Bella Vista to Point Breeze and Back Again

Some pictures I took on a walk last weekend starting from Hawthorne Square Philadelphia where they were holding  a flea market


   Hawthorne Square


Fitzwater at 13th Street.  Site of former housing projects.


View from Pine near Broad Street

That’s The Drake in the background and Furness Hall at University of the Arts in the foreground


A door on Federal Street in Point Breeze


Hanging on the corner outside Italian American social club near 18th and Federal



Federal Street Point Breeze


Mikveh  Israel Cemetery #2


 View from Federal Street between 11th and 12th Streets


The trees bloom for a couple of weeks and then it will all be gone.


Ending up at Bitar’s 11th and Federal for a well-deserved falafel.

The Mosaic Muse in Philadelphia

I saw a great exhibition of mosaic art recently called the Mosaic Muse.   It was a juried exhibit sponsored by Creative Philadelphia, and it ran from February 9 to March 27 in Philadelphia City Hall.  For those of you who missed it, here are some pictures.


The pieces in the exhibit were colorful and innovative.


imageimage  I especially liked the sculptural pieces


Two visitors


imageThere were so many delightful works of art that I hope someone had the presence of mind to take good photographs and catalog them.  While there is a list of the participating artists and there was a photocopied catalog at the exhibit, there wasn’t anything for the public to take away.  I know money is always a factor and I am grateful that these artists had the opportunity for their work to be shown, but I wish there was a permanent record of the exhibit,


  And speaking of mosaics, Philadelphia’s City Hall is full of old tile work although most of it is hidden behind wall board and under floor tile. Here’s one example that’s not-a mosaic of the City of Philadelphia Seal.

The seal of the City of Philadelphia has its own fascinating story.  You can read it here.

For more information on Mosaics and public art in Philadelphia, check out these web sites:

Creative Philadelphia on Facebook,  Art in City Hall, Mosaic Society of Philadelphia

Joyce Scott Exhibit: Maryland to Murano

I was fortunate to be in New York City at the same time an exhibit of Joyce Scott’s work was on display at the Museum of Art and Design.
Part retrospective and part new work, Maryland to Murano included Scott’s work from the 1990’s and newer work including some breathtaking glass pieces she created on the island of Murano with the help of the resident artisans.


Scott is a story teller and and she uses beads to convey her message  the way a writer uses words or a dancer uses gestures.


Or the way a quilt maker uses fabric!   Think about it.  Scott’s Mother, Elizabeth Talford Scott, was a quilt maker whose fabric compositions were rich with narrative and personal and historical references.  The cultural and familial influences definitely carried over from Mother to Daughter.


So why did Joyce Scott go to Murano?  The exhibition catalog says that Scott did glass blowing at Pilchuck, Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Penland, and that her three dimensional bead work continued to increase in size.  I suppose a stint in Murano was the next step. Scott has always stuck me as an artist looking to push in new directions.  She seems fearless.


The work she produced in Murano is was not like anything I have seen before. Take a look at Buddha.  The black and white of the face appears to be melted beads,  The outer  bead work is textural.  The rest of the piece is blown glass.    It is slightly larger than life sized and I could not take my eyes off of it.

 Fortunately for us, we can see Scott talk about her work her influences and watch her in the process of creating  similar pieces on this video clip from the PBS Series  Craft in America

Here are some more pictures from the exhibition

Meetup in Olde City: Kathleen Dustin, Artistic Development, and the Clowns of Murano

The first Friday of each month is prime gallery trolling time in Philadelphia. I joined some Greater Philadelphia Polymer Art Meetup friends last Friday for a trip to the opening of Kathleen Dustin’s show at the Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia. I took some pictures of our gathering with Kathleen’s gracious permission, but the SD card on my cell phone went South on me so I have nothing to share. If you click on the link, you can see some of the outstanding pieces currently on display.

I don’t know which was more fun-having Kathleen pull pieces out of the case and explaining how she constructed them or listening to her and Beading Yoda discuss their design philosophies. By the way, checkout Kathleen’s newly-designed web site here.

A few years ago, Kathleen gave a wonderful presentation to the Philadelphia Guild  on the evolution of her work.   Which got me to thinking about why it is always a sheer delight to see her work.  Not only is it technically brilliant but there is always a new aspect to it that pushes her body of work to a different level.  Read this Polymer Clay Daily post on the changing focus of her work from representational to abstract.  Then check out these links  from the Polymer Art ArchiveEvolution of Polymer ArtArticles by Kathleen Dustin on the Polymer Art Archive, and Turning Blue into Gold.

Later at a restaurant debriefing session over Italian food and wine at nearby BYOB  La Locanda Del Ghiottone and a bottle of wine from  Pinot Boutique, several Meetup members reminisced about traveling to Venice and to Murano. We all agreed that while Italian glass was beautiful, some of the objects tourists bring back from Murano deserve a place in the permanent glass collection of the Museum of Ugly. I mean seriously.

Don’t forget  Bead Fest Philadelphia this weekend!  Click here for more information.