Philadelphia Art Alliance Blog

First Friday in Center City

What’s happening in Center City this First Friday, April 5th? With all the wonderful art galleries around here, there’s plenty to see. Check out these events and exhibitions:


The Empty Air: A Rittenhouse Square Sound Walk Opening Reception

empty-air-card 2Composer, performer, and sound designer Michael Kiley is unveiling a sound walk created for Rittenhouse Square. The sound walk is an interactive art experience delivered through an original iPhone application that uses GPS to determine what you hear depending on your location within the park.

The reception on the third floor of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, will include a cash bar and snacks. The Mural and The Mint, Kiley’s musical moniker, will perform live the music featured in the app. The PAA is conveniently located on the southeast corner of Rittenhouse Square, so it’s the perfect place to grab a drink, meet the artist, and experience the sound walk for yourself.

To learn more about The Empty Air, check out the article on

The Philadelphia Art Alliance is located at 251 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  215-545-4302. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11-5:30
Saturday – Sunday 11-4



Half Way Up, a solo exhibition by Victoria Barnes

162Victoria Barnes’ paintings start with observed reality and then depart from it. Her recent work conveys a sly sense of humor that runs counter to the seriousness of the still life tradition she practices. The artist chooses to emphasize a different kind of looking. Real objects such as children’s toys, books, and colorful dioramas are cropped tightly and are placed in quirky juxtapositions. Her execution keeps the tonal relations between the objects so close in value and color that it takes us longer to separate reality from fiction, mimicking the perception of a child. Barnes equalizes the importance of an adult’s and a child’s view of the world, bringing us into an intimate universe of play, wonder, color, and curiosity.

The exhibition runs from April 3 – 27, 2013
Image: Victoria Barnes, Fiona and the Tree House, 2012, Oil on panel, 22″ x 30″.

A Certain Slant of Light, a solo exhibition by Celia Reisman


Celia Reisman’s paintings are like a mise-en-scène for a theater or filmproduction.  The canvasses have a particular feel and mood; an uncanny artificiality that is distinctly her own. The artist’s paintings usher the spectator into a world of familiar places and things, in particular, the western suburbs of Philadelphia.  At the same time, her paintings share a certain affinity with the early modernist interest in the concept of making the familiar strange, but not difficult. Reisman’s success lies in the painter’s skill and discretion as to the formal arrangements of these unfolding scenes that function architecturally for the purpose of making a painting. Color in Reisman’s paintings exaggerates the natural appearance of places, objects and people.  Impossible spatial relationships exist among houses, yards, trees and sometimes more distant mountains. However uncanny the impression may be, there is a consistency to these paintings that enables the spectator to suspend his disbelief without even realizing it. The viewer’s eye traverses from one area to another without questioning the rationality of the pictorial space.

The exhibition runs from April 3 – 27, 2013
Image: Celia Reisman, Blue Center, 2012, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

Gross McCleaf Gallery is located at 127 S. Sixteenth Street Philadelphia, PA 19102. 215-665-8138. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 – 5


SOFT OPENING: Fiat Lux: Stefan Abrams, Micah Danges, James Johnson, Anna Neighbor & Brent Wahl

Fiat Lux will be a group exhibition of work by five Philadelphia artists: Stefan Abrams, Micah Danges, James Johnson, Anna Neighbor and Brent Wahl. While each of the artists was trained as a photographer and has taught photography at universities and art schools in Philadelphia, none has a simple or straightforward relationship with the medium. Photography is central to the work of all these artists, but their explorations of the potentials and shortcomings of the medium result in a surprisingly diverse group of works. Two of the artists, Johnson and Neighbor make sculptural installations; two, Danges and Wahl, create collages and sculptures and then photograph them; and Abrams makes work that challenges traditional conceptions of street photography. The work of all of these artists responds to successive earlier generations of photo-based artists who questioned and challenged established notions of photography. At the same time they are addressing the overwhelming proliferation of photographic images in today’s society.

The exhibition runs from April 5 – May 24, 2013
Image: Micah Danges

The Print Center is located at 1614 Latimer Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
215 735.6090. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11-6


Berlin: Landscape of Memory – an Exhibition co-produced by PIFA 2013

rectangle_cfeva_1Created in Berlin in the years just preceding, during and again twenty three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, James B. Abbott’s photographs are an insightful, thoughtful and contemplative portrait of the city during times of momentous change. Fascinated by the character of the neighborhoods the Wall inhabited, these images reflect an intimacy that counters the grand forces we usually associate with a divided Berlin, offering a significant record of nuance in a location that experienced overwhelming historic transformation.
ARTIST TALK AND RECEPTION: Thursday, April 11th 5-7pm.
The exhibition runs from March 21 – April 26
Image: James B. Abbott
Gallery and Maida R. Milone Resource Center
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, 237 South 18th Street, Suite 3A
215-546-7775. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11-5

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