Best of Philly

Best Artist

2022 Best Way to Turn Your Keepsakes Into Art

John Wind

From scouring flea markets to frequenting auctions, this South Philly jewelry designer and artist has always been inspired by found objects. His commissioned portraits celebrate such treasures by turning personal keepsakes into works of art. Favorite books, faded ticket stubs, old perfume bottles, and other sentimental curiosities are all artfully arranged as wall reliefs or within other, larger objects — Wind used a leather suitcase for a recent work. Read More »


2022 Best Up-and-Coming Artist

Dejanaya Spicer

What began as swirly stress relief has become a creative career for this West Philly artist. Her emotional pieces have simple silhouettes drawn in colored lines and squiggles that never touch yet all come together cohesively. Her preferred drawing instrument? The Sharpie. “You can see those perfect details, the shape of the body, the curve of the hair,” says Spicer, who’s also a full-time photographer. Her first exhibit is via Fitler Club’s artist-in-residence program; those of us who aren’t members can browse her work online. Read More »


2022 Best Block Brighteners

Walls For Justice

During the civil unrest of 2020, Walls For Justice began painting murals and messages on the plywood that covered up so many storefronts. Fast-forward two years, and the group has now expanded its footprint, pairing artists with businesses, schools, and other public spaces that are looking for a unique way to show support for their communities (and maybe spruce up a plain brick wall in the process). Read More »


2022 Best Use of Pandemic Angst

Carmen Miskel

Some of us spent the pandemic honing our talents; others spent it learning the best times to access the state liquor-store website to place booze orders. (Hey, it’s a skill, too!) Miskel falls into the former category. After the New York Times announced an art contest — theme: “Coming of Age in 2021” — the teen from Bryn Mawr submitted a striking cartoon panel about loneliness during COVID that was one of just 25 winners selected from more than 4,000 submissions. Read More »

2014 Best Art Talent

Alex Da Corte

At the age of 32, Camden-born Da Corte has already won international acclaim but remains planted in his Nicetown studio, where he's made a name for himself in the modern American pop-art scene by_manipulating scavenged objects a_malt-liquor bottle filled with pee, a lonely hoagie perched on a candy-cane-striped bench, a basketball impaled on a kitchen knife into artistic commentary on consumer culture. Let him wow you and/or make you squirm in mid-September, when his "Easternsports" exhibit with Jayson Musson will be on display at West Philly's Institute of Contemporary Art. Read More »