Wednesday, April 1, 2015

First Friday Finds! April 3, 2015

It's finally spring in Philadelphia! Take some much needed time out in the world to explore these exciting exhibitions!

At the Philadelphia Free Library--open 9am to 6pm
1901 Vine Street, 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA
Free Admission.

The Krupp/Nelson Exhibition

"The exhibition in the Print and Picture Collection Hallway Gallery features experimental prints by Catherine Nelson and woodcuts and paintings by Andrea Krupp created during an artist residency in Iceland. This exhibition is part of the 2014 Call for Entries program. This project is made possible through the support of the Friends of the Print & Picture Collection and the Robert F. Looney Fund."

Also at the Philadelphia Free Library

Philadelphia Calligrapher's Society: "The Artful Letter"
A series highlighting Fraktur, a theme for exhibition on the parkway. Fraktur is a form of manuscript folk art produced by the Pennsylvania Germans between the 1700 and 1800s, characterized by "broken" characters. The Free Library has a collection of over 1000 pieces of Fraktur folk art as well as 177 handwritten manuscripts and more than 2000 books. 
At the National Liberty Museum-- open 6pm to 8pm
321 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Behind-the-Scenes Tour
"The glass art department at the National Liberty Museum is joining Old City District’s First Friday with a Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Join them as they explain why the Museum chose glass art to contextualize liberty and then take visitors through areas that are normally off-limits to the public to peek into the daily efforts of the glass team. These restricted spaces naturally curate themselves since there is a rotation of art coming in and out of the Museum for conservation, donation, and private viewings for interested collectors. Come learn about some of the artists that aren’t on display and ask questions about the glass collection that have never been answered."--NLM
At the Hooloon Art---open 12pm to 8:30pm
53 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19106

Free Admission

Richard Taransky and Sandy Litchfield

A collection of paintings of using 19th century landscapes as the basis for this striking imagery! A very cool and provocative group of works. 
At the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym-- open 6pm to 9pm
1834 E. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Free Admission

"These instructors do much more than just shop upkeep. They spend time working with students and commit themselves to educating the younger artists in our community, putting other’s time and artwork ahead of their own. Te(a)ch will present the artwork of these educators in a group exhibition, demonstrating that these techs are more than the title they hold. They are extraordinarily talented artists themselves!"--PSG

Be sure to take time to walk the neighborhoods and see all of the incredible works offered for your consumption! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Tomorrow night, March 11th at 6:00pm at the National Liberty Museum (321 Chestnut Street, Phila, PA)

Sara Bakken and Eva Shelley will be participating in the first Wednesday Night Market.
From the National Liberty Museum's site: "Eva has been a long supporter of the museum and we are thrilled to have her join us in our inaugural Wednesday Night Market. She is a local freelance artist creating glass art and glass jewelry. Eva has described glass as her first love and that passion translates in her art. Both artists derive inspiration from nature; while Eva’s glass tends to take on a lot of floral forms, Sara’s leans towards the botany found underwater. Sara is a local fiber and glass artist that has been shown globally. She was also the recipient of a juried award for a scholarship to UrbanGlass during the National Liberty Museum’s 2014 GLASS NOW Auction. "

Deep Sea Reef 2, 2014

Additionally, you can see Sara's work at the opening of:


Pink Coral, 2014

Friday, March 27th from 6-8pm
at the University City Arts League  4226 Spruce St · Philadelphia, PA 19104

Artist's Statement:
Glass is a material that naturally gives reference to the biological world. At a molten liquid state, glass has the ability to expand, contract and move. Silk is a material that is delicate, yet tough, organic and resilient. By combining these materials through a process of accumulation, these objects begin to project ideas of growth, development and reproduction. Mysterious ecosystems filled with life forms of all different shapes, sizes and colors are a common inspiration for me. They carry many properties of beauty. The world beneath the water’s shore, visions of microscopic life and clusters of fungi in a forest are all important sources in my art making. My work represents a desire for the exotic and the unknown.

This is an exciting opportunity to see the work of a textile artist who pushes the boundary of how we think of textile forms!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Textile Design New York City Immersion

On Friday February 27, seven Textile Design graduate students spent the day in New York City with Professor Marcia Weiss.  We started the day at Material Connexion; a wonderful materials resource library of which Philadelphia University is a member.  We were able to view a great range of innovative materials, from polymers to wood and concrete to textiles.  We visit the library at least once each semester for inspiration that can be incorporated into projects.  These are just a few of the interesting samples that were on display. 

After Material Connexion, we toured the design studios of Maharam--a high end textile company that creates fabrics for the contract and residential markets.  We had a wonderful tour that included the opportunity to learn about Maharam's exciting collaborations, as well as to see many of the beautiful textiles in their line. 
Our third and final stop for the day was at the Lenore Tawney Foundation.  Lenore Tawney was an incredibly prolific fiber artist, with an extensive collection of weavings, installations, drawings and collages.  The visit was a fantastic introduction to her life and work, in a space that holds many of the objects with which Lenore surrounded herself. 
All three companies showcased beautifully curated collections, all quite distinct from one another.  We returned to Philadelphia inspired and excited to return to our studio work. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Friday Finds!

Going out in Philadelphia this Friday, March 6? Here are a few exhibitions to visit!

At Pentimenti Gallery- 5:00-8:30pm
145 S 2nd Street
Philadephia, PA 19106
Free Admission.

Work of Rob De Oude
Territory of Abstraction Exhibition
This Group Show  will feature the work of artists that share an interest in geometry, color, pattern, and repetition. Yet, despite the material and optical similarities each artist approaches their work with a distinct purpose and context, commenting on a variety of subjects such as architecture, space, psychology, and illusion. When put together their work showcases the expansive nature of contemporary abstract art, and the potential content of relatively simple forms.

Featuring the work of 
Steven Baris (Painting)
Rob De Oude (Painting)
Edgar Diehl (Painting)
Gabriele Evertz (Painting)
Kevin Finklea (Painting and Sculpture)
Enrico Gomez (Painting)
Brent Hallard (Painting)
Gilberto Hsiao (Painting)
Gracia Khouw (Painting)
Joanne Mattera (Painting)
Mel Prest (Painting)

Debra Ramsey (Works on Paper)

Mel Prest, 2008, Uyo, Gouache on Fabriano Paper

At: Arch Enemy Arts- 6:00-10:00pm
109 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Free Admission.
Work of Brian Mashburn
March Showcase
Featuring the works of:

work of Rebecca Adams
Aaron Coleman
Alex Eckman-Lawn
Alex Garant
Alyssa Scott
Bethany Casperite
Black Ink Arts
Brian Mashburn
Cai Vail
Chris Paxson
Colleen Sidey
Costa Magarakis
Erik Flores
Frank Forte
Jason Snyder
Jeremy Burks
Jessica Ward
Jim & Lynn Lemyre
Joe Menna
Julianna Menna
Kathriel Brister
Matt Tisdale
Michal Brodka
Raul Guerra
Rebecca Adams
Richard Lindstrom
Stephen Koharian
Valency Genis

Zach Puchowicz


At: Muse Gallery - 5:00-8:00pm
52 N. Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Free Admission

Diane Lachman
Portamento: shifting color
Portamento is a musical term that describes a continuous progression from one tone to another. Like a violinist who produces sounds that glide from pitch to pitch, she creates harmonious paintings by shifting colors from hue to hue. She applies oil paint onto birch panels in layers to create vibrant geometric abstractions.
Diane Lachman


At: House Gallery 1816- 6:00pm-9:00pm
1816 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Free Admission

Justin Duerr
The Geometry of Time
Justin Duerrs work deals with life-forms, dualities and transcendent states. His intricate pen and ink scroll drawings are ongoing installments. There are currently 22 panels and spanning over 60 feet. If he should have forewarning and is able, he hopes to make a final scroll before his death which will connect to the first panel culminating in a huge cycloramic image of his experiences and thoughts.
“If I’m afforded enough time to work on it, I may be able to finish hundreds of feet of this work, and the story arc and characters should be able to prevent many actual real-world disasters in the future by subtle/strange influence. In the meantime, the discipline of the art-activity is creating and shaping me into someone fit to serve the forces I am delineating.“
Here are just of the few amazing things going on around the city this Friday. Take some time and check them out!
Links to more information about goings on:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Student Spotlight: Sam Fletcher, NYFW!

Graduate Student Sam Fletcher took a few moments to discuss her back ground and her experience in collaborating with Dana Jackson to produce a textile for Dana's NYFW debut. 
photo credit: Sam Fletcher

Where did you do your undergrad? What did you study?
I attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia where I studied Interior Design.

Did you work in your field between undergrad and grad school?
Sure did! I worked for about 3.5 years as an interior designer before deciding to go back to school. During those 3.5 years I worked at two different firms in the Philadelphia area, mostly on large corporate office design jobs. 

Why did textiles appeal to you?
While working as an interior designer I was fortunate enough to gain exposure to many aspects of the textile industry. We would have textile designers come in and give presentations on new collections they had designed. After leaving every one of those presentations I would think to myself, "Now that's what I want to be doing!". I also was able to visit a few carpet mills in Georgia where I was able to see the entire process; fiber extrusion, weaving, applying the backing and then cutting the tiles down to their specified size. Being exposed to the process of design and then seeing that design manufactured is what truly drew me to textiles.

What about Philadelphia University drew you in?
Once I realized I wanted to attend graduate school for textiles, Philadelphia University was a no brainer. The location was perfect, since I live locally, and the reputation of the textile program speaks for itself!

What aspect of PhilaU's curriculum most interested you and why?
PhilaU's textile curriculum is very well balanced between creative and technical, fully preparing its graduates to enter the industry upon graduating. What is most important to me as a graduate student is being able to make connections with the other students and faculty at PhilaU. The faculty and students at PhilaU are a wealth of knowledge, and I hope to be able to maintain these relationships for years to come.

How do you hope studying at Philadelphia University will help you to further your goals as a designer? 
The decision to attend graduate school for textiles was a career change for me. Prior to starting school at PhilaU I had never woven a thing! However after being in the textile program for 2 years now, I feel as though I have found the right career that fully taps into my creative potential.

What discipline do you hope to pursue once you leave Philau?
That is a really good question! At the moment my long term goal after school is to be able to have my own design practice. I am interested in working in the fashion and interior industries, as well as collaborating with Industrial designers. While getting to work as an interior designer I learned that I enjoy working with teams of people, where everyone can bring their expertise to the table in order to produce an exceptional product for the client.  

Now for Fashion Show things…
How did you begin your collaboration with Dana Jackson?
Dana and I met last Spring on the PhilaU short course trip to West Africa. When the Fall semester began she asked me to collaborate with her on a collection that she was designing that was inspired by Gorree Island. She wanted me to work with her because she knew that I fully understood the mood and aesthetic she was trying to convey with her collection.

How did you enjoy the experience of working with the user who would take your goods to a final product?
This was the first time I had ever worked with someone who would be taking a textile I designed to make it into a garment. It was a wonderful experience! Dana was very professional and articulate in describing what she wanted, and also very open minded to my ideas of how to interpret, in cloth, what it is she wanted.

What challenges did you experience in the process?
I suppose the biggest challenge was being able to produce a fabric off of the jacquard loom that Dana would want to use. This was my first time working on the jacquard, and I was very nervous about the outcome.

What was the best part of your experience at NYFW?
I sat front row at a New York Fashion week, watching a textile I had designed walk the runway. It doesn't get any better than that!

How did seeing your work on a professional model change your interpretation of the final product?
As a textile design student I am constantly creating fabric. And while working through patterns, and doing trials on the jacquard loom, I sometimes feel like I am numb to the final product. By the time it is done, I am more concerned with moving onto my next piece. Getting to see the fabric being used in a garment gives it new life, and allows me to go back and appreciate what I have created.

What advice would you give students participating in interdisciplinary collaborations in the future?
Communication is key! Part of being a successful designer is the ability to get into someone else's head and have a full understanding of what it is that they want. 

Sketchbook work leading to the final jacquard fabric 

photo credit: Sam Fletcher
photo credit: Sam Fletcher

 Final Fabric
photo credit: Sam Fletcher

Runway Show Photos
photo credit: Andrea Mata

The skirt and shrug are constructed from Sam's jacquard fabric!

Once again, 
Congratulations to 
Sam and Dana 
on their amazing work!

photo credits: Andrea Mata

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Textile Design student in New Zealand

Textile Design student Megan Onuskanych is spending the Spring 2015 semester studying at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand.  Megan shared the following:

New Zealand does not seem to be the typical place for study abroad, but it has yet to disappoint! From the delicious food, amazing views and unexpected weather changes, I have experienced so much in just the short week that I have been here. Wellington, coffee capital of New Zealand, and home of Massey University, seems to have the perfect combination of music, popup markets, restaurants and relaxing spots on the waterfront. 

Classes have yet to begin, but just from a short tour of the textiles department, I am already happy that I have chosen such a design oriented campus to study abroad at. I am excited to see what comes of the wall coverings, textile materials and embroidery courses that I am enrolled in for this upcoming semester!     

Here are a few images from her stay to date.  Check back for periodic updates. 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Jacquard Textile Design Workshop

Join PhilaU Textile Design faculty and staff for an exciting, week-long Jacquard Textile Design Workshop, June 1-5, 2015.  Please see the below or contact Marcia Weiss at for additional details.