“We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time” by Sarah Kaizar.
Local artist and Tyler School of Art grad Sarah Kaizar is showing her latest works in a solo exhibit called “Mars Show,” open now through November 30th at 3rd Street Gallery. We chatted with her about the show’s subject—mental health care and the Mars rover experiments—and its signature piece, “We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time” (above).
How and when did you create “We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time”? I’ve been working on this project on and off since August 2013. This piece is drawn with a mix of materials (pencil, ink, paint, tape, chalk, conté crayon, powdered graphite … ) on layers of vellum and acrylic resin. I have never worked this way before, so the drawing had a few false starts; you can actually see that process in the piece because of the translucency of the materials.
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Tomorrow is First Friday, which means the art world of Old City opens its doors to the public for a night of gallery-hopping and exhibit receptions. This week a few other neighborhoods get in on the action, too. Without further ado, our guide to October First Friday in Philadelphia:
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Our guide to what’s worth browsing this First Friday.
Philly-based fiber artist Melissa Maddonni Haims will show off some of her largest installations in her newest exhibition this Friday at the Painted Bride Art Center. Haims uses recycled textiles to create soft sculpture, knit graffiti, and large-scale knit and crocheted installations. "in retrospect" includes work from the last decade of Haims' life, inspired largely by a whirlwind of tragedy and life changes that she has faced. June 6th, 5-7 p.m., Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.
Corner Store, a collaborative exhibition between Asian Arts Initiative and artists Ernel Martinez and Keir Johnston, explores intersections (both psychological and sociological) existing between the Black and Asian communities in Philadelphia - all based upon which side of the counter one stands. The range of artwork featured in the gallery, which includes mixed-media photographs, video, and collage, will examine the relationships and cultural barriers of the two communities. June 6th, 6 p.m., Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street.
Award-winning Philadelphia based artist and writer, Rex Sexton, will be featured at 3rd Street Gallery this Friday. Sexton's works are dreamlike and filled with emotion, and his newest exhibition is no exception. "Meltdown" focuses on the struggles of the last few decades, the feelings of angst behind conflict and hostility, while also capturing the hope of better times to come. June 6th, 5-9 p.m., 3rd Street Gallery, 45 N. 2nd Street.
Curator Danielle Palencar uses the #phillytype hashtag on Instagram to find the best representations of typography and signage, shot by Philadelphia photographers, designers, architects, and more. Ranging from the 18th century to today, the project seeks to preserve Philadelphia's history while highlighting its constantly shifting urban landscape. From engravings, to neon, to ink on paper - the work is as vibrant and diverse as our city. June 6th, 6-9 p.m., AIGA Philadelphia Space, 72 N. 2nd Street.
Muse Gallery features Gladwyne resident and artist Joan McNamara's newest exhibition, "Coming up for Air." In her collection of paintings, McNamara uses quick lines and bold strokes of color to define space, and the repetition and manipulation of planes, lines, and circles to create her unique work. In her nature-like journey through sea and sky, familiar landscapes are explored with new affinity. June 6th, 5-7 p.m., Muse Gallery, 52 N. 2nd Street.
110 CHURCH Gallery hosts "soundings," a collaborative exhibition featuring drawings by Stella Untalan, an installation by sculptor Amy Ralston, and sound by Lesley Tao Mowat. Ralston and Mowat's contributions are both in response to several drawings by Untalan, whose minimalist works were the inspiration for the exhibition. June 6th, 5-8 p.m., 110 CHURCH Gallery, 110 Church Street.
Pickles. Pizza. Fishtown. First Friday.
Really, that’s all I got. You kinda have to check out the press release for yourself. It’s…unique.
Gary Ducket [Official–for lack of a better word]
Our guide to what’s worth browsing during the year’s first First Friday of spring:
Philly-based artist and writer Natalie Hope McDonald gets her first solo show this (and next) First Friday. McDonald uses mixed media to explore memory, music, and street art in her series of collaged canvases. Her pieces operate on a variety of (literal and figurative) planes, using layers of paint and other media to multiply and divide meaning, rendered in bold colors and cryptic messages. 5-9 p.m., Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, 142 North 2nd Street.
On display at Metropolitan Gallery 250 is NoLibs-based artist Sarah Coote's solo show. Examining the relationship between spectacle/spectator and tradition and modernity, Coote creates an exciting portrait of the digital age. Coote draws from event photography to re-create gatherings as a look into class structure and human interaction. 6-8 p.m., Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 South 18th Street
Philly-born and PAFA-trained artist Timmy Graham debuts his first solo show, displaying his contributions to "Fourth Dimensionalism." On display are 13 of Graham's outsized, mathematically inspired pieces, which feature complex abstract patterns. 6-8 p.m., Leonard Pearlstein Gallery URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert Street.
Even if your daffodils are barely asprout yet, PAFA has spring on full display in its three-day exhibition of gardens and floral design. Fifteen garden clubs and 45 national floral designers come together to re-interpret rare masterpieces from PAFA's collection in gorgeous flora. British floral designers Neil Whittaker and Wendy Andrade will host presentations and workshops. Call for times, $20, Historic Landmark Building, 118 North Broad Street.
Celebrate the Art Dept.'s first birthday this First Friday with a new exhibition by Katherine Pulido, "Sometimes Words Fail." The University of the Arts alum's series highlights communication in human relationships through poignant character drawings. The reception/b-day party will feature Narragansett Beer and bites from Food and Ferments. 6-9 p.m., The Art Dept, 1638 East Berks Street.
Old City's Clay Studio celebrates its 40th year at the wheel with its newest exhibition. Recently on display in Milwaukee as part of the annual NCECA conference, the exhibition, which features pieces from over three dozen artists, comes to Philadelphia for First Friday. Call for times, The Clay Studio, 137 North 2nd Street.
Keith R. Breitfeller and Brian David Dennis play with the theme of suspended animation within the intimate space of 110 Church's gallery space. The collaborative exhibition will show Breitfeller's colorful, heavily textured oil paintings and Dennis's playful installation featuring paper-splashed miniature ladders. Call for times, 110 Church, 110 Church Street
Fishtown art collective Art Machine gears up for a First Friday evening to benefit local tattoo artist Gia Rose and her fight against cervical cancer. The Bottle Bar East show will feature works donated from local artists that will be auctioned off the next day. All proceeds go to Rose's treatment. 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 5th, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Bottle Bar East, 1308 Frankford Avenue.
Looking for other weekend events? We’re keeping a list of the best to-dos on our Philadelphia Event Listings page. Check it out for a rundown of events through June.