Members Show Featured Artist: Matthew Artz

The first annual Members Show brings together three artist collectives from Crane Arts – InLiquid, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and Second State Press – to highlight the best work of their membership. Today’s Members Show featured artist is PPAC member Matthew Artz.

Do you have any exciting stories from your work as a freelance photographer?

Honestly, I loved photographing for this project, I found it to be exhilarating! Connecting with the people in these photographs and observing their various reactions while in front of the camera was invigorating. Besides this project, I love to photograph weddings, I look for gesture and dialogue, and the search for that in the scope of a wedding night is really fantastic.

Can you tell me more about your work in hotels, and how the stories of the people you’ve encountered have become a focus of your photography?

My job is to ensure my hotel is well-oiled, physically up-to-snuff, and safe. I manage the maintenance department.

I find interest and narratives in the everyday, so I realized much later than I should’ve that I should attempt to photograph MY everyday. My time in hotel work is full of history and beauty to be expressed. This includes minor drama, personal stories I’ve heard on the job, dealing with guests and situations, and the quirks of the building that I’ve been charged with maintaining. We hotel people are an idiosyncratic bunch! The portraits serve as memory to my experience, and they articulate my appreciation.

Do you have any especially memorable stories from this experience that you can share?

A very dear coworker, whom we had once nicknamed “Grams” and who was very energetic for her old age, suddenly declined and passed away recently. The last time I talked with her while she was working, I was able to get a portrait of her, and I’m very happy to have been given that moment!

What are you up to now, and what do you have in the work for the near future?

Currently, I’m still shooting for portraits and vignettes to include with this body of work. I also have a series of Holga images that I’ve been collecting that I’m in the process of printing. I have a new project idea that focuses on local fishermen and their stories that I’m looking forward to beginning very soon.

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Can you tell me a bit more about the piece you’ll have in the Members Show?

Angelique was a housekeeper at the Homewood Suites. I was excited to photograph her, she had a charisma that I really liked. When I spent time around her in attempts to get her picture, she was very interested in my camera and my processes and I was very happy to talk with her about it. She explained to me that she was working on an accounting degree at the time. I haven’t seen her since shortly after that time, she found a job working elsewhere.

What has your experience as a PPAC member been like so far?

I haven’t been a member with PPAC for very long, but I’m happy for the community of artists that the organization fosters. I participated as a teaching artist last October for Philly Photo Day, and also helped out when the opening for the exhibition came around. PPAC’s level of community involvement is exciting to me, and I hope to contribute and become a part of that!

What are you hoping audiences will take away from the collaborative Member Show?

I hope people can get a sense of the number of real artists that exist and are working, on multiple levels with different formats, approaches and mediums. These artists have many stories to share that are worth experiencing…

The Members Show runs August 3 – 24 at the Icebox Project Space at Crane Arts, 1400 N. American Street.

My artwork talks quietly about the underlying significance of the domestic sphere on artist production. It argues for the relevance of craft, specifically ceramics and fiber arts, by creating a conversation between the two mediums. Displaying a fascination with the way fiber marks clay, my ceramics exhibit just how subtle those marks can be.
Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson

My artwork talks quietly about the underlying significance of the domestic sphere on artist production. It argues for the…

My artwork talks quietly about the underlying significance of the domestic sphere on artist production. It argues for the relevance of craft, specifically ceramics and fiber arts, by creating a conversation…

My artwork talks quietly about the underlying significance of the domestic sphere on artist production. It argues for the relevance of craft, specifically ceramics and fiber arts, by creating a conversation between the two…

I am an abstract artist represented by BeatyAmerican in Olde Kensington, Philadelphia.  My paintings include a series of Arctic landscapes which are based on images of arctic glaciers, tundra, and sea ice mainly in Greenland and Iceland.  I have been selected as the featured artist for the BeatyAmerican new space with NEXTFAB at 1800 American Street, Philadelphia.  I am drawn to the elements of the Arctic sea, land, and sky and the interface among these bodies.  Decisions are made what features and elements will remain and what will be discarded, reflecting a rapidly changing landscape yet still beautiful.
I work with oil paint, wet on dry, on wood panels with cradled frames establishing texture and depth using brushes, palette knives, oil sticks, and oil pens.  Completed paintings are professionally framed and ready to hang.
Earlier work focused on urban landscapes, refineries, bridges, buildings, other structures, and geometric patterns of developed lands and built environments.
Karen Stabenow
Karen Stabenow

I am an abstract artist represented by BeatyAmerican in Olde Kensington, Philadelphia. My paintings include a series of…

I am an abstract artist represented by BeatyAmerican in Olde Kensington, Philadelphia. My paintings include a series of Arctic landscapes which are based on images of arctic glaciers, tundra, and sea…

I am an abstract artist represented by BeatyAmerican in Olde Kensington, Philadelphia. My paintings include a series of Arctic landscapes which are based on images of arctic glaciers, tundra, and sea ice mainly in Greenland…

Gerry Tuten’s paintings are deep encounters with the natural world. She paints woods, water, and sky with a physical vigor that reflects her spirited engagement with the environment and her urgent pursuit of personal expression.
Gerry Tuten
Gerry Tuten

Gerry Tuten’s paintings are deep encounters with the natural world. She paints woods, water, and sky with a physical vigor…

Gerry Tuten’s paintings are deep encounters with the natural world. She paints woods, water, and sky with a physical vigor that reflects her spirited engagement with the environment and her urgent pursuit…

Gerry Tuten’s paintings are deep encounters with the natural world. She paints woods, water, and sky with a physical vigor that reflects her spirited engagement with the environment and her urgent pursuit of personal expression.…

Linnie stumbled upon mixed media 8 years ago at local art workshop. Mainly self-taught, she considers herself a "naïve" or "outsider" artist.
Linnie Greenberg
Linnie Greenberg

Linnie stumbled upon mixed media 8 years ago at local art workshop. Mainly self-taught, she considers herself a "naïve" or…

Linnie stumbled upon mixed media 8 years ago at local art workshop. Mainly self-taught, she considers herself a "naïve" or "outsider" artist.…

Linnie stumbled upon mixed media 8 years ago at local art workshop. Mainly self-taught, she considers herself a "naïve" or "outsider" artist.…

Randall Cleaver
Randall Cleaver
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