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Show off your favorite Art Star Craft Bazaar purchase

art_star_cutesy_but_not_cutesyIf you attended The Art Star Craft Bazaar two weeks ago, then most likely you walked away with something awesome. Perhaps it was a humorous onesie for your niece, a beautiful handmade beaded necklace or a really cool art print.

Whatever it was, the Art Star gals wanna see it.

At some point over the next week, snap a photo on your phone of your favorite item purchased at the bazaar in use and/or displayed inside your home, then upload it to Instagram using the hash tag: #ascbSCORE. Oh, and make sure you’re actually following Art Star on Instagram first.

Next Friday, June 7, they’ll be selecting one lucky winner to receive an Art Star Craft Bazaar tote bag with a special gift inside. Meanwhile, several of the best shots will also get a shout out in an upcoming blog post.

For those who already use Instagram religiously, this should be a pretty simple assignment. So far, the one to beat is @catiethekittycat, who posted the above photo of her dog rocking a Cutesy but not Cutesy hoodie.

Now, whip out your phone and see if you can top it!

5 Into 1: Philadelphia Sculptors Curates at the Moore College of Art and Design

imageMoore and Philadelphia Sculptors are doing us a service. By pulling 10 artists from five educational institutions together for a big send-up to sculpture, right here in Center city, we get the perspectives of 10 distinct artists noteworthy in their field. Not all of these artists are straight-up sculptors, which is what should make this show that much more interesting, as sculpture gets interpreted by painters, performance artists, 3D specialists and crafters. Curator Adam Mazur, a Maryland Institute College of Art grad who’s an exhibition assistant at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and the curator for Philadelphia Sculptors, has chosen 10 young artists to present their work at the Wilson Gallery at the Moore College of Art and Design. For over a month and a half, you have the chance to pop in at 20th and the Parkway, but you may want to come for the big opening reception, which is free, on Sunday, June 9th from 3:15pm to 5:30pm.

It’d be impossible to fully preview each artist’s work. That being said, I’ll pull one particularly dense sentence from each artist’s artist statement and bio for you:


Aimee Gilmore, BFA 3D Fine Art/Textiles

Artist statement: “Intricate binaries structure my work, especially the tensions between pressure and release, control and chaos, and assiduousness and neglect.”

Bio: “She has completed several internships working closely with several artists, including Janine Antoni and Nick Cave.” WAIT, NICK CAVE!? Oh.

Marie Scavetti, BFA 3D Fine Art

A.S.: “Through art, I confront personal history involving familial relationships, specifically focusing on an exploration of behavioral tendencies that stem from abuse, neglect and constraint.

Bio: “Her art practice is fueled by her upbringing in the traditional culture of rural, small town areas (the Appalachian Mountains of Rappahannock, Virginia) and the affects it has on psychological development.”


Brian Artigue, MFA Painting and Drawing

A.S.: “I challenge myself to not only illustrate the process of appropriative transformation, but also to create a situation that allows the viewer to fully surrender to a poetic beauty and the independent life of something new.”

Bio: “Graduating in 2008 with his BFA, he spent the next few years living on the beaches of San Diego working as a medical illustrator and portrait artist.”

Jacintha Clark, MFA Interdisciplinary Program

A.S.: “Collected and created objects behind glass, broken things hinged in place, and pairs connected in unconventional ways challenge the way we perceive our reality.”

Bio: “Jacintha Clark is a mixed-media artist interested in exploring the way one connects to the world around them by fusing materials such as iron, glass and porcelain.”


Mariah Couper, BFA Sculpture

A.S.: “My work revolves around the process of sewing as a repetitive and meditative action. The act of sewing represents the healing of wounds.”

Bio: “In 2012, Mariah was awarded the George R. Bunker Memorial Scholarship. She has just recently been nominated for the Florence Whistler Fish Award Competition.”

Mitchell Kay, BFA Sculpture

A.S.: “The first mindset I indulge in is craft-based, which I think is clean, shiny in appearance, and technically involved. In crafts, this is expressed through my chosen medium, glass.”

Bio: “After three years of experimenting with a diverse range of mediums and techniques, Kay is currently a senior at the University of the Arts and has gained extensive knowledge and technical ability while serving as both a teachers assistant and as a student technician in the glass studios.”


Brett Williams, BFA Sculpture; Minor in Art History

A.S.: “I present these environments through life size objects, actual reproductions of rooms, one-on-one viewing boxes and video.”

Bio: “Williams’ studio practice while having been in the Sculpture department at Tyler School of Art has always started with a drawing of an idea in mind. These inceptions then translated into technical blue prints, then to a mock-up (if necessary), and finally to construction.”

Kevin Mack, BFA Sculpture

A.S.: “I enjoy rich wood stains and gallons of latex paint. My work embodies rather than illustrates ideas, exploring questions of value and function through material, craft, color, and the relation of art and athletics.”

Bio: “He enjoys making functional sculpture because of its modesty: it demands no more space than would previously be required, and treats surface as a low-consequence universe, where preciousness and risk do not exist, just freedom of expression.”


Dan O’Neill, MFA Fine Art

A.S.: “My first instinct as an artist is to make work that is not aggressive, is not needy, and is not easily ignored. I fit the work into the architecture so that it hides in plain sight.”

Bio: “O’Neill spent several years in Rome Italy researching how artists use mosaic, fresco and sculpture to to fill a space with images and narrative.”

Evan Nabrit, MFA Fine Art

A.S.: “I have been using found materials in my sculptural work, mostly discarded building materials, but also novelty items such as bulk candy and campaign stickers.”

Bio: “Nabrit received his BA cum laude from Amherst College, in 2006 and has since participated in collaborative and solo projects, in Chelsea (’10), Tokyo (’05, ‘06) and Paris (2010).”

Brooklyn Flea is Coming to Philadelphia on June 2


When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.

Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.

imageHere’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.

The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).

It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.

Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.

5 Vendors To Keep An Eye Out For at the Art Star Craft Bazaar

For anyone attending Art Star’s tenth annual craft extravaganza this weekend, it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan of attack mapped out before entering the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. With 100+ vendors competing for your time and attention, knowing which ones you definitely want to target might make the afternoon a little less overwhelming. So here’s five to consider adding to your must-see list.

Note: I’ve purposely chosen to exclude the local artisans who I’ve now written about numerous times on this here blog.  For instance, Joey Five Cents, Penelope Rakov, exit343 designs, Yardsale Press, Phea Jean, BirdQueen Designs, Concrete Polish Jewels, Made with Awesome, Jay McCarroll, etc.


USB Typewriter (#51)

OK, so this is one of the most awesome inventions I’ve seen in a long time. Rather than simply collecting dust as useless piece of décor, now you can finally transform a broken, vintage typewriter into a functional keyboard for your Mac or PC using their easy conversion kit (which only cost about $79!). The USB Typewriter also makes for a perfect keyboard dock for your iPad or tablet.


Farmhaus (#47)

Whether it’s an accent table, cabinet or candleholder, any one of this Kensington-based company’s handmade rustic, modern furnishings would make for a beautiful addition to your home. They are also all made using reclaimed wood and metals.


Meera Lee Patel (#65)

One of only a few newcomers chosen to take part in this year’s bazaar, the New Jersey artist will be showcasing and selling a wide array of items, from original paintings and illustrated paper goods to hand-sewn tea towels and pillows.


Overall Baby (#37)

What could be more adorable than infants and toddlers in overalls? Infants and toddlers in custom-made overalls with fun textiles and prints. The picture pretty much speaks for itself.


Meerwiibli by Sarah-Maria (#46)

Comfort is paramount when it comes to this New York-based designer’s eccentric line of hand-sewn apparel and accessories. Hopefully, she’ll be bringing along a few of her super cute winter accessories, despite them now being out of season.

Shop Under The Sun This Weekend


Crafty Balboa April Showers

While 25 of the finest restaurants along East Passyunk Ave. are serving up samples of their signature dishes and drinks as part of the Flavors of the Avenue event, over at the Singing Fountain (Tasker & Passyunk), you’ll find an array of handmade goods from more than 45 local artisans. A few of my own personal faves: MadeByLiddy (handmade gifts and repurposed paper art), Rogue Theory (functional tech sleeves and cases), Pupcakes, Bits & Pieces (super adorable dog clothes and treats), Masters of None (laser cut housewares and accessories), Joey Five Cents (reclaimed vintage jewelry), Phea Jean (accessories and clothing) and many, many more. (Saturday, 11am-5pm.)


NoLibs Spring Sidewalk Sale

Nine of some of the finest indie shops and boutiques in town—Arcadia Boutique, Art Star, Bloom, Casa Papel, Concrete Polish, Duke & Winston, Framing Philadelphia, Once Worn Consignment and SWAG Boutique—will be offering two straight days of sidewalk savings. Ranging anywhere from up to 75 percent off and varying from store to store, the best markdowns are likely to be found outside somewhere in the sea of racks and tables lining N. Second St. Meanwhile, inside each of the participating stores, you’ll find even more specials, as well as refreshments. (Sat., 11am-7pm. Sun., 12-5pm.)

East Passyunk is Going All Out For Second Saturday

east_passyunk_second_saturdayIf their recent accolades are any indication, folks are finally starting to catching on to what I’ve known for the past two years: East Passyunk Avenue is awesome.

Tomorrow, the avenue’s 150 independently owned shops and 30-plus award-winning eateries won’t be celebrating April’s “Second Saturday” in the usual fashion. Rather, they’re collectively promising to deliver EPA’s largest Second Saturday to-date.

In addition to various sales, art openings, tastings and music performances, the line-up of happenings includes the grand openings of two new businesses: Occasionette Gift Shop (5-10pm, 1825 EPA) and the city’s second location of Oliver & Company Tea Room (1613 EPA).

On Wednesday, the East Passyunk Business Improvement District is hosting a party around the Singing Fountain (Passyunk & Tasker) to celebrate having just been dubbed one of the “10 Best Foodie Streets in America” in the May 2013 issue of Food & Wine Magazine. From 5-7 p.m., all are invited to come and make a group toast with a photo around the Fountain while enjoying the folk tunes of DisCanto. Meanwhile, several nearby restaurants including, Stateside and Fond will be offering happy hour specials.occasionette

This is all of course, leading up to Flavors of the Avenue on Sat., April 27, the neighborhood’s annual outdoor food and drink festival featuring a record-setting 25 restaurants.

Anyway, back to the events going down tomorrow, here’s a few that stood out to me:

Le Virtu – Enjoy omplimentary stuzzichini (snacks) and wine while admiring the photographs of Kateri Likoudis, all taken in south/central Italian region of Abruzzo in the late spring and fall of 2012. Abruzzese folk group DisCanto will also perform. (1-3pm, 1927 EPA)

Nice Things…Handmade – Check out new recent paintings of local artist Bridget Mccafferty, the printing hands behind Typsy Gypsy Tees. Meet the artist and enjoy refreshments. (6-10pm, 1731 EPA)

home_furnishings_boutiqueHOME | A Furnishings Boutique – For this new photo and art exhibition, Philly-based artists Felicia Perretti and Hawk Krall have teamed up to showcase the most well-known food spots along East Passyunk. (6pm, 1815 EPA)

Lucky 13 – The bar/restaurant will be showcasing the artwork of Paul Carpenter as well as a trunk show by Sweet Jane Vintage. In addition to the drink specials, Sweet Jane’s vintage finds will be 20-50 percent off. (1-5pm, 1820 S. 13th St.)

N.R.S. Boutique – Take 20 percent off all items in the store. (11:30am-8pm, 1822 EPA)

Ms Goody Cupcake – Foodspotting is celebrating its third anniversary with a special party with cake truffles buy 2 get 1 free, $2 dollar special flavor cupcakes and spring flavor sampling. You’ll also score a free coffee with any purchase in morning. (9am-4pm, 1838 EPA)

Frame Fatale – Opening reception for “Postcards from the Ledge: Philadelphia Windows,” featuring the black and white photography of RA Friedman. More specifically, the photographer will be presenting a selection of captured reflections and odd spaces of the Philly landscape in silvery postcard-sized prints. (6-9pm, 1813 EPA)

Metro Men’s Clothing – Enjoy 15 percent off and complimentary cocktails while you shop. (1615 EPA)

Noir Philadelphia – After making your way down the avenue, stop in for a late night happy hour. The deals include $1 off drafts, $4 wine, $4 well drinks and half-off select appetizers at the bar. (9-11pm, 1909 EPA)

The 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival Has Begun

cherryBlossomFestWhile the majority of the trees and plants around town may still stand depressingly lifeless, our cherry blossoms are officially in full bloom (or at least some).

For those of you who have heard of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, but don’t entirely understand exactly what it entails and why you should care, allow me to break it down. The month-long festival celebrates all things Japanese with a slew citywide events (workshops, performances, screenings, exhibitions, etc.)—DUH—all leading up to the centerpiece event, Sakura Sunday on April 14.

Here are a few of the festivities you can look forward to…

Japanese Culture Week: Now through Thursday, The Shops at Liberty Place are inviting folks of all ages to stop by at lunchtime and discover Japanese culture through and interactive workshop. Today you can make and take an origami folded paper ornament while tomorrow, members of the audience will be selected to experience the intricacies of Kimono dressing. Last but not least, on Thursday, you can learn how to write using Japanese Calligraphy and take home a sample. Daily through Thurs/4, 12-2pm. Free. The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut St.

Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Performance: Tamagawa University, a top-ranking thirty-piece troupe from Japan and the Tamagawa Taiko Drum and Dance group are joining forces, creating a unique, high-energy performance, equipped with intricate dances, thundering drums and beautiful costumes. Sat/6, 8-10pm $25-$30. The Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St.

Madam Saito’s Sushi Making Class: Every sushi lover is dying to cherry_blossom_fest2learn how to make it themselves and who better to show you than Madame Saito, Philadelphia’s Queen of Sushi. More specifically, she’ll be showing participants how to create rolls that taste as good as they look. So be sure to come hungry and with containers so that you can take home your left-overs. Also, you must call and register in advance. Sun/7 & Wed/10, 6:30pm. $30. The Headhouse, 124 Lombard St. 215.922.2515.

Sakura Sunday: If you’re going to go to any Cherry Blossom event, this should be the one. In addition to Japanese food/product vendors, origami and calligraphy workshops, martial arts demos and drum and dance group performances, there’s the annual Harajuku Fashion Show and Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade. Meanwhile, over at the Horticulture Center’s new Sakura Pavilion you can discover the traditional elements of Sakura Sunday—from the Urasenke tea ceremony and the art of flower arrangement, known as ikebana​ to the elegant Japanese dance,  Ichifujikai. Sun/14, 10:30am-4pm. $0-$5. Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, Montgomery Dr. & Belmont Ave.

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