Philadelphia Open Studio Tourist

 

Work by Michele C. Kishita. Photo by Katie Whittaker.

Work by Michele C. Kishita. Photo by Katie Whittaker.

As a newcomer to the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, I found myself profoundly thankful for the precious POST – Made in Philly booklet I had picked up early on Sunday, October 6. Before arriving to Center City, I had a vague idea of what I was looking for – a gallery here and there on North 2nd Street, some studios in Kensington – but I was woefully aware of my lack of organization. Thankfully, the book equipped me with maps, artist names, and short descriptions that made my first POST weekend infinitely more enjoyable.

I began my tour at Studios at 915 on Spring Garden Street. 32 artists opened their doors to welcome wandering visitors, and the incredible variety amongst the studios made it a notable stop. On the fifth floor, I met Michele C. Kishita, an InLiquid artist whose work instantly became one of my favorites. The effect of the color on bare wood, coupled with the paint drip and the precision of all of the lines, straight and curved, was strongly reminiscent of nature. The fourth floor had even more variety, including Carol Cole’s recycled sculptures, William Kosman’s gorgeous and story-riddled paintings from New York, Philadelphia, and Normandy, and Dora Ficher, another InLiquid artist, whose abstract and colorful pieces utilize the encaustic method to its fullest potential.

Work by Carol Cole. Photo by Katie Whittaker.

Work by Carol Cole. Photo by Katie Whittaker.

I moved down the building to Sandra Hoffman’s studio. Her subtle landscapes were a refreshing take on a classic subject, and her neighbor, Rita Siemienski Smith, served as a polar opposite. There was yet another field of design in Andrea Mihalik’s Wild Chairy studio, featuring antiques with modern touches, such as a cushion with a design printed from a fellow Studio worker.

Even though I could have spent (and very nearly did spend) the rest of my time meandering the halls between studios, I knew that there were other galleries worth exploring, so I made the walk to Old City. I came across James Abbott’s gallery on Third Street, and marveled at the amazing photographs that James has taken, particularly of the Berlin Wall, a surprising commentary on the melding of the historical and the modern. Byron Wolfe’s work hung in the same gallery, inspiring the map-lover in me with works such as Yosemite in Time, where current photographs gave a modern landscape to the old pen-drawn maps.

I checked out prints at Silicon Gallery, investigated the philanthropic motives of AIGA’s design project, and marveled at the variety of projects represented in the 3rd Street Gallery (Rhea Dennis’ handmade paper and gouache projects were among my favorites). As the day progressed, I found more fellow tourists, obvious by their dependence on the POST books, intent on discovering what Philadelphia’s art scene has to offer. Luckily, there is another POST opportunity October 19-20, this time West of Broad Street.

Michael Marks

Michael Marks is largely a self-taught “amateur,” having never attempted to make a living from photography. That said, he…

Michael Marks is largely a self-taught “amateur,” having never attempted to make a living from photography. That said, he has taken some classes as electives in college, read a lot, self discovered a lot…

Michael Marks is largely a self-taught “amateur,” having never attempted to make a living from photography. That said, he has taken some classes as electives in college, read a lot, self discovered a lot more, made many great…

Ada Trillo

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection. Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico,…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection. Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico, she is deeply…

Nanci Hersh

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence…

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence of memory, time and place. The overarching theme of my work is a narrative…

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence of memory, time and place. The overarching theme of my work is a narrative drawn from personal…

Jenn Hallgren

Jenn is a painter! Mostly she's an oil painter, though she's been known to use just about any medium available at a given…

Jenn is a painter! Mostly she's an oil painter, though she's been known to use just about any medium available at a given moment.

She Loves to paint. It's pretty much all she wants to do.
Shes Loves…

Jenn is a painter! Mostly she's an oil painter, though she's been known to use just about any medium available at a given moment.

She Loves to paint. It's pretty much all she wants to do.
Shes Loves to paint the world…

Chris Curchin

My figurative work involves eyes, faces and figures decorated with dots of color in motifs of flower, rosette, teardrop,…

My figurative work involves eyes, faces and figures decorated with dots of color in motifs of flower, rosette, teardrop, scroll and leaf. For me, they express an allusion to mortality, matter and energy…

My figurative work involves eyes, faces and figures decorated with dots of color in motifs of flower, rosette, teardrop, scroll and leaf. For me, they express an allusion to mortality, matter and energy fields.…

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