Monday, November 21, 2016

The Building Blocks of Nature

Please click on image to enlarge

The Building Blocks of Nature was the result of a residency I completed at Arch Bishop Ryan High School through the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Delphi Arts Futures Program.   The multimedia project resulted in an installation of approximately 50 cubes made by the students.  Each cube contains patterns found in nature that were created by a variety of printmaking techniques.  Aside from studying such patterns and learning an assortment of hand transfer printing techniques (these are techniques that do not require an etching press), students were inspired by works from the museum's collection through several visits led by museum staff members.  Stacking the cubes represents how each species is unique but is also interconnected with other life forms. 

At the time, I did not know I would be relocating so I will take a moment to express how very rewarding it has been to work with the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Delphi Art Futures Program, which I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of for the past five years.  As you scroll down this blog, you will see other projects created though this valuable program. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Unity Art Project

Those of you who have followed my work over the years may recognize this motif. The various color circles represent the human race.  My feeling is that one of the best ways that we have to promote unity and peace is through art.  So I am reintroducing this motif during this time to emphasize this....we are ALL an important part of the human race and need each other.  

I urge anyone reading this to grab a piece of paper and a pencil, crayon, or whatever, and draw your own version of Unity.   Share it through social media or wherever you can.  Remember....A picture is worth a thousand words. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Cultural Landscape ~ The Humble TV Antennae as a Symbol of the Past

Rooftops, Circa mid 1990s
Recently I was asked to present a history of my artwork to the high school students where I will be in residence this winter through the Philadelphia Museum's Delphi Art Futures Program.  Like many artists who have made art over a period of years,  a variety of personal symbols develops and becomes a type of trademark in that artist's work. It often takes awhile to figure out why these symbols keep creeping least it did for me.

As a city dweller, I have frequently relied on public transportation; in particular, the Frankford El. (Here I must make reference to an old song titled You Can't Get To Heaven on the Frankford El)   Anyway, having spent many hours on the El gazing out the window, the images of city rooftops left an imprint on my subconscious.   As a result, works seldom looked finished to me without a TV antennae placed somewhere in the image.
Tuxedo, circa mid 1990s

When I presented this work to the students, I asked if they noticed anything. When pointing to the TV antennae as something present in most of the work, they would refer to it as "that thing with the lines going across".  Most of the students had no idea what a TV antennae was, which made sense for two reasons. One, these students grew up in the age of cable and satellite TV. In addition, since the high school I was at is on the edge of the city in a more suburban type setting, the urban landscape of last century was not familiar to them.

It then dawned on me how artwork does mirror the time in which it is made, and therefore, documents how society lived during a certain era. Years from now, if any of my work is still floating around, the main relevance of it may be the presence of the humble and once ubiquitous TV antennae as a symbol of what we did in our spare time in the mid to late 20th century.

To hear You Can't Get To Heaven on the Frankford El, click here 

Urban Renewal, Circa mid 1990s

By the Canal, circa mid 1990s

Trinity, Circa mid 1990s