Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Operation Exposure: War is Trauma”: Art Show & Poetry Reading

Folks, our gallery (4007 Chestnut Street, first floor) will not be open on Fridays December 10, 17, 24, or 31. However, it WILL be open for a sepcial one-night-only event this coming 
Sunday December 12! 

Read all about it!

Iraq Veterans Against the War & the Justseeds Artists' Collective Present:
“Operation Exposure: War is Trauma”: Art Show & Poetry Reading by Iraq Veterans
 Sunday, December 12, 2010 7 - 9 PM
For ONE NIGHT ONLY this collection will premier in Philly!  "Operation Exposure", a collaboration between the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and veterans and supporters from Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), is a direct response to the suicide epidemic and violation of GI’s right to heal within the GI and veteran community. During Veteran's Day, veterans, artists, and supporters met in Rogers Park in Chicago and split into teams. They divided up posters that Justseeds had designed for IVAW and then wheatpasted th city. Teams hit advertising spaces and boarded up buildings with messages of GI resistance and "Operation Recovery" – a new IVAW campaign aimed to stop the redeployment of traumatized troops and focus public attention towards Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  For one night only works from "Operation Exposure" will be featured along with readings from members of the Warrior Writers project. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday 12/3, 3-7pm: AIR art show + Monday 12/6 @4pm and 7pm: Sabine El Chamaa at AIR

Please join us tomorrow as we close the current exhibit at our gallery (4007 Chestnut). This exhibit features work by four of our current residents: Ana B. Hernandez, Andria Morales, Erik Ruin, and Jim Garvey.

Then, on Monday, join us for this:

December 6, 2010 - 4:00pm

Sabine El Chamaa, Penn Middle East Center Fall Artist-in-Residence
40th Street Artist-in-Residence Gallery (4007 Chestnut Street)
A "gathering-presentation" of a work in progress, an open platform space where unfinished edits, footage, and trials and errors are exhibited. The public participates in deciphering, in thinking out, and in extricating meaning, and questions from the mix of fictional and non-fictional elements depending on the trajectory taken, the images found, the videos viewed, and the texts read. Recorded, collected, written, photographed before, during, or after, one war or another, the elements presented are part of a research project which attempts to both detect the confines of the visual and verbal frames of war, and to question the possibility of creating an audio-visual textual space that exists outside of the spectacle of war.
MEC Fall Artist-in-Residence, Sabine El Chamaa, will present an installation exhibit culminating her research and residency at Penn. Sabine's work engages with the representation and experience of war. The exhibition will open at 4:00pm and again at 7:00pm.
The space is limited so please RSVP at or 215-898-6335.
This event is free and open to the public. Open discussion to follow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We'll see you at the gallery! See ya on Facebook!

Hi folks
We have two quick updates:

1. Our gallery (4007 Chestnut Street, first floor) will be open nearly every Friday (except Nov. 26) from 3pm until 7pm. Currently, we are exhibiting wok by four of our 2010-2011 residents. Stop in, say hi, and see some incredible art.

2. We're now on Facebook! We have some photos, videos (including one from last nights SCI West grant awards ceremony), updates, etc. Find us! Be our friend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program has received a $3,000 SCI-West Community Grant award!

Great news! SCI-West has just informed us that we have received $3,000 to collaborate with Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW). Two of our resident artists have already begun working with NBW, using art as a medium for engagement with youth in particular. This award will help that work to flourish over the next several months, while ensuring a long and healthy relationship between AIR and NBW. This comes at an especially critical time as NBW prepares for several events and can now lean on our professional artists to make sure that the youth remain engaged through the arts.

A little bit about NBW:
The mission of Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) is to create educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities for youth through bicycling in the Philadelphia area, and to promote cycling as an environment-friendly, healthy form of transportation. 
NBW foresees a future in which youth are empowered by bikes. Bicycles can aid in empowering youth in many ways. Bicycles promote self-reliance and self-confidence by giving youth self-propelled independent transportation giving youth the freedom to travel locally - to school, play, and eventually work. Self confidence and self reliance are also promoted by giving youth the ability to maintain and repair their own bicycle in addition to the accomplishment of having earned a bike through their own work.

Bicycles can be used, by youths and adults alike, to cross boundaries - literally and figuratively. Cycling can enable exploration beyond one's immediate neighborhood. Cycling also cuts across social classes, both recreational and utilitarian cycling enables people to meet others with like interests that otherwise would not be realized.

To advance this vision NBW will form partnerships and alliances with other groups, both in the youth development community and the cycling community.

Learn more at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

40th AIR in POST 2010 (October 2-3)

AIR participated in POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours)! Here are some photos of 40th ST AIR Gallery and the studios! Check out POST homepage <> for more information.

Announcing the Resident Artists 2010-2011!

Ana B. Hernandez

Ana B. Hernandez was born in Spain from a Spanish mother and a Puerto Rican father. In 1997 she moved with her family to Florida, where she obtained her undergraduate education. In 2003 she moved to Philadelphia to pursue the Masters of Fine Arts in Fibers and Textiles at Temple University-Tyler School of Art. After graduating in the spring of 2005, Ana attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Summer Residency in Maine, and was invited for a two year long artist residency at Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Back in Philadelphia since fall 2007, her work has been included in a diversity of local and national solo and group exhibitions. She was a recipient of the Oasis Arts and Education Fellowship in 2009. Ana is currently a fellow in the Center for Emerging Visual Artists 2010-2012 Career Development Program and a resident at 40th AIR.

Andria Bibiloni-Morales

Andria Bibiloni-Morales explores the divide between art representative of culture, and art produced from within a cultural community. Through research and collaboration, she strives to create new possibilities for communication about sociopolitical and interpersonal issues. By immersing herself in situations where cultural identity is consequential, she aims to provoke viewers into a confrontation and analysis of their own preconceptions. These interventions are dependent on context – how the artist perceives herself, where she is, and how she relates to her surroundings. The resulting work is multidisciplinary, consisting of mixed media sculptures, self-portraits, performance based videos, and site specific installations.

Andria Bibiloni- Morales’ work has been exhibited at Labor K1 in Berlin, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Projects Gallery in Philadelphia, the Ice Box in Philadelphia, and the CUE Art Foundation in New York. In 2008 she was awarded a Joan Mitchell MFA Grant for her work in mixed media sculpture and installation. Andria currently resides in Philadelphia where she teaches at the Tyler School of Art.

Chris Lawrence

Chris Lawrence is an artist working in a variety of disciplines including sculpture, installation, sound and digital media. Born in upstate New York in 1976, Chris resides in Philadelphia, PA where he received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. His works, often made from DIY construction materials, repurposed consumer goods and components recycled from his previous installations often suggest building sites, improvised shelters, vessels and industrial stations in various states of completion or disarray. The functionality of these spaces tends to waver between specific, frustrated, absurd or unavailable. Overlapping fantasies, disrupted timelines and fractured memories feed nonlinear narrative undercurrents at play. Lawrence has exhibited his work in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Melbourne, Australia.

Erik Ruin

I am a self-taught printmaker, illustrator, shadow-puppeteer and editor/self-publisher of numerous publications. My hand-cut images are intricately detailed yet bold and graphic. I draw from narratives both implicit and explicit to create art that inhabits the complex terrain of myth. My work explores social and political themes, from everyday alienation to international conflicts to more subtle expressions of hope, dread and endurance in an often troubling world. I frequently work collaboratively with other artists or activist campaigns- such as in imagery created for urban farming and prisoner advocacy groups- and collectively, most prominently as a founding member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. I’m increasingly challenging myself to find new ways to combine my varied interests & practices- such as a small artist’s–book-&-CD “label”, a “banner library” on the theme of liberation, and installations and performances that incorporate cut, printed, painted & projected elements.

Jim Garvey

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Glen Sacks at the Gallery of the 40ST Artist in Residence

Glen Sacks at the Gallery of the 40ST Artist in Residence • 4007 Chestnut Street

From April 10 through April 30, 2010, the gallery at the 40ST Artist in Residence program presents recent works by Glen Sacks, one of the five artists in residence.
An open studio event will take place on Friday, April 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

Sacks is showing large-scale photographs that document street-side memorials, storefront places of worship, abandoned churches, murals that commemorate peopled killed in gun violence and other sites in the urban Philadelphia environment that demonstrate different ways of addressing loss, grief, and spirituality in public spaces.

Sacks earned his BFA from the University of the Arts and MFA from Bard College and has shown his work in New York, Italy, and Columbia. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, including the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the Mid-Atlantic NEA Regional Fellowship.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Call for Artists! Apply for the 2010-2011 residency!

Applications are now available for Residency 2010-2011!

The program is intended mainly for emerging artists who live in neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River. All applications are due by May 10, 2010, and residents will be selected by an advisory board comprised of artists, former AIR residents, educators, and community organizations. A more detailed description of the application process can be found here and the application itself here. Please contact with any questions.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Article in Daily Pennsylvanian • 2/9/10

Programs bring up-and-coming West Phila. artists close to campus

by Pamela Ellermann | Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 1:16 am

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program, located at 40th and Chestnut streets, provides five artists from West Philadelphia studio space for one year. The program has served over 30 artists since its creation in 2002.

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program, located at 40th and Chestnut streets, provides five artists from West Philadelphia studio space for one year. The program has served over 30 artists since its creation in 2002.

Just a few blocks from campus, two programs link Penn with up-and-coming West Philadelphia artists.

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence (AIR) and ArtsEdge programs aim to provide emerging West Philadelphia artists an opportunity to devote themselves to their art without distraction.

AIR, which offers local artists free work space, was founded in 2003 by artist Edward Epstein in collaboration with Facilities and Real Estate Services.

ArtsEdge, entering its second year, offers subsidized studio and living space for two artists per year — a writer and a visual artist — sponsored by the Kelly Writers House and the School of Design, respectively.

These programs provide artists a space where they can work independently, when emerging artists would otherwise experience geographic and financial constraints, said Ed Datz, executive director of real estate for the University.

AIR, having served almost 30 artists during its lifetime, has undergone several changes. Originally, the program supported four artists on a six-month residency, but has now added another artist, Epstein said. Residencies now run a full year.

The program has also modified its application system, allowing any artist from West Philadelphia to apply in an effort to make the program more inclusive. In previous years, applicants had to be nominated by previous artists or board members, said AIR manager Gina Renzi.

The program’s artists often hold workshops with local schools or contribute to public works, such as a mural at the Rotunda.

Epstein said some AIR artists have continued to work with the schools that they collaborated with during their residencies.

“Basically, we are interested in making the arts at Penn visible,” as well as making West Philadelphia artists visible to the University, Director of the Kelly Writers House Jessica Lowenthal said.

Previous ArtsEdge resident Greg Romero helped coordinate activities between the Philadelphia Dramatists Center and Penn by organizing shows at the Writers House.

This year, residents are working together to hold a panel about art that incorporates multiple genres to exemplify the “energy and creative impulses” that ArtsEdge supports, Lowenthal added.

The program helps foster a sense of community by enabling artists to live and work on the same block, according to Renzi. Previously, artists were housed together. ArtsEdge now offers separate apartments for its residents.

“Trying to imagine how two strangers live together made sense in the abstract,” Renzi said. Practically, it added a “strange wrinkle” to the project, prompting the need for separate quarters.

Before they were accepted to ArtsEdge, the artists in this cycle were worried about finding affordable housing in Philadelphia, Renzi said.

In addition to providing space for artists, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services helps carry the operating costs, Datz said.

Article in The University City Review • 2/24/10

40th St AIR Unites Artists with Community

UC Review | 24.FEB.10

By Kaley Lacovetta
Special to the UC Review

Like most artists, Cecilia Paredes always dreamed of having a studio of her own. For years, she worked from her small apartment, sectioning off a meager mock studio space with curtains. Her limited workspace hindered her from creating the large-scale pieces she longed to make. Yet as most local artists know, finding affordable studio space in the city can be an arduous, if not impossible, endeavor. So when Paredes saw flyers for 40th Street AIR’s free studio program, it seemed as if her desire for space could finally be fulfilled.

And after much patience and persistence, Paredes’ wishes were granted. "I kept calling and calling, asking is it time to apply yet," says Paredes. The conceptual artist was accepted into the program last summer, and has recently begun work on her biggest project yet, an enormous labyrinth.

40th Street AIR, an acronym for Artist-in-Residence, seeks to alleviate the plight of the artist by providing free studio space in exchange for community outreach. Artists are provided with rent-free workspace for one year. Currently, AIRSpace has two facilities, at 4007 and 4013 Chestnut Street, for a total of five studios. Both buildings are owned and funded by the University of Pennsylvania. While in the program, artists are encouraged to share their talent with the West Philadelphia community by holding workshops, teaching art classes, creating public art, etc. Paredes contributes by leading a workshop at a local school, teaching 8- to10-year-old children how to create art with found materials in nature. She reminds herself and the children, "You don’t need any money to do art. You can do art from a twig." The outreach opportunity has blessed Paredes. "It proves that it is also the one who gives that receives as much as the pupil or receiver."

The program was founded in 2003 by artist and current director of the University City Arts League Edward M. Epstein in an effort to create "studio space for service," and also as part of a movement to make 40th Street more "artist friendly." Epstein emphasizes art as an essential element of community culture. "Our mission is to help emerging artists in the neighborhood." In fact, in order to be considered for the program, an artist must either live in or be strongly affiliated with the West Philadelphia area. Epstein understands that many local artists remain under-recognized due to a lack of workspace and the difficulty of finding an outlet in the community for one’s art. The program serves to "assist in the career growth and provide exhibition opportunities" for local artists.

West Philly native Vinson Houston is another one of over 40 artists who have benefited from the program. Houston has always been actively involved with the arts in the community, primarily through teaching, both at the Spring School of the Arts and the UC Arts League. It was at the Arts League that Houston met Epstein, who encouraged him to apply to AIR. The program’s goals for neighborhood outreach mirrored Houston’s own ideas. "It’s using art as a form of activism or community advancement."

At present, Houston is using AIRSpace to work on his performance piece titled "La Primavera," the story of a matriarchal agricultural society with a powerful secret hidden deep within its caverns. He has also returned to the Spring School of the Arts to assist the children with their end-of-the-year theater performance.

Other artists in the program include photographer Glen Sacks, performance artist Joanna Quigley, and visual anthropologist Beth Uziak. Sacks works with the People’s Emergency, and Quigley provides free dance classes for the community at the Rotunda.

Currently, the program is looking for individuals to join its newly formed Steering Committee, a community group that will assist in making crucial decisions about the future of AIR. If you are interested, send e-mail to For more information on 40th Street AIR or to download an application, visit

Friday, January 15, 2010

Call for Artists!

Please note that this program is not being conducted by AIR. We're passing along the info from our friends at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists

Open to all Visual Artists: CFEVA’S New Courtland Artist Fellowship

Deadline March 5, 2010: The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), in partnership with NewCourtland, is pleased to offer Philadelphia area artists the opportunity to participate in an exciting, community-based fellowship. Through the NewCourtland Artist Fellowship, eight artists will be selected to bring innovative and engaging art-making to seniors in sites throughout Philadelphia. In order to apply, artists are asked to develop an intergenerational project that brings New Courtland’s residents together with school age children/teens to create a meaningful experience and a high quality artistic project. Work created by residents and their school age partners during the 2010 Fellowship Program will be exhibited with the work of the artist fellows in a large, well publicized exhibition entitled Art is Ageless.

Accepted artists will receive a fellowship award of $2,500. Once artists receive this award they will be responsible for conducting ten 1.5 hour workshops, attending several preliminary and post-workshop meetings, attending one sensitivity training session, and participating in the Art is Ageless exhibition in Spring 2011. Artists will also be separately compensated for purchasing all necessary art supplies and professionally presenting the artwork created in their program for the final exhibition.

For more details and an application please contact Genevieve Coutroubis at 215 546-7775 x11 or