New curators coming
New curators coming
Looking to graduate from the First Friday crowd and blossom into something a bit more contemporary? Maybe even, occasionally, abstract? LOOK. NO. FURTHER. Below you’ll find our top ten local gallery picks. The work in these galleries may be hot but the crowds are cool—who knew aesthetes were so attractive. Branch out and get in with the hip kids at these local galleries:
1. Little Berlin
Open Saturday 12:00PM – 6:00PM & by Appointment
2430 CORAL STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19125
Little Berlin has been a long time Curate This favorite. We have even collaborated with some of the cooperative gallery’s members. Little Berlin’s structure alone lends itself to some fantastic out of the box showings and installations. The name Little Berlin derived from a comparison once made to the founders, Kristen Neville and Martha Savery. Artists rehabbing buildings in Kensington felt like postwar Berlin.
2. Gravy Studio and Gallery
Open by Appointment
910 N. 2ND STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123
Gravy Studio and Gallery hosts some incredible local photographers like Katie Tackman and Julianna Foster, many of which double as members. The collaborative workplace and gallery focuses on promoting the work of local photographers. The studio and gallery makes our list for its fearlessness; Gravy Studio is not afraid to show challenging work. Just check out their facebook page and muse through some of their past exhibitions.
3. Vox Populi
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00PM – 6:00PM
319 N. 11TH STREET, PHILADELPHIA 19107
Vox Populi, Latin for “voice of the people,” has been bringing the people contemporary and experimental art since 1988. Vox Populi is all about fostering a supportive environment for artists. The gallery’s rotating membership policy leaves room for a diverse array of work.
4. Paradigm Gallery and Studio
Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 12:00PM – 6:00PM
746 SOUTH 4th STREET, PHILADELPHIA 19147
Paradigm Gallery and Studio is always doing something, and let’s face it, we always want to be there when they are doing something! The Gallery is owned and curated by artists powerhouses, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. When founding the gallery in 2010, Chen and McCorriston did so with the intention of showing their friends’ work, and they’ve succeeded. Today you’ll find some of the coolest local artists in town on the walls of Paradigm.
5. James Oliver Gallery
Open Wednesday – Friday, 5:00PM – 8:00PM, Saturday, 1:00PM – 6:00PM, Sunday – Tuesday, Open by Appointment
732 CHESTNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA 19106
James Oliver has to be one of the coolest gallery owners around and his gallery certainly reflects it. The space requires some exercise—a four story hike to be specific, but it’s worth it to reach an artistic paradise. The gallery transforms with nearly every new exhibit and welcomes local, national, and international artists.
6. Kitchen Table Gallery
1853 NORTH HOWARD STREET, PHILADELPHIA 19122
You might think Kitchen Table Gallery is a funny name for a gallery but the story behind it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. “Louise ORourke was inspired to start KTG by an excerpt of David Reed’s in ‘The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists.’ When David Reed asked Felix Gonzalez-Torres about his art studio he responded by saying, ‘I do not have a studio space. I am a kitchen-table artist.’ In that reading, KTG was born.”
7. Crux Space
Open by Appointment
700 MASTER STREET, PHILADELPHIA 19122
Crux Space is Philadelphia’s only gallery 100% dedicated to new media art. We have been a fan of the gallery since its genesis and it never fails to disappoint. The gallery’s director Andrew Cameron Zahn has dedicated the space to experimental projects and works influenced by technology.
8. The Galleries at Moore
Monday – Saturday, 11:00AM – 5:00PM
20TH STREET AND THE PARKWAY, PHILADELPHIA 19103
The Galleries at Moore are a MORE traditional space—see what we did there, but that doesn’t keep it from fostering incredible collaborations with local artists. Local artists are their main cup of tea. In fact the Levy Gallery was originally “created in response to a mayoral report revealing a “serious lack of support” for local talent.”
9. High Tide
1850 NORTH HOPE STREET, APT 14A, PHILADELPHIA 19122
High Tide gets experimental, and that’s exactly why we love them. The gallery doubles as an artist-run project space in the heart of Kensington. In addition to holding exhibitions, High Tide hosts performances, workshops, and experimental programming.
10. Fjord Gallery
Open Saturdays 12:00PM – 4:00PM, Open by Appointment
1400 NORTH AMERICAN STREET, STE 105, PHILADELPHIA 19122
Fjord, pronounced (fee-your-d), focuses on bringing Philadelphia exciting work from emerging artists and curators. Founded in 2012 the gallery has helped cement Kensington’s reputation as the one of the city’s strongest arts districts.
From bronze to digital, Tyler Kline’s art spans the ages, melding ideas of time, space, metaphysics, and humanity into packages of cast metal that last forever, or into Vine videos that live for seconds in a Twitter feed. Tyler is fearless in his use of materials, generous in his treatment of others in the art community, and one of the smartest artists working in Philadelphia today. He’s a member of the Little Berlin collective and by day he manages the Sculpture shop and the bronze forge at University of the Arts and curates several art spaces at that university.
-Roberta Fallon, curator
I actually have a long history with disposable cameras. When they came on the market in the late nineties I would use them to document travels, skate sessions, art processes, and the architectural changes of the cities I was living in at the time.
With this project I find myself tracing the same threads of connection. I animated certain photographs to give them a heightened sense of transformation, invoking the sensations of a particularly poignant studio visit, the alchemy of certain art processes, or the visceral engagement of a skate session. Others I combined in a sequential fashion to emphasize states of flux, such as in the changing Philly skyline or the repetition of riding the 32 bus into my job at UArts.
I have always been inspired by the way Philadelphia is redefining itself in the early 21st century as a post-industrial laboratory of urban living, and I always use my commute as studio time: either through daydreaming, honing vision, creating digital designs on a tablet, or drawing in my sketchbook.
The other images are the flotsam and jetsam of my daily life: meeting friends for coffee, playing with my family, and walking along distinctly Philadelphian landscapes become the rhythms of my existence.
Roberta Fallon’s reviews and features have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly, artnet, Art on Paper, Art Review and elsewhere. From 1999-2011, she was the art critic for Philadelphia Weekly writing a weekly column of criticism and features, and from 2000-2005 she wrote the Philadelphia Story column for artnet.com. In 2003, she co-founded The Artblog, which has been recognized for excellence twice by Art in America, and was a finalist for the prestigious Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers Award. It is also one of Philadelphia’s most well-known and prized arts publications.
-Julius Ferraro, Curate This co-founder
Beth Heinly is a leader in the alternative arts community in Philadelphia. She’s talented, opinionated and original. No matter what she’s working on—comics, a performance art piece, an exhibition or her experimental performance art festival, Beth works from her life and her passions. As a member of two important alternative galleries—Little Berlin and Vox Populi—she has curated and shown work by herself and others. Her interest in science led to a wonderful art and science exhibit at Little Berlin; as a collector of art, she curated a memorable collections show at Vox Populi; as a zine maker and collector, she organized a zine library at Little Berlin that now is archived at Temple University Libraries.
On Artblog, I am on the receiving end of Beth’s funny and wise The 3:00 Book comic. Every Monday I anticipate Beth’s comic with the same eagerness I feel when cracking open a fortune cookie—I’m looking for a pun, a bon mot, some wise words. While a fortune cookie rarely lives up to my hopes, Beth’s comics deliver. Sometimes salty, sometimes sweet and always beautifully composed, Beth’s comics reverberate.
The 3:00 Book has a Charlie Brown innocence but without the sugar coating. Both Peanuts and The 3:00 Book praise the simple things in life. For Beth, there’s a good sandwich, her cat Zion, and vacuuming (yes, actually). For Charlie Brown, there’s baseball and his dog Snoopy.
The 3:00 Book characters (a thinly-veiled Beth, her boyfriend, and a naïve, snobby girl with curly hair) can be biting and mean or sweet as pie. No matter which extreme, the encounters ring true and come from someone who’s a student of human behavior and has been on the giving and receiving end of some fraught exchanges.
Drawn in a beautiful and reductivist style that’s satisfying for its clean lines and generous white space, Beth’s comics are complete art—from concept to execution. I highly recommend you take a look. Watch for her Open Call Guerilla Outdoor Performance Festival (OCGOPF) this summer in Rittenhouse Square and Collins Park. And here’s some of her other work.
Here are a dozen of my favorite The 3:00 Book comics. The titles are mine, not the artist’s.
Trying to please people and how that sometimes works out
Being a killjoy
Being a killjoy 2
Failure of imagination
Facing facts in a relationship
The lure of pretending
Caitlin and I were both members of Little Berlin in 2012, and the first piece of her artwork that I encountered was a beautiful white dress that she made for our member show that year. Since then Caitlin has grown to be an extremely successful artist, and her intricate and beautiful crochet creations have captured the hearts of many. Caitlin has a really unique aesthetic and when I look at her work I am amazed by the amount of detail, precision, and time that goes into it.
-Angela McQuillan, curator