Jorge Figueroa

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

We met Jorge through Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. They had a number of his photographs on display and, upon seeing them, we knew we had to get in touch with him. Jorge wound up bringing his work to the open call in Philadelphia. Speaking about his work, Jorge explained, “I document visual moments of humanity, particularly of people whose lives would otherwise be bypassed by art and history. I study people.” The resulting photos are intimate scenes of everyday life made timeless by Jorge’s black and white images.

Photo credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Robert Smith-Shabazz

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Robert Smith Shabazz – During our visit with Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, Melissa Yarborough, the Program Manager told us about Robert Smith-Shabazz’s Wood & Music Lab down the street. We made a stop on our way to the next site. Robert is a jazz musician and artist. He makes painted wood-carvings of photographs and magazine clips. He showed us around his studio and performed a few pieces with Melissa from Raíces. We even joined in on the jam session! Here he is with his carving of the Obamas.

Photo Credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Laura Deutch – Messages in Motion

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , | Comments Off

I met Laura about a month before the curatorial visit. I was riding my bike through the Italian market in search of some good coffee when I came upon a brightly-painted van with the moniker “Messages in Motion” on the side. Curious, I stopped to investigate. Laura had transformed an old van into a mobile media center. She uses the van to create short documentaries about different people and communities throughout the country. “Messages in Motion” is a project that “works with neighborhood programs and community-based organizations to produce, distribute and exhibit short form documentary videos as a way to support and enhance existing community organizing work.” Some of her videos will be shown in the final show.

Decisions are in!! Looking forward to the PEOPLE’S BIENNIAL!

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

So it’s been a few weeks since Harrell left. He has been working tirelessly with co-curator Jens Hoffman and the members of Independent Curators International to process the immense amount of work they viewed in the Haverford area. The selections were difficult – certainly a lot of work we loved will not be in this show – the curators had to consider how the work from Philadelphia would hang with the art selected from the four other cities. But the votes are in. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the People’s Biennial!

Photo credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Hairell’s hair conquered by Julius Scissor

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Hairell Fletcher cuts his own hair. makes sense, Hairell seems like a DIY kind of guy. he says he looks in the mirror, uses scissors. rather brave, if you ask me. for the last visit of Hairell’s stay in Philadelphia, we took him to see Julius Scissor. Julius is a hair stylist/sculptor/inventor/poet with a storefront downtown on Locust. he cut Hairell’s hair, told us stories about fist-fighting with priests as a kid, and toured us around his hair studio to the delight of all. I think he may have even converted Hairell to barber-ism… Read the rest of this entry »

I want my Mummers

Posted: August 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , | Comments Off

I knew next to nothing about the Mummers Parade before Friday. I was vaguely aware that there was a tradition, that it was referred to as the “Mummers,” but I had no idea what it looked or sounded like.  I got an education when we stopped at the Mummers Museum on two street in South Philly Friday morning. the museum, a true relic of  the 70s, is full of great interactive media and elaborate, informative displays. Read the rest of this entry »

open call report

Posted: August 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

on Thursday we held two open call events, one at Haverford College in the morning and another at the Friends Center in Philadelphia later in the afternoon. I was nervous again about the potential for a poor turnout, but my worries were soon assuaged as the drawings, paintings, sculptures, etc. came pouring in. we set up tables around each space, instructed artists to display their work and talk about it for 5-10 minutes. we moved as a unit about the tables with Harrell, Renaud, and Matthew in the lead (in the picture they are the three guys closest to the table). here we are enjoying a video made by local artist Maiza Hixon at the Friends Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Howard Kleger and the art of living, or the living arts

Posted: August 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , | Comments Off

while we were building the schedule for Harrell’s curatorial visit, James suggested a studio visit to the Philadelphia artist Howard Kleger whose work he had seen at the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Studies (PIFAS), an art collective in the city. we drove from the cultural centers in North Philly to his space just outside of Center City. I don’t know what we were expecting, I guess a traditional studio – high ceiling, big windows, a lot of light – a warehouse-type spot, the kind that has come to typify art spaces in Philadelphia. needless to say, we were not anticipating what Howard would show us.

Read the rest of this entry »

community centers in north phila

Posted: July 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

wednesday morning I met James in Center City around 10. from there we drove deep into North Philadelphia. we were visiting three different community/cultural centers – Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, Taller Puertorriqueno. and Ayuda Community Center. upon pulling up to Raices, our first stop, we were greeted by this man. he was giving a guitar lesson outside of the office. Raices offers a number of similar programs – dance lessons, cooking tutorials, and Tertulias, which comprise lectures and discussions on cultural topics and an open mic portion for poetry and music – to members of the community. Read the rest of this entry »

Harrell speaks

Posted: July 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

we left Fletcher Street mid-afternoon and hiked through the city to the Institute for Contemporary Art in West Phil. Harrell was to give a lecture in the auditorium at 6:30. I was really nervous. part of my job prior to Harrell’s visit was to hype the public talk, make sure there was a healthy public to talk to. Philly is weird in the summer – everyone seems to leave. a lot of my pals from school go home when class gets out in May. what if people didn’t show? Read the rest of this entry »

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