complex abstract paintings. While in Graduate School, one of my critics looked at my figurative work and told me that if I wanted to paint flesh better, I should paint a fish. So, I did. When he came back, he said: "That's a pretty good fish, you should paint another one." Apparently, my other critics also thought that I should paint fish and they told me so. I never figured out if they thought I painted great fish or lousy flesh, but I kept painting fish. Pretty soon, I became interested in the way fish were moving in my aquarium and I began tracking their movements with line. I used those lines to make my first linear abstract paintings.

Being an abstract painter was like being a kid in a candy store for me. I wanted to experiment and try every type of abstract painting. I experimented for about six years. When I decided to get serious about showing my work, I asked friends for advice. They basically told me that I was a gallerist's nightmare! I needed to settle down to create a cohesive body of work. That's when I returned to the lines and I’ve been developing this body of work for almost two years. I’m glad that I made this commitment because the work has become more precise and complex. I’ve moved beyond fish and have used a variety of catalysts for the paintings. Art historical reference, movement, music, geometry, and memories have all been sources for my paintings.

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What inspired you to create the work you are including in the exhibition at James Oliver Gallery?

To me line is everything! Line is everywhere and it has been with us forever. I often wonder if we can pinpoint when straight and curved lines were invented. The contours of ancient rock paintings give us organic lines and line is evident in the motifs of early Greek vessels and Egyptian Funerary art.Renaissance artists were lauded for their invention of perspective, a system contrived of straight lines that extend to infinity. Modernists isolated and formalized gestural line as a subject. I strive to extend this conversation by painstakingly mixing and repeatedly laying down up to 100 gradients of color in my attempts to contemporize line.

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What can visitors expect from this exhibition?  

My new 2019 paintings will be exhibited for the first time in Sacred Geometry at Hot Bed. Geometry and historical reference are heavily weighted in this work. I think that viewers will be surprised to see some color shifts and compositional changes.

Jaime Brett Treadwell at Pentimenti Gallery

The paintings on view in shift alt delete point to a slight detour from previous directions. Experimentation with new ideas, specifically architectural and mechanical drawing methods, combined with my persistent 1980’s childhood influences, including MTV graphics, digital synthesizers, and Miami Vice, has resulted in a deeper complexity of interwoven parts. I chose the exhibition title shift alt delete after recognizing the correlation between keyboard functions and the shifting realities present throughout this body of work. The shift key is designed to shift from one version to another, such as lower case to upper case. Alt, short for alternate, is designed as a modifier key to adjust or alter change. This ability to change or manipulate reality parallels my recent investigations regarding visual deceptions and spatial ambiguity through line, shape, color, and space. Similar to the key functions, elements in my painting often serve multiple roles. For example, a thin line may operate as the edge of a shape and also contribute to a repeating pattern of lines, later to return as a single line that cuts through another form or shape. These moments of co-existence throughout the painting disrupt the viewer’s perception of truth, often bending reality. Similar to pressing the shift, alt or delete key, these paintings can quickly switch identities back and forth, as they suggest alternate realities or a fictional universe.

www.jaimetreadwell.com


Pentimenti Gallery 

Nov. 10th – Dec. 20th

Philadelphia, PA 

Mental Health For Artists: Podcast Interview with TJ Walsh

On this episode of Art & Cocktails, artist and psychotherapist TJ Walsh shares his story, how he found his way back to painting and the moment that inspired him to help others through therapy. TJ talks about overcoming emotional difficulty, depression, creative burnout and offers practical insight for creatives going through a hard time. We discuss his approach to painting and recent exhibition as well.

Bio

TJ Walsh, BFA, MA is a Counselor/Psychotherapist, Painter, Art and Higher Education Administrator. Prior to receiving his M.A. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA, TJ received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

TJ has deep experience working with young adults, university students and young couples with a focus on artistic and creative personalities. He typically works with young couples who are struggling to connect with one another and individuals who find themselves stuck in place. In addition to his work in group and private practice, TJ is a seasoned Student Affairs/Student Life professional with foci in the areas of Counseling, Conduct/Judicial Affairs, Title IX.

Originally trained psychodynamically, TJ has since obtained or is working toward certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy, as well as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). No matter the therapeutic theory that may be running through his mind, the primary focus is to build a strong, therapeutic alliance and to instill hope in the person(s) who sits across from him so that they may live a life worth living.

TJ writes and speaks about topics of art, culture, faith & mental health. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is on faculty at Eastern University in the graduate school's Counseling Psychology department teaching Personality and Psychosocial Assessment and Psychopathology.

Statement

TJ Walsh explores the inner realm of the subconscious through abstract paintings. As he states, "This work focuses on the hidden conversations that course through the undercurrent of our minds, unconsciously giving form to who we are as human beings. I work fast letting my emotion and intuition drive the painting. It is through this process that I hope beauty reveals itself.

For other artists, beauty is revealed through striving for technical perfection. These artists desire to make any sign of the human creator disappear. For me, the opposite is true. I want my hand to be very evident in the work for it's the human experience, the struggle, the failures, the successes, which is most beautiful to me.

The process of creating is an intimate practice. Art making is a meditative, reflective, physical, emotional and spiritual practice. Creating something that comes out of ourselves, releasing part of us into the world to be experienced by others is something that many people in our culture do not experience. This intimate practice of pulling from within and connecting with the deepest parts of our beings is beautiful because it's natural, pure and uninhibited. It's being human on on of its most raw levels."

Links:

Instagram: @tjwalsh 

Private Practice: www.tjwalshtherapy.com

Art site: www.tjwalshartist.com

Exhibition:

TJ’s exhibition will open on December 8 at Darlington Arts Center

www.darlingtonarts.org




5 Questions with a Curator: Eileen Owens, Philadelphia Museum of Art

We were so thrilled to be able to chat with Eileen Owens, currently a Research and Exhibitions Assistant in the European Paintings Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She curated the exhibition ‘Biting Wit and Brazen Folly: British Satirical Prints, 1780s–1830s', which opened at the museum earlier this year. The show will be on view for a few more weeks, until December 5th, so we highly recommend that you go and check it out!

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Connoisseurs, 1799, by Thomas Rowlandson. Hand-colored etching. Given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Carl Zigrosser, 1974.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Installation view. Photo credit: Joseph Hu.

Talk about your background in art and art history. Was it something that you were always interested in growing up?

Yes and no. I grew up in the southeast of Ireland, in a medieval city that was steeped in history. I would visit Kilkenny Castle often (my sister and I could probably still recite the tour now, decades later!) and loved learning about the city’s history. So, I had an appreciation for art in a very broad sense, but I didn’t visit my first art museum until I was a 17. When I moved to New York State, my high school offered an art history class, and I was immediately intrigued--I could actually learn about all these paintings I only vaguely knew about from TV or magazines. Taking that class, and having opportunities to visit the Met and MoMA on field trips, truly unlocked something in me. It was as if I was suddenly in on this secret new world--one I felt profoundly connected to.   

Even with this passion though, the understanding that I could have a career working in an art museum came to me fairly late. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in Rome my junior year of college that I committed to adding Art History to my major. The cliché of falling in love with art in Rome is true for me. I challenge anyone to live there for three months and not contemplate how important, enlightening, and continuously relevant art is in our shared history. Not to mention the sheer thrill of seeing so much beauty in one place! It was impossible to ignore.

You went on to study at Temple University for your MA in Art History. What was your focus and what did you enjoy about the program?

I studied nineteenth-century French art, with a focus on prints and print culture. I felt really supported by the faculty at Temple. The size of the program made it easy to develop solid mentor relationships with professors and some great friendships with fellow students as well. Being in an art history program that is part a renowned fine arts school—where people are creating and exchanging ideas in real time—was really appealing to me too.

Temple’s connection to Philadelphia and its arts and culture scene was also a huge influence, not only for access to exhibitions and arts institutions, but for internships and post-grad job applications, too. Being able to capitalize on that network really helped me get my foot in the door.

Tell us about how you ended up at the PMA! That must have been an exciting transition out of grad school.

It definitely was! I was very fortunate to have gotten a fellowship right out of school and to still be working at such a valuable institution now. I was selected as the Suzanne Andre Curatorial Fellow in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, which is a two-year fellowship that I began in 2016. In grad school, I developed a love of works on paper—how they were made, how they functioned in society, who collected them—and this was my first museum position where I got to interact directly with these objects on a daily basis. Running the department’s busy study room, preparing for acquisition meetings, completing condition reports, taking courier trips—it was all vital training in the daily tasks of a curator.  

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water, Being a Correct Representation of that Precious Stuff Doled out to Us, William Heath, 1794%2F95 - 1840 Gift of Mrs. William H. Horstmann, 1955.

As part of your two-year fellowship you had the opportunity to curate an exhibition. How far in advance did you begin planning for it, what was the process like and what did it entail?

All in all, from concept to opening day, the show was in planning for the better part of a year and a half. I started throwing around potential exhibition ideas pretty much as soon as my fellowship began. I had a standing interest in caricature, having researched French satire for my masters’ thesis.  The museum’s holding of caricature, specifically British caricature, is so rich it just made sense to showcase these fantastically funny and perpetually relevant images.

I spent a long time looking through the more than 300 British caricatures in the museum’s collection. Early on, I made the choice to focus specifically on social satire, intentionally leaving out political works that might be less relevant (or understandable) to a modern audience today. What was so revealing, and actually pretty heartwarming, was how similar our collective sense of humor is now and then. What Londoners in the 1800s found funny and what we laugh about today really hasn’t changed that much. There are so many relatable threads running through the comedy of these centuries’ old prints—from anxieties about new technologies and environmental issues to the struggle to keep up with the latest fashion.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The Gout, James Gillray, c. 1745 - 1818. Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949.

The show has been up for several months and has been extended until December, congratulations! What are you working on now or what's next?

Thank you! It has been so fun to share the exhibition with visitors. I love sneaking in the galleries and watching people, young and old, giggling at the prints!

I was fortunate enough to stay on at the PMA once my fellowship ended. Currently, I am a research and exhibition assistant in European Painting, working with curator Jenny Thompson on an upcoming Impressionist exhibition that will open in April 2019. In addition to the exhibition, we are planning a reinstallation of the PMA’s nineteenth-century permanent collection galleries too. Both are exciting projects that I’ve really enjoyed digging into!

*Photo credit for all exhibition installation images: Joseph Hu.