Philadelphia Art Alliance Blog


SoS Artist Spotlight: Liz Kinder

Liz Kinder

From several bouts of travel and impoverished living in London, Liz Kinder¹s adventures have lead her on an inspirational path to producing some of the most vibrant, expressive pottery you will see. Image “I am known for my sense of color. I enjoy myself the most when I am glazing. When I enjoy myself, it comes through in the work. All of this is to say that it¹s better to tell me what colors you DON¹T like and let me put together a gorgeous combination than it is to tell me exactly what you do like.” Image

Sale Hours: Tuesday, December 4 through Sunday, December 9, noon to 7pm daily.

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SoS Artist Spotlight: Bradford Smith & Andrea Donnelly

Bradford Smith

As a farm boy, Bradford Smith was always working to fix and build things around the farm. This led to an interest in woodworking that he developed in high school. For four years after graduation, he worked in several different woodworking shops in the area. Although he learned the basics of woodworking and developed a strong work ethic, Brad felt a more formal education would be helpful. In 1976 he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craftsmen and graduated with a BFA in woodworking and furniture design in 1980.

The business began with a line of kitchen tools and accessories, which Brad and his wife Sandy designed, crafted and marketed by them. In 1986, Brad expanded the business by developing a line of distinctive furniture. The first piece in the line was the Ax Handle Stool, which continues to be the workhorse of the line. Brad strives for steady growth and improvement of that line, which is represented in many of the finest stores and galleries around the country. Brad also builds ten to fifteen one-of-a-kind pieces a year on speculation or commission.

“Furniture is often categorized into easily recognized styles such as Shaker, County or Arts and Crafts. Over the past 30 years, I have worked to develop a design language that is truly my own. In doing so I have been able to create furniture that cannot be pigeonholed into an existing style. Despite this, my work has a familiarity. I achieve this through the use of recycled materials, good proportions, and old-fashioned usefulness. I find a warmth and history in each salvaged piece of lumber that I use. The marriage of old and new that can be found in my work plays an important role in expressing the richness of things made today and things made decades ago. I want my furniture to not only tell a story, but also be the beginning of a new story”- Brad Smith

http://www.bradfordwoodworking.com/

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Andrea Donnelly

After graduating with her Master of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010, artist Andrea Donnelly began applying the techniques she developed for her artwork to small-scale functional textiles, and Little Fool Handwoven Textiles was born. Today, Donnelly weaves, dyes, and hand-paints her exquisite one-of-a-kind scarves in the same studio and on the same looms she uses to make her monumental-scale woven artworks.

Her blog, Little FoolŠ(a small business romance) http://littlefooltextiles.blogspot.com/, is a photographic artist¹s journal. It chronicles the intricate and unusual processes Donnelly employs to make both her scarves and her artwork, affording a unique look into all corners of her busy and colorful studio.

Just a few days left until Shop on the Square hits the Philadelphia Art Alliance!  There are still tickets for the Preview Party Cocktail and Dinner receptions!  Check the details at http://www.philartalliance.org/event/shop-on-the-square/


SoS Artist Spotlight: Sarah Yeung

Sarah Yeung

Sarah Yeung is a self-taught bookbinder and a Philadelphia transplant from Central Jersey. A lifelong booklover, as a child she was fond of reading abnormally large books in small hiding places, such as the corner behind the couch in the living room next to the central heating vent. After the combined effects of a college course on the history of the codex, an English degree, and a severe economic recession, she was inspired to deconstruct the physical vessels of her literary passions.

These days, bookbinding serves to remind her that a thoughtfully crafted house can be as meaningful as the words which reside within. Her craft often plays on the themes she encounters as a professional city planner: the gritty, messy edges of the city, the strangeness and vibrancy of ethnic neighborhoods, and the rapport between first and second immigrant generations and the resulting new cultural identities.

Sarah graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently a full-time graduate student pursuing a Master of City and Regional Planning at Rutgers University.

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Yeung, along with 40 other artists, are participating in Shop on the Square; a week-long show, craft sale, and auction features thoughtfully designed and expertly crafted jewelry, accessories, tableware, toys, and much more at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

The show will run Tuesday, December 4th through Sunday, December 9th, from noon to 7pm daily.

You can find more information at http://www.philartalliance.org/event/shop-on-the-square/


SoS Artist Spotlight: Sanam Emami

“Rewriting stories into objects is a contemporary journey. I am not going back into history; I am drawing history back into the present.” Sanam Emami’s pots and tiles are made with a specific intent – a function – but their meaning is layered with both factual and fictional narratives. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. She creates with a specific intent – a function – but their meaning is layered with both factual and fictional narratives. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. The vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, when filled with flowers their function is revealed. The tile is a background or canvas. The cups provide a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form and interact with the surface pattern and imagery. The primary inspiration for these pots and tiles are intricate patterns found in Iranian and Islamic art and architecture. In these buildings and objects’ fields of color and pattern create subtle layers of meaning. She draws influences from different cultures and time periods: Barcelona tiles, Japanese textiles, Iranian miniatures, Dutch blue and white pottery. The work comes from an imagined sense of time and place. States Emami, “Ornamental and arabesque imagery placed alongside geometric Islamic patterns complicate assumed distinctions between representation and abstraction. The attempt to harmonize seemingly disparate elements within each object is part of the process that holds my attention in the studio.” You can see more of her work at http://sanamemami.com/

Sanam has donated some lovely pieces to Shop on the Square’s Preview Party on Monday, December 3rd. The craft sale runs December 4-9 and is open from noon-7pm daily.

For more information: http://www.philartalliance.org/event/shop-on-the-square/


SoS Artist Spotlight: Grace Ann Agostino and Vanessa Gade

Grace Ann Agostino

http://www.graceannagostino.com

Grace Ann Agostino works with leather, but treats it as fabric. By crushing, pleating and appliqueing the leather with antique trims, beads,or snake skin, and mixing it with old rug and Kilim parts, she is able to create handbags and belts that are unstructured, supple and unique. At least twice a year, she spends time in New York and Los Angeles buying leather skins. Most come from Italy, which produces the softest, finest skins in the richest colors.  The antique handbag frames and ornaments -of metal, Bakelite, Plexiglas, or Celluloid date from 1880 to 1950.  Every handbag is a combination of old and new.

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The bags and belts are made almost exclusively of leather and/or exotic skins.  The only fabric sometimes used is kilim, which is always mixed with leather.  Each piece is lined in Napa leather. They are one-of-a-kind or limited edition; with constantly changing materials and designs.  All items are accented with an antique element–either a handbag frame or ornament.

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Everything is handmade in Pennsylvania, USA.

Vanessa Gade

Bold, kinetic and sculptural with an elegant interplay of angles and curves,Vanessa Gade’s jewelry makes a contemporary statement balanced with timeless style.

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The diverse urban landscape of San Francisco provides the ideal creative backdrop for Vanessa’s work and can be seen in the architectural qualities of her jewelry designs. The structural nature of her pieces are gracefully countered by a fluidity and movement influenced by her love of the ocean and her youth along the beaches of Southern California.

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She describes her work as contemporary, with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic reminiscent of Japanese and Scandinavian design. Particular pieces have been inspired by everything from art deco architecture, ikebana flower arrangements, suspension bridges and even criss-crossing power lines. Her designs tend toward an asymmetrical pattern encased within a perfect circle, evident in her debut Inner Circle collection first launched in 2007, which now has become her signature line. She enjoys the challenge of creating a perfectly balanced geometric structure that still maintains an element of movement, all the while utilizing the negative space as an integral part of the design.

Gotta have it?  Well you can!  Gade and Agostino are just two of over 40 other participating artists at Shop on the Square; a week-long show, craft sale, and auction features thoughtfully designed and expertly crafted jewelry, accessories, tableware, toys, and much more at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

The show will run Tuesday, December 4th through Sunday, December 9th, from noon to 7pm daily.

You can find more information at http://www.philartalliance.org/event/shop-on-the-square/


Shop on the Square Artist Spotlight: Ann Chahbandour

Ann is a Philadelphia sculptor that has exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. Her latest exhibitions include a show at the Michener Art Museum reviewed by Inquirer critic, Edward Sozanski: “Chahbandour does transform her sources imaginatively and with puckish spirit. Her facile command of diverse materials creates rich environments that effectually enhance the narratives and give the works a satisfying wholeness.”

She is currently transitioning to paint and has created some vibrant, exciting pieces; one of which will be up for auction at Shop on the Square’s Preview Party on Monday, December 3rd.   Join us for an exclusive evening of great design, delicious food, and a little friendly competition at the auction. Preview and Cocktail Reception: 5:30pm, Silent Auction: 5:30 to7:45pm, Live Auction: 7pm. http://www.philartalliance.org/event/shop-on-the-square/

This archival digital print is made from one of a series of 13 paintings she created in gauche. The paintings in this series are inspired by Audubon prints of birds and quadrupeds. The original compositions have been retained but each painting has been reinterpreted with contemporary colors and designs in order to provide the individual creatures with more illustrative narratives. http://www.annchahbandour.com/


Shop on the Square Artist Spotlight: Courtney Murphy

Shop on the Square is revitalization of Battle of the Bowls, our annual winter fundraiser.  This week-long show, craft sale and auction features thoughtfully designed and expertly crafted jewelry, accessories, tableware, toys, and much more at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

The show will run Tuesday, December 4th through Sunday, December 9th, from noon to 7pm daily.
For more information, check out: http://philartalliance.org/shoponthesquare/index.htm

Clay has lead Courtney Murphy all over the world; completing residencies in Brooklyn, Oregon, Denmark, and currently Montana.  Her designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children’s artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as lots of books on ceramics and design.

She enjoys the process of scratching into the clay to draw her images. Because of this process, each piece created is unique, and there is a slight variation in each drawing.  She is compelled by the variation found in hand-made objects; a slight change in the profile or image on a cup decides whether a person will be drawn to one cup over another.

She likes to create functional work because these handmade objects leave her studio to become a part of somebody else’s daily routine.  States Murphy, “I am interested in the personal connection that handmade objects help to create.”

http://www.courtneymurphy.net/