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 the Phawker First Friday User’s Guide. Here’s what’s on our Must See list:
1616 Walnut Street, Suite 100 215.545.7582
This month’s exhibition is entitled Cave Paintings. It runs from March 14th – April 12th, 2008. It’s Group show of large-scale wall works from Kate Abercrombie, Charles Fahlen, Isaac Lin, Mark Mahosky, Bruce Pollock and Mark Surface. For some of the pieces you need 3D glasses to get the full visual experience. These are provided at the front.
249 Arch Street. 215.592.8400
Indifference and Apocrypha – 1st Floor Gallery – Cryptic paintings that echo memories, dreams and childhood.
Memento Mori – 2nd Floor Gallery – Latin expression meaning “Remember that you are mortal” or “Remember you will die”. The viewer is to consider the state of earthly pleasures as well as the societies disconnected from the difference between consumed object and pleasurable object. Public Opening Reception: First Friday, April 4, 2008 from 6-9pm *There will be a Q & A session with the Curator from 7–7:30pm on the 2nd floor. Join us at the opening reception and enjoy wine and snacks on us. Live music from Kilo (myspace.com/kilophilly) – Listen to original compositions with improvisation, hard driving beats, ambient textures, Upright Bass, and the voice of a sultry fire cracker named Ryat throughout the evening. 17 national and international artists have created work for these exhibits in a variety of different mediums. Included are paintings and drawings, video, mixed media and word collections.
Nexus/Foundation for Today’s Art
1400 N. American Street. 215.684.1946
Exhibition: 8 Artists & 8 Viewpoints
As part of the Philadelphia wide International Fiber Symposium NEXUS/Foundation for Today’s Art presents 8 Artists 8 Viewpoints an exhibition highlighting the work of 8 recent graduates in Fiber from Philadelphia University, University of the Arts, Moore College of Art and Tyler School of Art. The artists include Leslie Atik, Lauren Gross, Regina Dyhouse, Sarah Koziol, Rebecca Landes, Jae Lee, Sarah Perot and Sylvie Shaffer. This exhibition opens runs through Friday, April 4.
1026 Arch Street, 2nd Floor 215.574.7630
Exhibition: “Paradise Now” Lobot Gallery at Space 1026 Group show by the artists of Lobot Gallery from Oakland. LoBot Gallery has been building something massive in our gallery. Stop by this first Friday, April 4th, at 6pm and all month long to experience it first hand. LoBot will be serving dinner, get ready to stuff your face!
Vox Populi Gallery
319 North 11 Street, 3rd floor.
Exhibition: Gabriel Boyce – Bad Land!
Nadi Hironaka & Matthew Suib – Black Hole
Linda Yun – In Passing
Carl Baratta – Choke the river with stone fingers
This month Vox Populi presents exhibitions by Vox Populi members Nadia Hironaka and Matt Suib, Linda Yun and Gabriel Boyce with Lauren Kelley in the Video Lounge and work by guest artist Carl Baratta. There will also be a screening of Big Gurl by Lauren Kelley . Big Gurl is a video featuring African-American Barbie-style dolls filmed in a combination of claymation and stop animation. Staging vignettes that are alternately clumsy and endearing, in sets that are as ingenious in their inventive simplicity as they are glossy and glib in their brightly colored, over lit presentation, Kelley seems intent on showing all the seams of her video making. Figures bend and move awkwardly; when giant beads of sweat overwhelm the fast food workers in one scene, Big Gurl’s narrative seems ready to spin out of control. But if her technique is occasionally awkward, Kelley’s voice is consistent and clear in addressing serious subjects, ranging from pregnancy to male chauvinism, self-image to the feminine mystique.
119 West Montgomery Ave. 610.308.0579
Exhibition: These Ghosts That Haunt Us
Artists: Tyler Kline and Mike McGovern March 21 – April 19th
Phawker stopped by Little Berlin and snapped some pix (SEE BELOW) and spoke briefly with artist Tyler Kline at the opening reception of the exhibit: Why is this exhibit entitled “These Ghosts That Haunt us”, and what significance does it have for you? “The concept is to bring together tragedy, triumph, and mistake. Within these parts, you can build something substantial that is hopeful and reaching for the sky,” says Kline. Like considering a progression from the present to the future, but having an appreciation for the past? “Yes, exactly. That’s why I curate Mike McGovern into the show. He and I, our aesthetics run very parallel, because we both think about LINEAGE, family. We’re both family men, and how we exist now is adding another link to a continual chain. Like a tree, something organic that grows out,” says Kline. So the idea of progression from the past, is that incorporated in these pieces utilizing vinyl records? “Vinyl’s are a very stable form of recording media. At the foundation of recorded media. At the same time, it’s currently an obsolete technology, so it’s a crux for a paradox. Recycling media. It’s not huge now, but it will be used again,” says Kline.