Philadelphia Art Alliance Blog

Shop on the Square Artist Spotlight: Brenda Quinn and Sam Shaw

Shop on the Square
Tuesday, December 4 through Sunday, December 9
251 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
noon to 7pm daily.

Brenda Quinn

The challenge of creating an object which functions aesthetically as well as physically has provided Brenda Quinn with unending inspiration.  The history of function is synonymous with the medium, and the close relationship between material and process is what initially captured her interest and continues to keep it in clay.  Her work is inspired by and is a nod to the broad history of decorative arts. IMG_7386

“I create celebratory objects that are meant to be used in the daily rituals of our lives, providing a vehicle for human connection and contemplation.  Function and utility have therefore played important roles in defining my work.  The objects I create are the result of a careful balance between form, function, line, color, and visual texture.“



Shaw Jewelry

Shaw’s work  currently explores the form, texture and color, and relationships of natural beach stones  Sam Shaw often associates them with fossils and familiar gemstones to heighten the awareness of their common ancestry.


Coming of age on an island in Maine, Sam Shaw has always been attracted to the shapes and personalities of rocks along the shore. This fascination was enhanced by a degree in geology, and applied through a lifelong love of art. The combination of the visual appeal of these simple stones and an understanding of the natural forces that create them drives his curiosity and excitement when working with them.


“The urge to pick up beautiful, rounded pebbles is almost universal. Many people walk away from the beach with a hard, round memory in their pocket. It is my hope that my jewelry evokes such emotion.”



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