Moore 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:
MOORE COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
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.”
PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS
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.”
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY’S TYLER SCHOOL OF ART
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.”
PENN DESIGN AT UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
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).”
I first met Melissa D’Agostino a few years ago at an event for the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Design where my boyfriend and one of his partners screened a video they created about local and sustainable designers in Philly.
Our meeting and continued relationship with Melissa is a living example of the importance that we both place on local artists and communities. In fact, we’ll soon be working together again as I organize part of the upcoming DesignPhiladelphia opening party in October. I’ll be teaming up with local designers for a fashion show curated by Arcadia Boutique, where I am both the manager and assistant buyer. I chatted with Melissa about her latest accomplishment as one of the Designers-in-Residence at the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City and the upcoming Sample Sale on July 18th.
You’re a supporter of both local and sustainable fashion – why are these topics so important to you?
They’re about building strong relationships. Being able to stand behind the people you work and interact with is an amazing feeling…it’s not disposable. It’s a form of respect to be able to stay in the community; it’s like building instead of just climbing. It’s invaluable to have peers that will pair you up with other individuals and create solid networks. You have people to celebrate your accomplishments with you; there’s a support system where you feel like you can set higher goals and step out on a limb because you trust the relationships you’ve created.
Who, or what, inspires you most?
My clients inspire me on a real level – they have their own personal style that I try to bring out. People that have passions and drives that are bigger than themselves tend to motivate me. There are designers I could list but people are what really keep me moving.
Your dyeing techniques are one of the most important elements of your work – what about Shibori attracts you?
I first practiced Shibori while studying under Michael Olszewski at Moore (College of Art and Design). I fell in love with its form because the further you articulate the practice of creating pattern, the possibilities become endless, even by hand. The more I’ve practiced I’ve found that there’s a controlled variation every time. There’s an element of wonder that’s attached to it. Fabrics can be works of art in themselves before they’re even clothes.
What has been your most important experience in the Fashion Incubator?
My most important experience has been taking the opportunity to grow, building on the foundation that I have started through local custom work, and extending that one-on-one experience and dialogue with the community at the next level. This experience being introduced to so many industry experts with immense experience and knowledge is humbling and crucial. The accelerated pace encourages me to look closer and deeper at each step.
What do you love about fashion in Philadelphia?
First and foremost it’s the strong handmade movement of creating clothes locally that really makes my heart thump. There are so many stages of creating local that inspire and contribute to our city’s vibrancy. I love creative collaborations and everywhere you turn in Philly there is an opportunity to participate in one. I have to give a little shout out to the design collective 3bythree with Janell Wysock and Rachel Sherman, my fellow Moore alumn! I absolutely love wearing outfits made right here in Philly!
I also love that whether riding on the train or just passing by on the street, women in Philadelphia are so confident to share as well as receive compliments – I constantly pass out the “you look great!” and love hearing “oh, I like that!” It’s an exchange that has led to so many exciting conversations and friendships.
Some of Philly’s best-dressed guys and gals came out for Moore College of Art and Design’s “Launch Into Fashion” to network with budding fashion designers and already established local designers.
Several Moore design students and alum showcased their designs around the gallery, including Cari Ann Brezina, who creates adorable and whimsical children’s wear for “Secret Bohemia.”
Elissa Bloom got the crowd excited for the newest fashion project hitting our city: the Philaelphia Fashion Incubator. Inspired by similar “incubators” in Chicago and San Francisco, PFI emphasizes the importance of showcase emerging Philly talent.
Most notably, sassy and talented Philly-based designer Jay McCarroll was another featured speaker for the event. You might also know him from some little fashion design competition show called Project Runway as well.
In usual Jay fashion, he wasn’t shy with the humor, jokingly saying, “I wanted to apply to Moore…until I realized I have a penis.” Jay’s not just about the comedy, he also gave incredibly valuable advice to the many design students in the audience. Rather than taking inspiration from other big house designers, Jay urged students to take inspiration from of their own lives.
“If you’re talented, you can make a collection out of this wooden floor, this blue rug, this dusty plant…” Jay explained as he pointed out his surroundings on stage.
Everyone was dressed to the nines as the room was full of sky-high pumps and badass boots. So it was pretty obvious that the fastionistas came out to play for Moore’s chic get-together.
~ Jennifer Nguyen
I have two for you today.
Anyone who has been following this blog knows we love a good yarnbomb in this city. Last week while locking up my bicycle in front of Moore College for their NET Night event I noticed this lovely be-bowed yarnbomb. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen one with a creative edge (though none will beat this monster from this summer).
My second random act of randomness is this balloon. I spotted it yesterday at the corner of 20th and Walnut Sts. Does anyone know anything about it? Is this a question being posed to SEPTA seeing that it’s connected to a SEPTA bus stop sign? Is this a question being posed to the City of Philadelphia? So far, no news on the origin of the balloon so please send your suggestions or thoughts in the comments!