The news earlier this year that venerable Sweet Briar College in Virginia was closing its doors despite a hundred years of history and an outstanding national reputation intensified shock waves already moving through the world of higher education. A senior vice president at Moody’s predicted more college closures to come, while the Department of Education announced it was monitoring 544 colleges and universities it considers to be on shaky financial ground. When the National Association of College Admissions Counselors in May released its annual tally of colleges that had yet to meet their enrollment targets for next fall, there were 18 Pennsylvania schools on the list. Seven of those were local: Cabrini College, Delaware Valley University, Eastern University, Gwynedd Mercy College, Holy Family University, St. Joseph’s University … and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Okay, most of those are small liberal arts colleges — the sorts of places that, like Sweet Briar, are most likely to be facing economic straits. But PAFA? That two-centuries-old art school-cum-museum housed in a wedding-cake Frank Furness palace at Broad and Cherry? The school at which such prominent artists as Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Wharton Esherick, Benjamin West, Alexander Stirling Calder and David Lynch studied and/or taught? How could easels at such a renowned institution be going unused? Read more »
The Historic Landmark Building at PAFA | Photo: GPTMC
If you happen to see scaffolding going up around the hallowed Historic Landmark Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, don’t fret. It’s all part of a summer-long restoration project to the building designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt in the late-1800s.
Juxtaposed with the gigantic glass and metal Pennsylvania Convention Center across Broad Street, the Victorian Gothic museum building is still a wonder to this very day. It will see a handful of skillful–and gentle–repairs, including the restoration of the slate and glass roof as well as its stone and brick exterior, according to a recent press release from PAFA. Scaffolding installation begins May 18 and should take seven to 10 days to complete. The cost of the project is “about $1.5 million,” says PAFA’s Heike Rass. Here’s more:
For the rest of the summer, work will include stone cleaning, mortar repair, new slate on the center roof, new gutter work, resetting and sealing skylights, and installation of heat tracers in the building’s rain gutters to prevent formation of icicles on the edge of the facade.
Best local April Fool’s joke yet? Street artist Kid Hazo has attached two big eyes and a mouth to the drop of paint that’s part of the gigantic Paint Torch sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and it kind of looks just like the poop emoji.
It’s not, though, at least I don’t think it is. He calls it I, and the materials are made and put together with of 1/2″ foamboard and M3 double-sided tape.
A new cafe is now open in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Tableau is run by Starr Restaurants Catering and is located inside the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building at 128 North Broad Street.
The menu is simple cafe fare–a variety of soups, sandwiches, salads and baked goods–and there’s also a full coffee bar serving La Colombe coffee. The place also has a liquor license, so it’s serving a selection of wine and beer, with special discounts for PAFA members.
Tableau opens at 8am, Monday through Friday, and at 11am on Saturdays and Sundays. Large paintings by PAFA student artists decorate the walls, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors allow for the cafe to be opened to the outside in warm weather–which, with any luck, we’ll be seeing soon.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts building (yes, that iconic Frank Furness designed structure on North Broad) now has a head-turning addition: a 16-foot sculpture called “Young Punch Juggling” by artist Robert Taplin.
According to NewsWorks‘ Peter Crimmins, the installation is “the second in an ongoing series of temporary sculptures” that will be situated on the iconic building’s façade. PAFA’s museum director says the sculpture, which shows Punch juggling objects from different time periods, was designed with the building in mind. From NewsWorks:
[Harry] Philbrick asked Talpin to create a sculpture that responds to the building. Famed architect Frank Furness designed it in 1875 as his own contemporary response to traditional: he made a steel-trussed building with a classic Gothic Revival façade, including a sculpture platform over the front door – a plinth.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) hosted its 16th annual Bacchanal Wine Gala and Auction on Saturday, November 8, 2014, to honor the passion and joie de vivre of Jean-Charles Boisset (JCB). Boisset was born in the village of Vougeot, France. His lifelong passion for wine began as a child growing up within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Château du clos de Vougeot. His family founded their winery in 1961.
Leading up to the gala, Boisset was wined and dined at private dinners throughout the week, and participated in two public events. Friday it was Baubles, Bubbly & Boisset at Joan Shepp, where guests were able to sip JCB’s favorite vintages while shopping and viewing Cameron Silver’s favorite vintage designer clothing. Saturday it was Boisset Bubbly Brunch Crawl with Rouge, a.kitchen and Library Bar at the Rittenhouse Hotel; guests enjoyed brunch and pairings at each stop.
Saturday night was the gala at PAFA. Kicking off the evening was a well-attended cocktail party where guests could enjoy tasty delights by Stephen Starr Events, and could bid on vintage bottles of spirits ranging from a signed Hennessey Cognac signed by Shepard Fairey ($40) to a One double Magnum Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 at $1,600. Dinner was prepared by Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table who served Roasted Pheasant for the main course. After dinner, Jean-Charles Boisset was presented the Thomas Jefferson Award and a delicious array of desserts were served.
On Saturday night, the William Way Community Center hosted its annual, oh-so-stylish fundraiser Indigo Ball at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). As always, it brought out Philly’s best-dressed LGBTers for a night of dancing, cocktailing and mingling. Philly photographer Sammy Munsch was in the house, and she was kind enough to share some of her best shots from the evening.
William Way Executive Director Christopher Bartlett and Philly AIDS Thrift and Giovanni's Room manager Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou.
Meg Rider and partner Natalie Hope McDonald.
Rudy Flesher (center) and Lascivious Jane (right) with friend.
Megan MacTurk, Kelly Burkhardt, Rada Yovovich, Dileimys Franco, Mary Pitek, Amber Hikes, Kaitlin Apostol
Steve Cisowski (far left) and Bill Chenevert (second from left) with friends.
Rue Landau and wife (left) with Elicia Gonzales and finacé Megan Hannah.
Garrett Olthuis and Sara Kelly
Kate Hinchey, Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal, Jason Goodman
Carrie Jacobs (speaking) and staff members from The Attic Youth Center
Judge Dan Anders (far left) Judge Ann Butchart, John Dougherty, guest, and Rue Landau
Yes, you read that correctly: David Lynch and Mark Frost’s hit television series, Twin Peaks, will return for a 9-episode run in 2016. The miniseries will air on Showtime, 25 years after it’s original run on ABC.
Deadline reports that the series will be set in present day and speculates that some of Lynch and Frost’s favorite actors will return. Lynch, a former Philadelphian and PAFA graduate, will direct the miniseries, while he and Frost will write all the episodes.
In the 24 years that have elapsed since the show’s premiere in 1990, the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder has gained a next-generation cult following. Rumors of the show’s return began in August when Lynch posted a cryptic tweet announcing his search for the actor who played Big Ed Hurley on Twin Peaks.
Lynch’s alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, is currently housing “David Lynch: A Unified Field,” an exhibit containing about 90 of the artist’s paintings and drawings from 1965 to the present. The exhibit also features a few of Lynch’s early short films, shot in Philadelphia. The exhibit runs through January 11th, 2015.
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:
It was 1993 in Paris, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier asked each other: what if there was an exhibition that never ended, that constantly reinvented itself each time it was presented? From this conversation, "do it" was born, an exhibition that began with twelve artists proposing artwork based on written instructions–which could be interpreted differently each time they were carried out. "Since then, hundreds of artists have been invited to submit instructions, and "do it" has taken place all over the world from Austria to Australia, from Thailand to Uruguay, from Canada to Iceland, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress." The Galleries at Moore will host an opening reception for the Philadelphia exhibition of "do it" this Friday evening. The reception will offer light refreshments and feature performances from Philly-based artists Kate Watson-Wallace and Helen Hale. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here. Friday, September 12th, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and The Parkway.
For all of you Pinterest and Etsy addicts: head to the Craft Phila fair this weekend to get your fix and check out talented, independent artists display their visual art, crafts, and fashion wares. You can peruse a plethora of handmade goods set up steps away from the Liberty Bell–everything from photography to jewelry–in a broad range of styles and prices. Admission to the fair is free. For more information, head here. Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., 6th & Chestnut/Market Streets.
The Doylestown Arts Festival is back for its 23rd year, with two days of over 150 juried artists and vendors with goods on display, live entertainment from a variety of musicians, a food court with plenty of delicious vendors, bike races, and tons of activities spanning the entire downtown area. More information about the festival, including a schedule and map, can be found here. Admission is free. Saturday, September 13th & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., State, Main, Oakland, & Hamilton Streets, Doylestown, PA.
Wallow in those hazy indian summer vibes this Saturday at Johnny Brenda's 6th annual Pils Picnic, an end-of-season celebration and nod to delicious local pilsners. There will be picnic fare for all (deviled eggs and cold fried chicken!) and plenty of brews on tap, including Troeg's Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox 2nd Street Keller Pils, and Neshaminy Trauger Pils. Plus, DJ Das Haas will be spinning a solid mix of classic R&B and doo-wop jams. Saturday, September 13th, 12 p.m., 21+, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue.
If you're not up for small talk with the colorful crowds flocking to Fringe Festival shows this weekend, but still want to revel in the artsy-ness, check out "Mirroring Sky." Inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens and the streets of our city, the self-guided soundscape is essentially a romantic stroll for one through Philly's pathways, enhanced by a special app for your smart phone. It's the perfect Fringe fix for introverts and the socially awkward. If you're craving group interaction, there will be a free guided tour of the production this Saturday. You can RSVP here. Saturday, September 13th, 6:30 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 18th & Walnut Streets.
From 7 Show To See This Week: Stop me if you've heard this before: White male rapper makes a name for himself from a quick wit and serious freestlying skills. Battling an unfortunate cliche, Andy Bothwell has made a name for himself with his poignant lyrics and popular free styles at shows. One time at a Philly show he went in for three minutes about WaWa and dinosaurs at the crowd's request. If that isn't worth a listen then I don't know what else would convince you. Sunday, September 14th, 6:30 p.m., $12, The Barbary, 951 Frankford Avenue.
This memorial event, which honors the life of Jessica Beth Schwartz, raises funs to provide pediatric transplant recipients with college scholarships. Guests at Urban Saloon can expect to hear the sounds of The Sermon! and Brian La Pann, and will have the opportunity to take part in a silent auction. Tickets, which are $40.00, include open bar can be purchased by clicking here. Sunday, September 14, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Avenue.