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You Can Curate! Presents: Fusain by LiLy Milroy

  • February 13 – 15 + February 19 – 20, 2014
  • Opening Reception: Thursday, February 13th 6-9pm
  • The Icebox
  • Hours: 12-6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Crane Arts is pleased to announce an exhibition of McCartney/Belknap Projects’ special event You Can Curate!, and its winning entry Fusain by LiLy Milroy.

In November of this past year, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and as a part of the Citywide exhibition, Exhibitions Directors Tim Belknap and Ryan McCartney ran an event called You Can Curate!, where museum goers were invited to arrange small pieces of wood within a scaled model of the Icebox Project Space. The entries were documented, and then juried by Philadelphia based artist Winifred Lutz, with the winning entry by LiLy Milroy taking over the Icebox as a full-scale installation. The exhibition will also include photographs of many of the other entries as well as the scale model and props from the public project.

LiLy Milroy is an artist and historian. She currently lives in Belmont Hills.

Winifred Lutz has created major site-integrated installations and permanent public works in the United States and Europe. Past venues for her installations have included the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, the Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania, the Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Among her permanent public projects are the Garden for The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, the Memorial to the Pennsylvania Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor in Harrisburg (with Stacy Levy), and Zones of Change for the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.

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Current Climate

  • January 9th - 25th 2014
  • Reception: January 9th from 6-9pm
  • Gallery 105
  • Wed-Sat 12-6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Kelton Bumgarner
Danielle Bursk
Justin Bursk
Bailey Chick
Dianne Hricko
Richard Hricko
Jennifer Johnson
Nick Kripal
Jude Lang
Kyle Lopinto
Susan Moore
John Roebas
Rebecca Saylor Sack
Kristin Schatterfield-Rein
Tim Schwartz
Colleen McCubbin Stephanic
Ian White Williams
Dganit Zauberman

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Philip Dahl: Bacterio Therapy

  • January 9th - February 13th
  • Reception: Second Thursday: January 9th, 6-9pm
  • Archive Space
  • Wednesday - Saturday 12pm-6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

I am inspired by life, and all of its strange and wonderful wanderings. The imagery that fuels my work comes from personal life, and manifests into dreamlike imagery that begins with a single line. Drawing is somewhat sculptural in the way I build upon a line on the page. The remainder of the drawing is working to balance that line, consistently chiseling away at the image on the page. The idea and the image then become present, bleeding out from the fibers of the paper.

My process is disorder mixed with composure. I use pen and colored inks to mimic the permanent, yet unpredictable path of time we continuously move through. It can travel along the paper for long stints of joy or end short and brief. Repetition symbolizes tasks as we move back and forth throughout our vices and rituals.

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One and One Half

  • December 12th - 31st, 2013
  • Second Thursday Reception: December 12th, 6-9pm
  • Gallery 105
  • Wed-Sat 12-6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

1 & ½ is a celebration of works from Julia Bunn, Kristin Deady, Amanda McCavour, Wes Valdez, and Charity Thackston. The collected works offer a range of material and media approaches including ceramic, fibers, glass, and video. All the artists are entering their final semester of graduate study at Tyler School of Art.

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Make & Do

  • December 12th, 2013 - Feb 22nd, 2014
  • PPAC
  • Hours: Tues. - Thurs. 930am-930pm / Fri. - Sat. 930am-6pm / Sun. 10am-4pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Please join us for the opening reception of our most recent exhibition, Make & Do. As the title suggests, this exhibition is comprised projects that are “made,” “done,” or “performed.” For each of the 3 artists in this exhibition, the image is one of many outcomes within their practices. Their works exist in multiple forms: as performance, image, and installation. The content of each work also engages multiples audiences in its creation: city workers, dancers, choreographers, students and artists. This exhibition provides multiple perspectives from which to consider the relationship between author and audience. 

Double Document is Tad Beck’s investigation of photography’s relationship to performance and the abstract body. These photographs are of dancers, choreographers, and performers completing either choreographed or improvised movements that illustrate their usual approach. Each image was printed at 42 x 42 inches and placed on the floor, and each performer re-executed his or her original movement on the photograph, in turn disturbing and ripping the print. The prints were then rephotographed. The final images document movement as representation and sculpture and collapse multiple photographic moments into a single image. 

What began as a project inspired by a series of YouTube response videos, Jenny Drumgoole’s Make & Do series quickly shifted toward a social critique of power, social structure, and audience. This project hinges on the artist’s interest in the City of Philadelphia’s department of sanitation and its trash workers’ rights. Drumgoole held weekly celebrations of “trash day” and created an aesthetic world built around her main character, Soxx. The resulting installation is an in-progress work that breaches the art world, existing in a real-time context.

Clifford Owens’ Photographs with an Audience has been performed multiple times nationally and internationally. The structure of the project is simple: the artist asks audience members to be photographed while responding to a series of prompts. The works in this exhibition were created during the course of two nights in November at PPAC. Owens’ project has multiple iterations: the performance, the resulting photographs, and the many audiences that the images reach.

This exhibition is made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. More info:

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JOLIE DAY: Go Outside and Eat Some Snacks

  • Thursday December 12th- January 7th 2013
  • Reception: Second Thursday: December 12th, 6-9pm
  • Archive Space
  • Wed-Sat 12-6PM
  • Free and open to the public

This installation of new work is inspired by my immediate surroundings, and the various places I have traveled over the summer and beyond. It is a visual diary, which documents everything including what I eat, the various environments I encounter and the input and humor of people I meet. There is a level of playfulness within my work, that I hope viewers find relatable and entertaining. In addition to my travels, I draw influence from cartoons, and pop surrealism. I combine elements of illustration, printmaking, painting, and embroidery to create work that is sarcastic but sentimental, thoughtful but spontaneous, and most of all, honest to the viewer and to myself.

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George Petelin & Ross Woodrow

  • 14 November to 28 November 2013
  • Second Thursday Reception: November 14th, 2013, 6-9pm
  • Crane International Project Space
  • Wed - Sat 12PM - 6PM
  • Free & Open To The Public

Two exhibitions by Australian artists will open on 14 November (6.00 pm) at CRANE ARTS in the gallery formerly occupied by The University of Delaware. Now badged as the Crane International Project Space. This will be the first in a series of shows featuring international artists working in different varieties of old and new mediums and exploring themes that have global interest.

The DIGITAL DIVIDE features the work of George Petelin.
George Petelin’s photographs are documentary in the sense that they are a snapshot of an ‘actuality’, a historical moment when the divide between digital recording and digital creation of images is blurring. Petelin’s images play with the differences between recording and reproducing, manipulating and constructing, mediation and ‘re-mediation’, and the implications for copyright, as distinct from ‘originality’ as critiqued by postmodernism, of the ambiguities in these distinctions brought about by digital technology.
At the same time these images document a sense of catastrophe: the failure of not only society but of the technology itself to keep up with its exponential growth.

The LINE of LODE is an installation by Ross Woodrow in which the walls of the lower gallery space are taken as the field for a panoramic graphic survey. Australia has been a great source of global mineral wealth from gold to coal, but the colonial exchange was more than material. In this pictorial configuration at Crane, Woodrow excavates the history of the graphic images that were transported to Australia to create the types and forms of a national identity. As Philadelphian viewers will discover, these images are very familiar, since when it comes to western cultural construction across the globe, the pictorial formations above ground parallel what is buried below.

Download a PDF of the official exhibition catalogue.

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Due North

  • January 9-26, 2014
  • Closing Party: January 24, 2014 (7pm gallery walkthrough / 8pm The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra)
  • The Icebox
  • Wed - Sat 12-6PM
  • Free & Open To The Public

Due North is an international collaboration envisioned by artist-curator Marianne Bernstein. In January 2014, the Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia (one of the largest independent exhibition venues in the city) will be transformed into a winterscape featuring video and prints created by selected artists from Philadelphia and Reykjavik. New works will be presented as the result of a series of group expeditions and residencies in Iceland. Due North marks the debut of Philagrafika Projects. This is a new venture for Philagrafika, which brought the 2010 Festival to Philadelphia, marking a groundbreaking international dialogue within contemporary print practices.

The main theme and critical exploration for Due North is a re-imagining of the idea of north: whether romantic or treacherous, uncharted or familiar. “North” is a space upon which we project our desire for raw wilderness, for solitude, and the terrifying beauty of the sublime. Both real and imagined, Iceland, from an outsider’s perspective is viewed as exotic, mythical and supernatural.

The American participants will take cues from their Icelandic counterparts, opening themselves to qualities found at the very heart of Icelandic art making: a wild independence, reverence for untamed nature, ancient and intimate links to the sea, a sense of mystery and unquiet stillness in everyday life, and paradoxical qualities of the land (black and white; fire and ice).

Curator Marianne Bernstein has selected the participating American artists: Katie Baldwin, Shawn Bitters, Diane Burko, Marianne Dages, Cindi Ettinger, Katya Gorker, John Heron, David Kessler, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Rebeca Méndez, Serena Perrone, Paul Soulellis, and Julia Staples. Each artist works with significant environmental, historical, and personal elements of the landscape.

Icelandic artist Rúrí met with the participating US artists in Philadelphia in late February. For Due North, Rúrí will be creating large-scale cartographic works of America and Iceland for her ongoing series “Future Cartography.” Made in collaboration with the geographer Gunnlaugur M. Einarsson, her maps project the future shorelines of our planet, exploring the grave threats to ocean levels and global ice reserves.

The following Icelandic artists have also been selected: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Kolbeinn Hugi, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Haraldur Jónsson, Ragnar Kjartansson, Erling T.V. Klingenberg, Anna Hrund Másdóttir, Mundi, Rúrí, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, and Magnus Sigurðarson.


songs of light and dust copy

Closing Party:

January 24, 2014 at the Icebox Project Space

7pm – Gallery walkthrough with curator Marianne Bernstein and exhibiting Due North artists.

8pm – The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra play a live score to the 20 x 92 foot video installations by Rebeca Mendez and David Kessler in collaboration with Katya Gorker. Accompanied by an opening performance by Jeff Zeigler and followed by the Data Garden record release performance for Ben Warfield’s debut album.

Please join Due North for the closing party of our exhibition, which united over 13 American artists with 13 Icelandic artists in a groundbreaking international artistic dialogue. At 7pm, curator Marianne Bernstein and participating artists will host a gallery walkthrough, revealing personal anecdotes about their travel experiences along with insight into their work and studio practices. This gallery talk will be followed by three musical performances and the Data Garden record release party for “Songs of Light & Dust.”

American Due North artists had the unique opportunity to explore the extreme shifts and phenomena in light that makes the Icelandic landscape remarkable. For this event, curator Marianne Bernstein is pleased to join forces with record label and producer Data Garden for an evening of related musical performances. Ben Warfield, a photonic researcher in the field of lighting and human health, examines how light impacts our psyche and bodies, with direct applications for astronauts. His interest in light, the cosmos, and our perceptions of the world around us inform his musical practice and have lead to his debut album of soft synths and sonic grooves on the Data Garden label entitled “Songs of Light & Dust.”

Warfield also contributes to the improvisatory musical collective The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, joined by musicians John Pettit, Gretchen Lohse, Jesse Sparhawk, Laura Baird, and Michael Dur who collectively scored the film for Due North artist David Kessler. The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra will be playing a live score to Kessler’s film “Lopi: a Traveler’s Saga in Four Divinations” and other orchestral ambient ruminations alongside the video installation of artist Rebeca Mendez entitled “Circumsolar, Migration 1”. The music that accompanies these video pieces were part of the Icelandic collaboration of the project, with David Kessler featuring Icelandic vocalist Silla from múm alongside the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra and Rebeca Mendez collaborating with Icelandic composer Ben Frost. Both pieces will be on view with the scored recordings during the gallery walkthrough at 7pm.

Opening the evening will be a musical performance by renowned Philadelphia musician, audio engineer and producer Jeff Zeigler. His musical projects include Relay, Arc in Round, and solo and collaborative performances alongside his audio work as Uniform Recording (producing the likes of Kurt Vile, Purling Hiss, Clockcleaner, the War on Drugs, and many more). An audio tech guru, Zeigler will begin the evening with synths and experimental sounds that are sure to please.

Beverages provided by Due North’s generous sponsor, Victory Brewing Company.

Data Garden is a journal and record label encouraging the discovery of electronic music through the windows of history, science and community. Ben Warfield’s album “Songs of Light & Dust” will be available for purchase after the show. Donations for performing artists welcome.

Due North has been made possible by the Independence Foundation, Crane Arts, Pennsylvania Council of the Arts PPA Project Stream Grants, Philagrafika, and PECO.

More info:

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Russell Edling

Russell Edling
  • November 14th - December 6th, 2013
  • November 14th, 2013, 6-9pm
  • Second State Press
  • by appointment, please contact
  • Free & Open To The Public

Russell has access to all the tools and skills that are available to a contemporary graphic designer but often employs a quaint 20th century medium (silkscreen printing) to realize his poster designs. The welcome presence of anomalies associated with “handmade” and process driven work is an essential part of his aesthetic.
More info:

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Shrines of Life: Peruvian Retablos

  • Receptions: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2-5pm & Thursday: 
Nov. 14, 6-9pm,
  • Indigo Arts
  • Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6:00 pm.
  • Free & Open To The Public

With works by Claudio Jimenez Quispe, Mabilon Jimenez, Eleudora Jimenez, Luis & Julia Huamani, Javier Gonzalez and Pedro Gonzalez.

Shrines of Life celebrates the art of the contemporary Peruvian retablo. The retablo is a portable shrine or nicho that holds figures sculpted of pasta (a mixture of plaster and potato) or maguey cactus wood.   The making of retablos is a folk art whose roots go back to the sixteenth century in the Andes. Spanish priests introduced small portable shrines in the 16th century to aid in the conversion of the Indian population. These were miniature houses made of wood that held images of saints. Over five hundred years this art form has evolved into the retablos that Indigo Arts exhibits today. While the art’s origins are religious, contemporary Peruvian retablos range from the sacred to the secular, to the profane.

Works by master “retablista”,Claudio Jimenez Quispe of Ayacucho, and other members of his extended family, such as Eleudora and Mabilon Jimenez, and Luis and Julia Huamani sculpt pasta figures to depict not just saints but scenes of daily life, commerce, romance, political strife and fantasy. Some of the recent work shows strong influences of Mexican folk art as well. In keeping with the season, Shrines of Life includes scenes of death and the underworld that celebrate the upcoming Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) holidays, as well as some exquisite nativity scenes.

Javier and Pedro Gonzalez of Huancayo, Peru create retablos, santos and devotional crosses using a different technique from the Ayacucho artists. In a technique learned from their grandfather, Don Pedro Abilio Gonzalez Flores, they carve figures from maguey cactus wood, finishing it with a plaster gesso. Working in the tradition of Peruvian santeros, who carved saint figures for both churches and home altars, the Gonzalez brothers are known for the exquisite detail and sensitivity of their faces. Like the Jimenez family of Ayacucho, they also carve many figures of calaveras – skeletons – for the Days of the Dead.

Indigo Arts, a Gallery of Ethnographic, Folk and Contemporary Arts from Africa, Asia and the Americas, established in 1986, is located in the Crane Arts Building, Suite #104, 1400 North American St., Philadelphia, 19122. For further information contact Anthony Fisher at (215)765-1041, or go to

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Shelley Thorstensen: Part and Parcel

  • October 5th - November 8th 2013
  • October 10th, 2013, 6-9pm
  • Second State Press
  • by appointment, please contact
  • Free And Open To The Public

Seconds State Press is pleased to present new works by Shelley Thorstensen. Part and Parcel offers us a glimpse of the expanded process that generates finished work by this important print artist.

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The Reel Deal

  • Reception: Thursday October 10, 2013
  • The Icebox
  • Free and Open To The Public

A Showcase of Contemporary Australian Film and Screen Media

Presented by the Griffith Film School, Brisbane, Australia

“The Reel Deal” captures the distinctive voices of the animators, filmmakers and games developers, both faculty and students, who undertake ongoing artistic research at Griffith Film School (GFS), Brisbane Australia. It is a voice forged by their engagement with the world around them – the stories locales, and characters, of Australia’s past, present, and future. This exhibition and film festival reflects what makes Australia the diverse and rich culture that it is today. Inspiration is drawn from our ’wide, brown’ landscape, our cosmopolitan cities, our multicultural heritage.  “The Reel Deal” showcases the extraordinary in the ordinary, the possible in the impossible, and the potential of every encounter every image, every question, and every story.  These are explored, enjoyed, challenged, and most importantly, shared as art, whether it be as an animation, an installation, a film or a game. – Dr. Margaret McVeigh Film and Screen Media Production Department, Griffith University

Film Festival Dates: October 23rd – 25th, 4-10pm
Location: Gallery 101 & 105

Wednesday 23 October:

Lord David Puttnam Seminar Series Trailer followed by The Griffith Lecture 2010: The Conferral of the Honorary Degree Doctor of the University on Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE, November 2010 (28:10 min)

The Cannes Short Film Corner Show Case Compilation 2010-2013: A Collection of 23 works by recent Undergraduates

Thursday 24 October:

Asia-Pacific Symposium on Creative Post-Production: A Lesson in Film on the Art and Craft of Editing by Walter Murch – New York 2012 (70:21 min)

25th Anniversary Bachelor of Animation Screening: 1987 – 2012 (102 min)

Genre Exercise Compilation (23:12 min)
Game Over
Gummy Bear
Tamogo no Tatakai
26 Bullets Dead

Bullets for the Dead – trailer
Kicking The Can – Teone Reinthal (20 min)

8:15 PM:
The Parlour Stuff – Dean Chircop (20 min)
Blue Baby – Mike Craft (5:40 min)
Smile – Mike Craft (7:20 min)
A Tale of Longing – Xin Li (3:35 min)
Warm Winter – Xin Li (3:10 min)
Love and Other Commodities – Marianna Shek (13 min)
The Back Pack – Marianna Shek (5:35 min)
Rain Painting – Teone Reinthal (13 min)
A Woman with a Digital Camera – Hassan Sonboli (18:30 min)
Too Close to the Sky – Denis Quinn (21:26 min)

Friday 25 October:

A Donkey in Lahore – Faramarz K-Rahber (50 min)
Queensland Films 1930-1960: From Talkies to Television – Pat Laughren (50 min)

A Lesson in Film with Chuck Guttierez (40 min)
My America – Peter Hegedus (87 min)

8:15 PM:
ISHQ, Devine Music for the Animated Imagery of Islam – Louise Harvey (8:22 min)
Re*surrect – Sue Swinburne (12 min)
Time and Tide: The Life of Norman Creek – Trish Fitzsimons (7:12 min)
Time and Tide: The Boat Builders of Norman Creek – Trish Fitzsimons (5:40m min)
Achterland – Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Herman Van Eyken (69 min)

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Origins: The Final Frontier by Adam Mazur at Crane Arts

By Kat Zagaria for PaperClips215
POSTED: September 15, 2013

Adam Mazur newest show Origins: The Final Frontier is an exploration of symbols across cultures and time. His beautifully rendered works on paper convey a sense of mysticism and a oneness that encompasses people, animals, symbols, environments, planets, and galaxies.

Geometric outlines find peace overlaying a dinosaur’s skeleton, while a man’s face is obscured by the stars. While a man wears headphones in one piece, a mother-like goddess figure radiates in another. The symbology in Mazur’s paintings on paper span space and time. Many of Mazur’s paintings are inspired by a book he owns on symbology. References to cultures as varied as Native American, African, and modern day can be found.

The name of his show is telling as well. Origins: The Final Frontier is Mazur’s way of looking to the past in order to understand what is ahead. He hopes to connect with his viewer on a spiritual level by incorporating such varied cultural symbology throughout his work. The viewer is able to see his or her own cultural heritage through different aspects across many different works, and yet also can recognize the “other’s” symbology that blends seamlessly with one’s own. At its core, Origins is a show examining the oneness of humanity across certain spheres, which is truly the final frontier that, in Mazur’s eyes, we have yet to conquer.

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Bardo Pond takes over Crane in “Between Two Worlds”

By Chip Schwartz
POSTED: September 17, 2013


Philadelphia’s very own seminal psychedelic/noise rock band Bardo Pond has just begun an artful September in Gallery 105 of the Crane Arts Building. The band members have assembled a group show of their artwork under the banner “Between Two Worlds.” While this title certainly does a fine job of describing the sounds they produce as Bardo Pond, all of the musicians were already busy making visual art prior to forming the band in 1991. As this show proves, their interest in process, experimentation and improvisation is clear in both their auditory and visible pursuits.

The show’s title makes an appearance in an artwork by guitarist Michael Gibbons, which itself is named “Blue Lemur.” Gibbons interestingly chooses to let the text in the piece speak for itself and instead focuses on the image of a crouching, blue-ring-tailed lemur. Placed over a background of gold leaf, the animal’s shape and color demand attention, especially considering that it is entirely without context; there is nothing in the frame beyond the lemur and its half-formed shadow. It peers cautiously to its right, perhaps looking into the distance at one of the worlds between which it lies. Gibbons also includes a number of illustrations depicting so-called ‘personal demons.’ These cartoon-like renderings seem almost harmless to the casual viewer, but to the artist, these creatures could surely represent struggles and personal dilemmas that remain hidden to all but himself.

Clint Takeda includes a wide variety of two-dimensional artworks in CD cases, on wood panels, and on paper, but his most impressive works are generally his 3D manifestations. A twisted, mutilated bust and a dangling, mutant rabbit-like beast are just a couple of his surreal jaunts. Possibly Takeda’s most noteworthy creations are the standing, disembodied pair of red legs that eerily occupy the middle of the floor, and the combination bird/spy plane diving from a wall-mounted pedestal. The former, entitled “Saboteur (Bill Ward’s Ass)” gives the impression that an attendee to the opening departed and absentmindedly left behind their lower half. Think that forgetting your phone or wallet somewhere is a hassle? Try forgetting two of your limbs. “Squawk” is a tiny piece that takes the form of the Cold War-era SR-71 Blackbird, only with an actual avian update: the nose of the plane is actually the skull and beak of a bird. Both a play on the aircraft’s name and a sleek, black form, it is a modest but well-crafted highlight of the exhibit.

Isobel Sollenberger and John Gibbons produce process-based, non-objective forms and textures together under the name ‘Dechemia.’ The objects they construct are smooth in spots, with cracks, canyons and fissures dividing these flat areas or billowing over one another. They explore the natural possibilities of the media they choose, specifically Hydrocal plaster and paper. Entirely achromatic, the pair works in white, black and gray hues, which put the physicality of the material before all else.

A table full of sketches, posters and assorted album art rests in the center of the gallery space, tying the show together through this group’s shared musical connections. There is plenty to see and much to ponder in this space, and as with anything, the characters of Bardo Pond produce, it is as deeply layered and inscrutable as it comes.

Bardo Pond will also play a set in the Icebox Project Space on September 26th in conjunction with the 20/92 Video Screening night.

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Two concerts find harmony in congenial spaces

Source: The Inquirer
By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
POSTED: September 18, 2013

The Crossing choir sang “Canticles of the Holy Wind” Sunday at Crane Arts in Northern Liberties. (MATTHEW MURPHY)

Were you to see and not hear the Crossing’s U.S. premiere of the John Luther Adams choral work Canticles of the Holy Wind, the sight would be mouths and eyes wide open in a state somewhere between rapture and terror, amid video projections of quiltlike patterns morphing into flocks of birds.

And that’s more or less what one heard Sunday at Crane Arts. The music operated at a level of imagination conveying rarefied states of perception – and in complete harmony with Dan Cole’s video in the Ice Box space, a large, blank white room. Singing was a mass of seamlessly harnessed sound, unclouded by vibrato, growing this way and that, sometimes erupting into noises from birds of yet-to-evolve species.

It was hardly a typical concert, but more and more I wonder if there is any such thing. On Friday, a harp recital by Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis included dancers, video projections, and a panorama of images created by shadow puppets at the Maas Building, a former brewery also in Northern Liberties, as part of the Fringe Festival.

Both venues offered basic space with no set seating. At the harp concert, listeners moved their chairs between pieces. At Crane, the Crossing was divided into four choirs (yes, 16-part vocal writing) that changed configurations around the audience in a darkened room. Both concerts were packed. Receptions were attached. Is this Philadelphia? It felt like Berlin.

Repurposed industrial buildings with tabula-rasa spaces allow enterprising musicians to rethink their concerts in ways that make audiences hear more intently – the opposite of a resident-company model where musical content is subtly influenced by the venue’s identity. Here, content (even when it’s nothing radical) appears to dictate the venue.

The Kimmel Center and Academy of Music experiences don’t suffer in comparison – though even Opera Philadelphia is exploring an alternative space in November with Svadba, at the new FringeArts building. But let’s be honest: Video hasn’t often worked well in those places. Screens seem small, are set apart from everything else, and, especially in Verizon Hall, often feel remote, like a drive-in movie. Different elements can seem to fight for attention.

In the two events last weekend, video was projected on the walls. Novelty of presentation didn’t steal focus from the content. Well, usually: Though harpist Morgan-Ellis (a Temple grad) and her chamber ensemble delivered strong-minded, well-rehearsed performances, I was so drawn into Andrew Huston’s shadow show during Anne Neikirk’s locoMotives that I now must revisit the music on its own.

But Andrea Clearfield’s French-impressionist-flavored Rhapsodie (2009) melded effortlessly with Huston’s visual fantasia on Claude Monet lily-pad paintings, morphing into sunbursts and far less-imaginable things, that I heard the music in ways I hadn’t before.

One couldn’t have felt more inside the total sight/sound package at Crane Arts. Objectively speaking, Adams’ Canticles draw on the tight, cluster-y harmonies of Ligeti vocal music and employ the gentle ostinatos and poetically open-ended phonemes of Meredith Monk. The washes of sound were built with distinctive harmonic meticulousness that weren’t traditional but seemed to burrow into your head. Birdcalls were evident, but not in Olivier Messiaen-style flocks; Adams is a resident of Alaska, and his birds are more aggressive individualists.

Thanks to the composer’s clarity of purpose (and vividly titled movements like “Sky With Nameless Colors”), Canticles of the Wind is one of the few new pieces I’ve heard without any cognitive barriers, but not because the music was familiar. Adams hit some sort of basic essence that I might not have felt from performers set apart in a proscenium-stage auditorium.

This is not to say every music organization should find itself a warehouse. These concerts aren’t for everybody. And not every repurposed brewery is going to be as congenial as the Maas Building. At a concert I heard in an Estonian munitions factory, for example, the obvious make-music-not-war message was eclipsed by creature discomfort for both musicians and listeners.

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Adam Mazur: Origins

  • Thursday September 12th- November 2nd, 2013
  • Reception: Second Thursday: September 12th, 6-9pm
  • Archive Space
  • Wed - Sat 12-6PM
  • Free & Open To The Public

Celebrating the FINAL installment of this traveling show, “Origins” is an exhibition of paintings that has finally landed on the walls of the acclaimed CRANE ARTS BUILDING.

Mazur creates celestial and figural illustrations by merging imagery from many cultures and beliefs from across the globe. In attempt for viewers to connect with the art in their own personal and spiritual way, Mazur samples from a diverse range of cultural symbolism to create god-like faces and presences within his work. Ultimately, the artwork he creates is meant to be both overwhelming and beautiful to project a universal peace and harmony, as these depictions of these fantastical deities and creators illustrate the origin of how this world began.

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20/92 Video Call Screening

  • **One Night Only
  • September 26, 2013 6-9pm

A juried one night video screening to consist of up to sixty videos, each one minute in length. All submissions will be formatted to fit the Icebox Projection System, which casts a continuous image at 20’ x 92’. All concession sales and donations directly supporting the collaborative efforts of Title Magazine, The Nicola Midnight St. Claire, and McCartney/Belknap projects in the upcoming “Citywide” exhibition this November.

Juried by Tim Belknap and Ryan McCartney, co-directors at the Icebox Project Space

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Bardo Pond: Between Two Worlds

  • Opening reception: Thursday, September 12th from 6-9pm
  • gallery 105 (and performance in the Icebox)
  • Wed. - Sat. 12-6pm / Sun. – Tues. by appointment
  • Free & Open To The Public

Crane Arts is pleased to announce Between Two Worlds, an exhibition of works by members of Bardo Pond.

In addition to the exhibition of works in gallery 105, Bardo Pond will play a set in the Icebox Project Space on September 26th in conjunction with the 20/92 Video Screening night.

From the accompanying essay by Chistopher Bennett:

The core members of Bardo Pond (Isobel Sollenberger, John Gibbons, Michael Gibbons, and Clint Takeda) were practicing artists when they met. Soon, they began playing music together—at first, as guitarist Michael Gibbons has put it, simply “wanting to make sounds.”… Like their music, their art is based on a commitment to process, exploring the precarious link between action and result as it unfolds in the moment.

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Strange Attractor At The Fringe Arts Festival

  • September 7th - 9th / 11th - 14th / 16th - 18th (see schedule below)
  • White Space (Crane Old School, 1417 North Second St)
  • **Tickets are $15/$10 for students and museum security guards

The bicoastal company performs their hilarious new show on museum security guards at the White Space in the Crane Old School Building

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Strange Attractor Theatre is pleased to announce they will be premiering their latest show, Enlightenment on E Floor North at the 2013 FringeArts Festival. Taking on the fraught discussion of employment, Strange Attractor examines the museum security guard and turns their curiosity toward the endless cycle of mindless work. Their signature character­driven, highly physical, and outlandishly absurd style reveals what actually happens when people pass the time while on the clock. Enlightenment on E Floor North plays at the White Space in Crane Old School September 7 through 18. Tickets are $15/$10 students and museum security guards. Exact dates and times at or on the FringeArts website,

“I worked for two years as a museum guard at the RISD Museum of Art in Providence.” said Strange Attractor’s Providence member Jed Hancock­Brainerd, who also instigated and directed Enlightenment. “The world of the museum guard is both incredibly unique but also universal. Everyone has had a job, and most of us have had boring jobs. The museum guard is unique because he has a boring job in a beautiful environment.”

A company that exists and creates original work in Providence, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and Juneau, Alaska, Strange Attractor began developing Enlightenment on E Floor North in throughout 2013 with residencies at the Armory for the Arts in Pawtucket, RI; SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME; the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training in Philadelphia; and most recently a tour throughout Southeast Alaska developing and presenting the show in Sitka, Juneau, Tenakee Springs, and Haines, AK.

“By creating one show in multiple cities our work not only connects with a broader spectrum of Americans, but our company members each spend significant time in each other’s communities,” said Alaskan company member Roblin Gray Davis. “Strange Attractor has come to my home in Southeast Alaska three times now. Bringing my fellow artists to Juneau has enriched my life, the work of our company, and the Juneau arts community.”

The four­person company is joined for Enlightenment by Kamili Feelings. A native of Philadelphia, Feelings met the four members while they were all studying Lecoq­based theatre creation at the London International School of Performing Arts. After graduation, Strange Attractor was formed, but the members all kept in touch with Feelings.

“I always knew I would work with Kamili again,” said Hancock­Brainerd. “When we decided to work on our security guard play it seemed like the perfect project to invite him to. He not only brings experience as a playwright and deviser, but he has a playful gravity that is exactly right for the universe we are building.”
Enlightenment is Strange Attractor’s fifth show and continues their tradition of an outlandish and physically­based performance style. The company relishes in the absurdity of life’s small moments and creates tension by observing and exploding the most basic human interactions and characteristics. Enlightenment follows four museum guards on a typical day, revealing the mundane reality of what guards do and the fantastical internal life into which they escape. Power struggles, free food, utter boredom, sexual tension, micro­managing, and all the other highs and lows of jobs ­­ not careers ­­ are celebrated throughout the 75­minute show.

Strange Attractor created Enlightenment by observing guards in museums, interviewing former and current museum guards, and mining their own life experiences and feelings on work and jobs in America. Over time they turned these observations into scenes and linked the scenes into a play.

“Bringing Enlightenment on E Floor North to the FringeArts this year feels right,” says Philadelphia member Aram Aghazarian. “I loved having these guys in Philly in April at the Pig Iron School. We come from the same training that Pig Iron is teaching, and so we got to soak up some of a familiar energy just from working in the same space.”

For the FringeArts Festival Strange Attractor will be performing in the same building as the Pig Iron School in the White Space at Crane Old School.

“Because it’s about museum guards,” says Providence member Rebecca Noon, “as we built the show we looked for spaces that evoked an empty gallery. In the theatre world we are confronted with the black box, but in the art world it’s the white cube. As we geared up for the festival we wondered how we could elegantly turn a black box into a white cube. When we found the White Space while rehearsing at the Pig Iron School in April, we realized we didn’t have to.”

The Crane Old School building where Strange Attractor is performing will be a hotbed of new performance during the festival. Philadelphia­favorites of the avant­garde, No Face Performance Group will be performing their show, spaceplay in the same building in Pig Iron’s downstairs space. In an effort to cross­pollinate, No Face and Strange Attractor have coordinated their performance times so that theatre­goers are encouraged to see Enlightenment and spaceplay in one day.

Strange Attractor builds original, inviting and unexpected performance with, for, and in the three distinct communities in which they live: Providence, Philadelphia, and Juneau. Drawing from their shared training at the London International School of Performing Arts,they challenge the popular conception of theatre while engaging new audiences with original, high­caliber, physically devised work. Since forming in 2010 Strange Attractor has created five full­length shows: 2010’s F.orward O.perating B.ase, a quick­change comedy about war and torture created and performed in Juneau for the Perseverance Second Stage; 2010’s Special Happy, an absurdist birthday party thrown for the entire audience created and performed in Providence, RI for Perishable Theatre and the Wilbury Group; 2011’s If You Shoot A Boot You Might Get Wet, which follows the lives of two insufferable eccentrics living in a house of suitcases and was created and performed in Providence as a co­production with Spanish company Rompecabezas; A Terrific Fire, an environmental immersive performance, part haunted house, part adventure novel, based on Ibsen’s Brand, developed with Juneau’s Perseverance Theatre, Providence’s 95 Empire and Perishable Theatre; and Enlightenment on E Floor North, an investigation into invisible American workers through the lens of the museum security guard, developed in Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and Southeast Alaska throughout 2013.

by Strange Attractor Theatre at the White Space at Crane Old School 1417 North Second St in Philadelphia
Tickets are $15/$10 for students and museum security guards

Saturday September 7, 2013 / 8:00pm
Sunday September 8, 2013 / 5:00pm
Monday September 9, 2013 / 9:00pm
Wednesday September 11, 2013 / 6:00pm
Thursday September 12, 2013 / 8:00pm
Friday September 13, 2013 / 9:30pm
Saturday September 14, 2013 / 6:00pm
Monday September 16, 2013 / 9:00pm
Tuesday September 17, 2013 / 6:00pm
Wednesday September 18, 2013 / 8:00pm

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John Luther Adams: Canticles of the Holy Wind

  • Sunday, September 15, 2013 @ 4pm
  • The Icebox
  • Tickets Are Required (See Link Below)

Presented by New Music at Crane Arts in conjunction with the Crossing Choir

American premiere


A major work from the composer The New Yorker calls “one of the most original thinkers of the new century,” Canticles of the Holy Wind is a multi-movement, concert-length work of breadth and depth. Co-commissioned by The Crossing and the Latvian choir Kamer, the work was acoustically designed for a space like Crane’s Icebox, “an ideal tabula rasa for such ambitious collaborations.” (Philadelphia Inquirer) The work expands The Crossing’s body of projects that attempt bridges between nature and ourselves. In John Luther Adams’ words, “My life’s work began with birds…”

Link for details and tickets:

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