BY MEREDITH KLEIBER In this economy, money is pretty hard to come by. I mean, I’ll be completely honest with you—when cash goes into my bank account, the first thought that enters my head is I need to pay the bills, closely followed by, Man, I would really love a beer right now. After that, maybe some food or a concert. Let’s face it—the last thing most people think about buying nowadays is art, probably because they automatically assume they can’t afford it, especially if it’s an original piece. Well, there’s good news for the financially challenged: InLiquid’s Art For The Cash Poor is back for another spin. On Saturday, June 12th, and Sunday, the 13th, head over to the Crane Arts Building to peruse art made by more than one hundred local artists. It doesn’t start until 1 p.m., so there’s no excuse, not even the hangover from all the heady Beer Week specials you consumed the night before, to skip it. And besides, your eyes deserve a reprieve after being subjected to the leaky ceiling and drab concrete in your parents’ basement, anyway. Listed below are a few artists to keep your eyes on:
Matthew Hollerbush – Photographer
(Trailer, Virginia, 2002, sepia toned silver gelatin print) Matthew Hollerbush is one of Philadelphia’s most gifted photographers. Whether you’re viewing one of his sharply focused, amazingly crisp detail shots or a more surreal, conceptual shot, you feel as if you’ve just entered a dreamworld. His passion for photography led him around the world in search of inspiration, which he discovered and adeptly turned into a gorgeous body of work. Don’t miss his Web site’s Mexico gallery, as the group of photos as a whole perfectly portrays how to create meaningful, dynamic composition. His photos of the Divine Lorraine, the once-glorious-but-now-decaying hotel at the corner of Broad and Fairmount, are also a must-see, especially if you’re a Philadelphian. Having worked in the photography field for more than 10 years, Hollerbush has more than earned his place, and now shares his wisdom with students as Artist-in-Residence at the University of the Arts and a lecturer at Fleisher.
Estelle Carraz-Bernabei – Ambient Abstract Artist
When I viewed Estelle Carraz-Bernabei’s work for the first time, three words entered my mind: nature on acid. Of course, Carraz-Bernabei chooses to use more descriptive, mature terms when describing her art. She sees the world as an amalgamation of “energy, emotion, and organic cosmic elements” and uses myriad materials to convey this view, including paint, charcoal, and even quartz crystals. Like many of the artists that I’ve listed here, Carraz-Bernabei is extremely influenced and inspired by her travels. She is also a skilled and accomplished photographer and has exhibited both her photographs and mixed-media work in many galleries throughout the country and internationally.
Lisa Hurwitz – Painter, Illustrator, and Sculptor
Lisa Hurwitz is a veritable jack of all trades. Although she concentrates predominantly on painting, she is also an illustrator as well as a sculptor. No matter her focus, there is one constant throughout her body of work—the palpable emotion in each and every piece. Hurwitz honed her skills in her years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she earned degrees in sculpture and printmaking. As if she weren’t talented enough, perhaps her most amazing feat is her ability to raise three boys while simultaneously continuing to grow as an artist. If you can’t make it to Art For The Cash Poor, but think her work is worthy of purchase like I do—I have three of her paintings hanging in my house!—you can visit her Etsy Shop.
Ian Lander – Jewelry Artist
Tiger Eye and Macrame Necklace
With the risk of sounding cliche, I will tell you that the first time I laid eyes on Ian Lander’s unique, jaw-droppingly intricate necklaces, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. You’ll see what I mean when you check out his stand on Saturday and Sunday. He was introduced to the traditional methods of metalworking and macrame while working as a teacher in Costa Rica and developed his skills after traveling to Peru. It was in Peru that his creativity truly flourished, and he decided that he wanted to feature the natural minerals and fossils that he’d always loved in his new passion—creating jewelry. According to Lander, “[my] goal is to use time-honored techniques in the service of contemporary craft and fashion, to bridge between ancient art and modern style. I aim to create pieces as beautiful and unique as the people who will wear them”. Now if that isn’t a good reason to check out his beautiful work, I don’t know what is.
Victor Perez – Upcycled Skateboard Artist
Victor Perez, the brains behind Sk8Lamps, is pretty much a genius. Not only does he invent pieces that are both functional and beautiful (a match made in heaven), but he really knows how to market himself. He appeals to the hippies and the skater kids, the eco-conscious and the art-obsessed—all of whom, coincidentally, are likely to be at Art for the Cash Poor. Sk8Lamps, what Victor calls a “logical conclusion” of his life experiences, is “about the repurposing of otherwise discarded materials to a new, improved state”, the process that Victor refers to as “upcycling”. Now if only you could think of a way to upcycle that college degree that you haven’t used since the day you graduated…
Marina Borker – Stained Glass Artist
When I get rich, I’m going to have Marina Borker come over to my huge, Victorian mansion and install one of her amazing stained-glass windows in every window in the house. That’s how highly I regard her work. However, you won’t have to wait until you’re rich to snag one of her pieces this weekend. The talented glass artist specializes in creating glass windows and decorative accessories, most of which feature geometric forms that create engaging optical illusions, and customizing them to fit perfectly into each residential, commercial, or public space. Borker graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Program with a BFA from University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from Tyler School of Art. She resides and works in Philadelphia.