BY TIFFANY YOON LIVING ARTS CORRESPONDENT Every First Friday of the month, galleries around the city graciously open their doors and bottles of wine for both the local hipster Great Unwashed looking to get buzzed cheap and beret-clad tourista Philistines from suburbs in search of a little BMW boho-edge. Local merchants and busking musicians line the sidewalks, creating a de facto slalom of hand-made bric-a-brac and subterranean homesick blues. Yes, cynics may bitch, but First Friday is nothing short of an embarrassment of riches and we are not afraid to say so. Having long-since outgrown the gentrified confines of Old City — with participating galleries springing up in far-flung locations in Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Callowhill and South Philly — First Friday has increasingly become a medley of too many choices and not enough time. So, as a service to our readers, we bring you our first, and hopefully not last, Phawker First Friday User’s Guide.
Space 1026 (open from 7-11pm)
1026 Arch Street, 2nd floor
Space 1026 is two floors of a building at 11th and Arch. That‘s in Philadelphia. It is a network of dozens of artists who‘ve had studios at the Space, past and present. It is dozens of artists who‘ve had shows at the Space over the last 7 years. It is dozens of artists who come to our events, and participate in our community. Tonight, the pivotal Williamsburg gallery visits Space 1026 with a multi layered show exploring spaces; from outerspace to physical space, cramped spaces etc. Expect lots of sculptural installations, drawings, paintings and plenty of fun.
Featured Artists: Shawn Reed, Chris Duncan, Diane Barcelowsky, Sto, David Horvitz, George Ferrandi, Kevin Hooyman, Kelie Bowman, Matt Furie, Hilary Pecis and more!
1817 Frankford Ave. 215-423-2668
Alas, Bambi is Biennial worthy! Bambi is fortunate to have a biennial juried by Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon the fabulously smart and entertaining creators of Philadelphia’s premiere art blog … fallonandrosof.blogspot.com These quick witted critics, who have the ability to land a large aircraft full of paint onto a small canvas, sifted through nearly 100 submissions choosing 18 exceptional artists. The Frankford Avenue Arts corridor has never seen the likes of such a show. Libby and Roberta promise it to be “very exciting!!” Submissions came from around the globe (mucho thanks to Craigslist.) And for the first time the words Biennial and Fishtown are together like peanut butter and chocolate. The artists included are diverse in backgrounds and chosen medium, which include sculpture, video, animation, painting, photography and so much more.
The Clay Studio (open from 5-9pm)
139 N. 2nd Street
The Clay Studio – Philadelphia’s only non-profit ceramic arts organization – is pleased to announce that it will host a Juried Artist Solo Exhibition by David Garratt, entitled Who Says Words With My Mouth? in its newly renovated Old City home, at 137-139 North Second Street. The exhibition will be displayed in the Harrison Gallery, and runs from March 7 through March 30, 2008. A First Friday Opening Reception will be held on March 7, from 5 to 9pm. The public is cordially invited to attend.As a ceramic artist, David Garratt has participated in several solo and group exhibitions with galleries and organizations across the United States. Garratt was also an international recipient of a Cultural Magistrate Residency Grant from Salzburg, Austria. In addition, he has been awarded Individual Artist Grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and The H.K Mellon Foundation.
Wexler Gallery (open from 10am – 6pm)
201 N. 3rd Street
In the main gallery space, Wexler Gallery presents an exhibition of new work by Australian glass artist Tim Edwards. Born in South Australia, Tim Edwards is best known for his simple, hand-blown and wheel-carved glass forms. Often shown in pairs, these sculptural vessels act as canvas’s for asymmetrical fields of color and design. Both abstract and organic in form and composition, these pieces play with the viewer’s perception of negative and positive space while referencing patterns often found in nature. Edwards’ current process is one with much history dating back to Roman craftsmen. After blowing a vessel with several layers of colored glass, the artist selectively carves portions of the surface to reveal the desired exterior pattern. Traditionally, these “cold-working” techniques include intaglio (wheel-cutting into or below the surface) and relief (projecting above the surface). As part of Fiber Philadelphia 2008, new works by mixed media fiber artists Donna Rosenthal and Wendy Wahl [pictured above left] will also be on view.
Cerulean Arts Gallery and Studio
1355 Ridge Ave. (267) 514-8647
Tamar Miller – In her landscape ink drawings, Tamar Miller explores diffuse edges between darkness and light, form and space, the shifting paradox of landscape and air. Mountain or shadow? Smoke or tree? The world creates itself from the dichotomy of substance and emptiness in her works
Kathranne Knight – Kathranne Knight’s graphite drawings are characterized by repetition, accretion and time, with a focus on the tension of finding pattern and meaning in a context of contingency. Her most recent subject is the tree, as an overt reference to human experience and feeling. There is often a polarity present in the notions of presence and absence, straight or curved line, dark and light.
Joshua Marsh – The semi-abstract figures in Joshua Marsh’s work develop from a back-and-forth process of sculpting a model and drawing from it. The lines and tones of graphite determine the making of the sculptural subject as much as the sculpture determines the drawing. In the end, it is only the orchestration of marks on the page that remain, with a sense of the solidity of matter and lightness of line.
Sarah Steinwach – In Sarah Steinwachs’ intimate paper constructions, the mark is a removal, a subtractive process of cutting away to make actual space. Begun with small-scale graph paper, her works echo the manifold grids of the urban environment as they are formed. The act of making the work simultaneously celebrates the human need for order and the unforeseen forces that allow unexpected things to happen.
Nexus/Foundation For Today’s Art
1400 N. American Street (215) 684-1946
J. Makary – Most of J. Makary’s work involves performance and video, sometimes with costuming, music, and dance.
Leah Reynolds – Leah Reynolds’ installation, “Tidal,” was made specifically for the Nexus gallery space. Color, light, pattern, buoyancy and weight are all factors in this new piece. Reynolds’ most recent work includes an installation at the Philadelphia Airport, and a solo exhibition at 55 Mercer Gallery in New York City both in 2007.
Blaine Siegel – The drawings and sculpture in Blaine Siegel’s recent work are influenced by the Mughal sixteenth century illustrated manuscript, The Book of War.