• Philadelphia Photo Arts
  • Tues–Thurs 9:30am-9:30pm / Fri–Sat 9:30am-6pm / Sun 10am-4pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is pleased to announce Cast, a group exhibition featuring the work of Dru Donovan, Amy Elkins, Tarrah Krajnak, Laurel Nakadate and Pinar Yolacan.  Using the human body and variations of historic and commercial conventions of portraiture, these artists challenge the conceptual constraints of how a portrait functions while addressing issues regarding authorship and control, as well as our stereotypes and perceived senses of beauty.

Dru Donovan presents an investigation of mourning in her book, Lifting Water. The tableaus explore the rituals of caregiving while shifting perspectives between the caregiver and the cared for. Donovan focuses on the psychological weight of physical proximity alongside emotional isolation.

Black is the Day, Black is the Night by Amy Elkins is a conceptual project surrounding the correspondence between several men serving Life and Death Row sentences throughout the United States and the artist. The text pieces, digital composites, appropriated images and portraits are constructed or digitally manipulated through formulas specific to each inmates shared story. The works are inspired by an evolving relationship; as pen pals, confessionals, strangers and comrades. In another regard, the works are meant to bring light to our nations prison systems and use of capitol punishment.

Tarrah Kranjak’s South Sound was made during the winter of 2013 while the artist was living & working out of a small family cabin on the Puget Sound. Using the library and collections of photographs contained within the cabin as a spine, Kranjak juxtaposes image and book covers which are meant to be suggestive rather than expository, relying on the formal & material qualities of the objects within them, as well as their mysterious textual & photographic contents, in order to elicit responses in the viewer that range from synthetic story-making to mute, impassable aporia. But the idea was never to narrate the story of my family using photographs and books – it was more about the way we felt at the cabin, about what Tarrah was able to do with the materials she had at hand, the results of an alchemical experiment she ran in my grandfather’s strange laboratory.

For her “Lucky Tiger” series, Laurel Nakadate took photos of herself in pinup poses, then hired men on Craigslist to look them over with ink-stained fingers and exhibited them with the salacious smudges of her observers. The series touches on voyeurism, loneliness, the manipulative power of the camera, and the urge to connect with others, through, within, and apart from technology and the media.

In Pinar Yolacan’s series Mother Goddess, the artist turned her attention to bodies, in particular those belonging to the Anatolian women of her own ancestry, whose voluptuous shapes are immortalized in pre-neolithic sculptures of Mesopotamia, such as Mother Goddess figurines and other fertility idols. Yolaçan roamed the Turkish countryside for subjects whose body types fit this timeless mold, costumed them in masked, custom-fitted, head-to-toe catsuits, and shot them reclining in classical poses on vivid color fields. The resulting images allude as much to art history and visual anthropology as to contemporary club and fetish subcultures and to the luxury industry. Perverse but dignified, Yolaçan’s brand of objectification is one that Leigh Bowery might have enjoyed.

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.

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InLiquid presents, Linda Celestian: Overflowing

  • March 13 – April 27, 2014
  • Second Thursday receptions: March 13 and April 10, 6 - 9pm
  • The Hall
  • Wed-Sat 12pm-6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

InLiquid presents Overflowing, a solo installation by Linda Celestian. This exhibition is a collection of Linda Celestian’s paintings and sculptures that use nature as a metaphor for the emotional dynamics of life. Working in partnership with the laws of nature, she exploits natural markings to depict beauty and power.

Linda Celestian is a Delaware based artist who has a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design and has received multiple awards from the Delaware Division of the Arts. She has been in numerous solo and group shows at venues such as the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Independence Seaport Museum, LGTripp Gallery, and GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. Her work acknowledges her love of nature and her childhood spent immersed in it. Celestian views nature as a metaphor for human experiences and emotional states of being. Her paintings and sculptures imitate the organic flow of nature and natural formations, drawing inspiration from aerial photography, the ocean, lakes of her childhood, and the creek in her neighborhood.

Celestian writes about her art:
“I’m in partnership with the laws of nature. I allow the paint to run and puddle forming river like patterns that emulate the earth’s surface. The correlation between these imaginary waterways and our own circulatory system illustrates the connection between earth and mankind.”

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“Onè… Respè!”: Art from Haiti

  • Thursday, March 27 to Saturday, May 31, 2014
  • Second Thursday Receptions: 
April 10 & May 8 from 6 to 9pm
  • Indigo Arts
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6:00 pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

The show is named for the traditional Haitian Kreyol call and response greeting. “Onè!” – “honor” calls the greeter. The response is “Respè!” – “respect”. The exchange captures the essence of Haitian culture.

In twenty-six years of exhibiting Haitian art in Philadelphia we have often featured what is unusual or even exotic in its art and culture. Previous shows have drawn attention to the visionary, the imaginative, and the spiritual – particularly relating to the vodou religion. Since the 2010 earthquake much of the coverage of Haiti has stressed the suffering, the survival and above all the resilience of the Haitian people. Those remain valid aspects of the Haitian experience. But they are incomplete. They omit the values of honor and respect that are essential to Haitian culture.

On a recent visit to Haiti I was struck by both the damage wrought by the earthquake, much of which is still readily visible, but also by the extent to which the country is up and running, and moving on. The artists we met were happy to see visitors – our group of twenty-five museum curators, gallerists and Haitian art devotees. The ministry of tourism told us that ours was the first “non-humanitarian” group to visit Haiti since the earthquake – four years ago! It was clear that the artists were like artists everywhere – intent on doing their work, showing it and gaining the respect that is their due.

“Onè… Respè!” is a selection of the work being created in Haiti today, in painting, sculpture, textile arts and some work that falls in between. These include sculptures and mixed media paintings constructed from aluminum pots and pans, steel drum metal, wire, plastic dolls and other found materials by Jacques Eugene, Aristilde Michelet and Davidson and Kesnard Thermidor. From the warren of shacks and alleys behind the collapsed buildings of the Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince’s old commercial thoroughfare, come intense, obsessive ball-point pen drawings by Guyodo, and the fanciful, mixed-media paintings by the young artists of the Timoun Rezistans and Timoun Klere collectives. Recent drapo vodou (“voodoo flags”) include intricately beaded tapestries by Roudy Azor and Mireille Delice, as well as more traditional flags by Maxon Scylla, Yves Telemak and Georges Valris.

Current painters include Reynald Joseph, Magda Magloire, Richard Nesly, Onel, Payas and the venerable Gerard Fortuné. The exhibit also includes work by Haitian masters of the last fifty years, such as painters Montas Antoine, Wilmino Domond, G. E. Ducasse, Alexandre Gregoire, Gabriel Leveque, Stivenson Magloire, Dieuseul Paul, Prospere Pierre-Louis, Louisiane St. Fleurant and Pierre-Joseph Valcin.

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Queensland College of Art, Cast By The Sun: A Prelude

  • April 10th - June 30th 2014
  • Second Thursday Reception: April 10th, 6 - 9pm
  • Gallery 105
  • Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Cast By The Sun ruptures the artificial veneer of trouble-free tropical perfection to look at its darker underside. The exhibition investigates the role of place in artistic practice, as established Australian photographic artists Ray Cook, Martin Smith, Bruce Reynolds and Amy Carkeek present new work curated by Jay Younger.

Younger traces the centrality of place in each of the artists’ works and suggests that the Brisbane imaginary internalized a certain critically brought about by a repressive government. “This was then coupled with a drive for independence from government cultural control,” she explains. As a young man arriving in Brisbane—already gay-identified and yet to become an artist— Ray Cook found himself in a circumstance that was openly hostile to both. “He survived by going underground into the darkened recess of his studio where ‘the outsider’ could be seen in a new light—that of his own imagination,” she continues.“It is a place where Ray and his friends could be who they wanted to be in their own side show, safe from the ugly realities of Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland.” Martin Smith’s work, she says, is always questioning authority and the norms expected of us, which has resulted in a distinctly ‘Brisbane’ pleasure in failing to confirm. “In his photographic works, Smith always combines text and image; the relatively banal or suburban image is incised with a story, which thereby destroys, or at least disrupts, the ‘window to the world’ aspect of representational photography.” “His semi-autobiographic stories commence with an ordinary optimism and a hefty dollop of suburban idealism that things will unfold ‘nicely’ and ‘predictably’ – but instead the story takes a dark turn that ultimately perverts the suburban ‘happy families’ dream,” she explains. Similarly, place matters in Bruce Reynolds’ works—but not in the way of repression or corruption, backwardness or boredom. “For Bruce, places give rise to materials and observations of behavioral habits in construction and design that are specific to that time and place,” she says.“His overall commentary is about the absurdity of order and control and the beauty found in this absurdity.” Amy Carkeek’s works critique the bankruptcy of the real and look at the cracks in the veneer of consumer society to raise questions about the cost of our drives. On the one hand the phenomena Carkeek critiques is global, while her visual language combines a sparkling artificiality and perverse tactility. “In Untitled #3 the ambivalent synthesis of the disembodied wig and gooey tentacles dripping down the image indicates a distinctly abject and unsettling—even creepy—marriage.”

Cast By The Sun: A Prelude is the first of two exhibitions addressing the role of place in artistic practice. Jay Younger is an artist, curator and lecturer with over a thirty year history of practice. She is Associate Professor at the Queensland College of Art and the Convenor of the Photography program.

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Alexis Kurtzman: Auto-Erotic

  • April 10th - May 7th, 2014
  • Second Thursday Reception: April 10th, 6 - 9pm
  • The Archive Space
  • Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Alexis Kurtzman, Artist statement: I have a fascination with all elements pertaining to France: including interior design, history, and language. Most recently I discovered an unusual personal interest in antique French military weapons dating from the French Revolution to World War II. I have tried to develop a unique style that visually represents the passion and dedication I have for Parisian design. I best represent this with my hand drawn images that I combine with found imagery from old, practically forgotten library books.

A majority of my prints are extremely process-oriented. These elaborate and complicated prints come to fruition through specific sets of pre-planned steps, but I also embrace mistakes that inevitably occur throughout the physical process of creating my hand pulled prints. I find that the mistakes and errors along the way enable my prints to become even more exciting and dynamic. My goal is to combine two seemingly unrelated ideas in French art and history, in a way that presents a new aesthetic value and union. French interior design, from the Baroque and Rococo periods of French history, is extremely opulent and ornate; this very similar to the style of weaponry manufactured during the same time period. I use weaponry as a representation of patterning and design to connect these two concepts.

Lithographs, etchings, screen-prints, and polymer plates are some of the processes I have worked with. I would like the viewers of my work to be overcome by the amount of detail in each print. A majority of my work has very decorative aspects and reflects my interests in all things French. These prints are my response to the impact that France had, and continues to have on art, history, and culture.

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Four Over Four – A Student Photography Exhibition

  • April 29th - May 3rd, 2014
  • Reception: Thursday May 1st, 2014 from 6-9pm
  • Icebox Project Space
  • Free & Open To The Public

Four over Four is a student run senior photography exhibition displaying work from The University of the Arts.

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