upcoming and past talks

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on upcoming and past talks

This is Matthew Callinan. Matthew is the Exhibitions Coordinator at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery.

Photo credit Steve Magnotta, 2010.

Matthew will be taking part in NEXT: Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art’s Converge Chicago: Contemporary Curators Forum on Sunday, May 1 at Art Chicago|NEXT Talk Shop 12th Floor. The panel in which he is participating is entitled “Trans American Connections” and will be moderated by People’s Biennial Co-Curator Jens Hoffman.

Matthew will join other People’s Biennial host institution representatives from the four other People’s Biennial locales to discuss the process of shaping the Biennial through research and curation that looks outside the realm of MFAs and commercial art.

For more information on this panel or other panels in CONVERGE, click here.

Produced by MMPI, which puts on  Armory Arts Week, Art Chicago, Art Toronto, and Volta, NEXT showcases what is, well, next for the world of artistic and cultural ingenuity.

For the first time ever, NEXT will share floorspace with Art Chicago, creating a unified centerpiece for Artropolis, Chicago’s Celebration of Art and Culture, and capturing the attention of the contemporary art world from April 29-May 2.

Best of luck Matthew, as you prepare for your trip to Chicago.

In other exciting news, Laura Deutch, one of our local People’s Biennial artists, returned to her undergraduate alma mater Ithaca College to partipate in FLEFF, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. FLEFF focuses on sustainability from both local and global perspectives. FLEFF tackles issues of including war, health, genocide, the land, water, air, food, education, technology, cultural heritage, and diversity.

Laura’s project Messages in Motion engages Philadelphia communities, facilitating the exploration of social issues through the exploration of self. Essentially, MIM “works with neighborhood programs and community-based organizations to produce, distribute and exhibit short form documentary videos as a way to support and enhance existing community organizing work.”

Laura was a New Media guest at FLEFF and gave a presentation on her work and then spent the week there interacting with Ithaca students. According to this blog post from the FLEFF blog, it sounds like she was quite a hit-not to mention downright “inspirational”! Congrats, Laura!

In August, Laura and Messages in Motion will also have a residency with SECCA (the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art) in conjunction with the People’s Biennial.

a media swarm for our local artists

Posted: April 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on a media swarm for our local artists

Haverford artists featured in the Biennial are popping up all over the media!

Jorge Figueroa. Untitled. 2007.

Cura, an Italian based contemporary art magazine, recently did a feature on the Biennial in their Winter 2011 issue, showcasing Alan Masey’s Line Composition Series (2010. Mixed materials. 10 x 6 cm.), an image of Robert Smith-Shabazz holding his work during Harrell’s visit to Haverford, and two photographs by Jorge Figueroa, including this untitled black & white silver gelatin print from 2000.

Alan Massey’s Line Composition Series popped up again in Flash Art’s January/February 2011 issue which included Alexander Ferrando’s interview with Harrell and Jens. (see below for an image of Line Composition Series)

Alan Massey. Line Composition Series. 2010.

Art Papers‘ January/February 2011 issue featured an article by Katherine Bovee on the Biennial, including photographs of the installation in Portland. Bovee noted that Haverford local artist Laura Deutch’s Messages in Motion and Jorge Figueroa’s photography were among “the richest work in the exhibition.”

And a special congratulations to Jorge Figueroa, whose work has been chosen to be featured in the People’s Gallery in San Francisco, and to Haverford area artists Cymantha  Diaz Liakos and Robert Smith-Shabazz who will have special appearances at the People’s Gallery!

You’re officially informed about all the Biennial buzz for the moment, and goodness what a buzz it is!

P.S. Be on the lookout for an upcoming post about an upcoming talk about the Biennial that will be hosted by iCI in Chicago as well as a post on Alan Massey’s Line Composition Series!

Michael Patterson-Carver

Posted: February 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Michael Patterson-Carver

David has left you, Rachel has left you, and you are left with me, Aubree Penney, Haverford sophomore, soon to be Religion and English double major, and art enthusiast, here to keep you updated about the People’s Biennial!

Portland native Michael Patterson-Carver marries political activism with his art. Harrell Fletcher, one of the curators of the People’s Biennial, discovered Patterson-Carver selling his artwork outside of a Trader Joe’s in Portland.

It’s a Cinderella story of sorts, with Patterson-Carver going from living in a tent to having his artwork shown in New York and London galleries. For more on Patterson-Carver’s story, check out “An artist, discovered” by Su-jin Yim from the August 16, 2007 issue of  the Oregonian.

As the call went out for submissions to the People’s Biennial, Patterson-Carver’s work was featured as being representative of the kind of work co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman might select for the People’s Biennial. The piece used was his Waiting for Obama.

Michael Patterson-Carver's Waiting for Obama, 2008.

Featuring people of different races and genders, Patterson-Carver emphasizes the shared experience of awaiting Obama through the similarity of each person’s stance and their dress, which only varies slightly between pants, skirts, and shirts with or without zippers. It has a decidedly global perspective rather than patriotic perspective, suggesting a pressing universal need for Obama’s presidency as “the world is waiting.” Patterson-Carver’s figures identify a distinctive “other” which must be prosecuted, namely the “Bushies” and the “fascists.”

His work is also included in Sex Drive, the current show here at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Curated by Stuart Horodner, Sex Drive features Patterson-Carver’s “Same Sex Marriage 2” on the front wall, making it a part of viewer’s initial and concluding experiences of sex as they go through the show.

Michael Patterson-Carver's Same-Sex Marriage 2, 2007.

One of the few pieces of the show that directly confronts the political sphere’s relation to sex, Patterson-Carver’s piece aligns the “pursuit of happiness” with marriage, depicting numerous happy people in couples, based on the figures’ body language. Less graphic than many of the images of Sex Drive, Same-Sex Marriage 2 provides an opportunity to consider sex intellectually and politically, rather than evoking a more visceral reaction.

In his work Patterson-Carver continually confronts us with our own textual fascination, that at times even image falls short of the power of words as we find ourselves drawn to the text on the signs. He also calls into question the idea of presence-in both Waiting for Obama and Same-Sex Marriage 2 there seem to be an excess of signs, but no more people beyond the second row of figures. The protest extends beyond the group gathered; it is representative of a larger unseen body which too demands those rights though these people themselves are unseen.

Personally, what I find most fascinating about Patterson-Carver’s work is his insistence that his figures smile. Su-jin Yim quoted Patterson-Carver in the August 16, 2007 issue of the Oregonian saying, “The protesters smile…because they know they will succeed.” It is a joyful protest, a celebration of an impending certain victory, no matter if it might occur in the next year, as with Waiting for Obama, or in years to come, as with Same-Sex Marriage 2.

Jorge Figueroa

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Jorge Figueroa

We met Jorge through Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. They had a number of his photographs on display and, upon seeing them, we knew we had to get in touch with him. Jorge wound up bringing his work to the open call in Philadelphia. Speaking about his work, Jorge explained, “I document visual moments of humanity, particularly of people whose lives would otherwise be bypassed by art and history. I study people.” The resulting photos are intimate scenes of everyday life made timeless by Jorge’s black and white images.

Photo credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Robert Smith-Shabazz

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Robert Smith-Shabazz

Robert Smith Shabazz – During our visit with Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas, Melissa Yarborough, the Program Manager told us about Robert Smith-Shabazz’s Wood & Music Lab down the street. We made a stop on our way to the next site. Robert is a jazz musician and artist. He makes painted wood-carvings of photographs and magazine clips. He showed us around his studio and performed a few pieces with Melissa from Raíces. We even joined in on the jam session! Here he is with his carving of the Obamas.


Photo Credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Laura Deutch – Messages in Motion

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , | Comments Off on Laura Deutch – Messages in Motion

I met Laura about a month before the curatorial visit. I was riding my bike through the Italian market in search of some good coffee when I came upon a brightly-painted van with the moniker “Messages in Motion” on the side. Curious, I stopped to investigate. Laura had transformed an old van into a mobile media center. She uses the van to create short documentaries about different people and communities throughout the country. “Messages in Motion” is a project that “works with neighborhood programs and community-based organizations to produce, distribute and exhibit short form documentary videos as a way to support and enhance existing community organizing work.” Some of her videos will be shown in the final show.


Decisions are in!! Looking forward to the PEOPLE’S BIENNIAL!

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Decisions are in!! Looking forward to the PEOPLE’S BIENNIAL!

So it’s been a few weeks since Harrell left. He has been working tirelessly with co-curator Jens Hoffman and the members of Independent Curators International to process the immense amount of work they viewed in the Haverford area. The selections were difficult – certainly a lot of work we loved will not be in this show – the curators had to consider how the work from Philadelphia would hang with the art selected from the four other cities. But the votes are in. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the People’s Biennial!

Photo credit: Steve Magnotta, Intrigue Photography

Hairell’s hair conquered by Julius Scissor

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Hairell’s hair conquered by Julius Scissor

Hairell Fletcher cuts his own hair. makes sense, Hairell seems like a DIY kind of guy. he says he looks in the mirror, uses scissors. rather brave, if you ask me. for the last visit of Hairell’s stay in Philadelphia, we took him to see Julius Scissor. Julius is a hair stylist/sculptor/inventor/poet with a storefront downtown on Locust. he cut Hairell’s hair, told us stories about fist-fighting with priests as a kid, and toured us around his hair studio to the delight of all. I think he may have even converted Hairell to barber-ism… Read the rest of this entry »

I want my Mummers

Posted: August 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , | Comments Off on I want my Mummers

I knew next to nothing about the Mummers Parade before Friday. I was vaguely aware that there was a tradition, that it was referred to as the “Mummers,” but I had no idea what it looked or sounded like.  I got an education when we stopped at the Mummers Museum on two street in South Philly Friday morning. the museum, a true relic of  the 70s, is full of great interactive media and elaborate, informative displays. Read the rest of this entry »

open call report

Posted: August 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Latest | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on open call report

on Thursday we held two open call events, one at Haverford College in the morning and another at the Friends Center in Philadelphia later in the afternoon. I was nervous again about the potential for a poor turnout, but my worries were soon assuaged as the drawings, paintings, sculptures, etc. came pouring in. we set up tables around each space, instructed artists to display their work and talk about it for 5-10 minutes. we moved as a unit about the tables with Harrell, Renaud, and Matthew in the lead (in the picture they are the three guys closest to the table). here we are enjoying a video made by local artist Maiza Hixon at the Friends Center. Read the rest of this entry »

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