Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Friends & Neighbors West Philly Artist Invitational opens FRI JAN 11, 6-9pm

UPDATE: Read The Daily Pennsylvanian's coverage of the awesome opening:

Hey folks! 
It's about that time----the time for our annual exhibit of local artists whom our residents know and love--their friends and neighbors! 

Our 2012-2013 residents Fatima Adamu, Mike Harpring, Diedra Krieger, Thomason Parnes, and Celestine Wilson Hughes, invite you to Friends and Neighbors, which has become a yearly tradition. Rather than showing our residents' work, our residents invite artists with strong ties to the neighborhood to show their work for a 3 week-long exhibit.

WHEN: Opening reception w/ refreshments and merriment on FRIDAY JANUARY 11, 6-9PM
Gallery hours Fridays January 18 and 25, 3-7pm, and by appointment (Contact

WHERE: The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) Gallery at 4007 Chestnut Street, first floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104 

WHY? See dynamic and diverse work (painting, ceramics, textiles, etc) from 10 emerging to veteran artists, meet talented West Philly artists and the 2012-2013 40st AIR residents! See some awesome press from last year's show HERE

Featured artists this year:
Mike Ball (Polaroid Celluloid, image above, left
Shawn Beeks
Russell Brodie
Sarah Brown
Betty Leacraft
Kylin Mettler
Jenna Peters-Golden 
Janis B. Pinkston
Abby Sullivan
Shinara Taylor (One Foot, image above, right)

Artist Bios/Statements:

owns an old house in West Philly, rides a bike to work, and tries to find time to draw every day. 

is a graduate of University of the Arts where he gained an MFA in painting while running Slapstik Skateboards from various closets in Philadelphia. Shawn’s work focuses on a fine art approach to illustrating human behavior with an unconventional sense of humor. In 2012 his work shifted towards Truism with the intention of rebelling against the limitations of escapism by making the products of the unreal real. Shawn has shown work in galleries that are no longer open.    “I could ramble on and on about this idea of Truism, and how it’s some kind of rebellious art movement against the rising popularity of fantasy in pop culture, but it’s really just fun for me to place the figments of our imagination in the context of reality just to kill the cute.” 

I have been studying painting for about eighteen years, since the summer of 1994. As a teenager, I studied landscape painting and classical figure drawing. Most of the work I’ve done since then been representational. Since 2002, I have been painting on a very small scale. I have discovered many practical benefits to working at this size, but I have also found that the small scale continues to resonate with viewers. When people are drawn in close to examine the details of the painted surface, I’ve found I can more effectively convey the experiences that inspired me to create the paintings.

lives and operates her Etsy vintage shop, Mouse Trap Vintage, in a West Philadelphia apartment that she shares with her cartoonist husband, Brian “Box” Brown, and their two cats, Louis and Buster. She channels most of her creative energy and all of her regular energy into scouring flea markets and thrift stores, curating shop updates and photographing vintage. Sarah has an affinity for nature, animals, scouting and humor, themes which often appear in her artwork and the vintage items she curates for her shop. For this exibition of small works, she's just rediscovering her love of art-making with this series of drawings of "Rare City Wildlife Identification Badges" (hopefully soon to be real badges available for sale in her Etsy shop!) and found object assemblage.

Betty Leacraft
I consider myself a shape shifter of textile forms creating art works which blend multiple fiber processes and surface design techniques. Two wearable art silk scarves display surface design in the form of improvised Turkish marbling. The scarf patterns were inspired by the continuous movement of ocean waves and the contours of solar eruptions.

Kylin Mettler 
is both the name of the artist and a mythical dragon made out of 8 unique animals. Kylin, the dragon, loves to be the barer of good news, the bringer of luck, and the fiery protector of the kind-hearted. Kylin, the artist, loves to find disparate parts and bring them together into found object art, human-animal conglomerates, wildly decorated birds and jewelry of animal whimsy. She loves to steal liberally from nature, and from the utilitarian man made world. Her love affair with biology only furthers her belief that the world is magical. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and never stopped being curious about new forms and new ways to play. Kylin has a three word motto that sums up her approach to life and art: Create, Play, Heal.

Jenna Peters-Golden 
is an artist, organizer, and facilitator living in West Philadelphia.  She is delighted every day to be a part of AORTA, the Philly Stands Up Collective, Marginal Notes study group and the Terra Incognita Arts Crew. Jenna works hard to channel her nearly unhealthy obsessions with stories, books, and the unimaginable into art, political organizing and only friendly tricks. 

Janis B. Pinkston
My concern for the environment compels me to re-use and re-purpose cast-off items for creating assembled, mixed-media sculpture. I have experimented with a wide array of re-used materials such as metals, plastics, wood, paper, cardboard, styrofoam, cloth and wire, along with found and discarded objects including buttons, toy parts, game pieces, hair rollers, beads, light bulbs, bottle caps, jars, containers and more. Many of the pieces are illuminated with previously used lighting devices, signifying the eternal quest for wisdom and enlightenment. Inspiration comes from blues, pop, jazz and other varieties of music. Art and artists from diverse cultures and age groups are among the muses that move my work. Themes are based on socio-political, musical  and personal subjects and often contend with the incomprehensible nature of the human spirit and psyche.

Abby Sullivan 
has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in photography from James Madison University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from Háskólasetur Vestfjarða, an Icelandic University. She is interested in the crossroads between science and art. She currently works at the Wagner Free Institute of Science and as a freelance photographer. 

Shinara Taylor
As a small child, Shinara showed a predilection for creativity. The pleasure of invention has been her sweetest obsession, greatest frustration, and brightest fire. It all humbly began in dime store sketchbooks, the southern countryside, and the craving for a story. She holds equal love for crafts and the fine arts. Informed by the human experience and the natural world, her main satisfaction is found in bringing to life what is useful, unusual, and lyrical. Shinara received a BFA from the University of Tennnessee, interned with the Women's Studio Workshop, and spent her first year in Philadelphia as a print-maker's assistant.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Film Screening: TAPPED - Learn about the bottled water industry's effect on our health, economy, environment, and more

Tuesday, October 16th, 5:45-7:45 pm

Film Screening: TAPPED
come learn about the bottled water industry’s effect on our health, economy, environment, and more!
sponsored by Mariposa Food Co-op’s Food Justice and Anti-Racism Working Group, and 2012-2013 40th Street Artist-in-Resident Diedra Krieger's Plastic Fantastic community outreach project.

Lucien Blackwell Free Library- 125 South 52nd St
free and open to the public

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Daily Pennsylvanian :: 40th Street Artists-in-Residence program opens its doors to the public

Thanks to the many folks who visited our studios and gallery during the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours this past weekend! A writer from the Daily Pennsylvanian, the independent student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, visited us as well, and here is the article! 
The Daily Pennsylvanian :: 40th Street Artists-in-Residence program opens its doors to the public

Friday, October 5, 2012

Diedra Krieger's project Plastic Fantastic rages on through 10/17!

Plastic Fantastic's Adventure at the corner lot
of 49th and Chancellor, Philadelphia PA

September 23rd to October 17th, 2012

Underpinning Plastic Fantastic are concerns about the politics of water, environmental issues, recycling, self-care, and equity. Plastic Fantastic creates possibility for social change through play, collectivity, community development and production. Through this process we improve our relationship with the everyday.

We are excited to be collaborating with the 4900 block of Chancellor Street, 200 block of South 49th Street, Huey School's after school program, Portside Art Center, University City District, 40th Street AIR, Mariposa’s Food Justice and Anti-Racism (FJAR) Working Group, The Rotunda, Hector's Metal Shop, Inciting HQ, all of our water bottle collectors, Planet Fitness, Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia, and Bartram's Garden!

** **** POST Philadelphia Open Studio Tours **** **

******** Saturday 10/6 & Sunday 10/7 ********

Saturday 10/6

Leave a message from your imagination in a bottle for the dome. Plant a bottle on the dome. Visit Diedra's studio at 4013 Chestnut Street 2nd floor, along with our other AIR residents in 4007 and 4013 Chestnut. And/or visit the dome at 49th and Chancellor!

** Special Extra POST Dome Afternoon Action **

* Sunday 10/7/12 * 49th & Chancellor *

++ Make a planter from a carrot ++
++ Sounds by Staco and Rudy ++
++ Pineapple tortas by Kay Ay ++
++ Tree planting ceremony ++

~~~~ Tapped ~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
~~ WHAT~~~~ FJAR sponsored screening of Tapped ~~~
~~~ WHEN ~~~~~ Tuesday 10/16 5:30pm ~~~~
~~ WHERE~~~~~ Blackwell Library, 125 S 52nd Street, Philadelphia, PA  ~~~~~

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meet the artists OCT 6 + 7!

Hadeya's Coming by Celestine Wilson Hughes
Hadeya's Coming by Celestine Wilson Hughes
pictured: Barn House by Mike Harpring
Barn House by Mike Harpring
Fall is here, and so are our new residents!Next weekend, on SATURDAY OCTOBER 6 AND SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, you will have the opportunity to meet our 2012-2013 residents (Fatima Adamu, Mike Harpring, Diedra Krieger, Thomasin Parnes, and Celestine Wilson Hughes) while seeing their work in their very own studios. We'll have some work mounted in our gallery space, too! PLUS, say hello to an old friend----2011-2012 resident Martina Plag, who stayed on this year to act as an artist liaison. Martina will be in her new studio (4007 Chestnut, back) on October 7 only.

moon goddess by fatima adamu
Moon Goddess by Fatima Adamu

WHEN: Saturday October 6 + Sunday October 7, 12-6pm both days

WHERE: 4007 Chestnut Street, 1st floor + 4013 Chestnut Street, 1st and 2nd floors  

This year's group of residents has it all, from stained glass, collage, painting, and silkscreening, to puppetry, installation art, video, photography, movement, eco-art/upcycling, and a host of other media.  

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) is truly a diverse initiative, supporting artists from all walks of life and all visual media.  

Visit the artists' studios for a behind-the-scenes look at how they create in their new digs, and stop by the gallery to see some completed pieces by this talented lineup. 

Plastic Fantastic flyer
flyer for Plastic Fantastic, a project by Diedra Krieger

Studio + gallery locations:

4007 Chestnut front: Celestine Wilson Hughes

4007 Chestnut Middle: Gallery

4007 Chestnut back: Martina Plag (2011-2012 resident; current artist liaison; in studio October 7 only)

4013 Chestnut 1st floor front: Fatima Adamu
pictured: Because Your Pockets Weren't 
There (detail) by Thomasin Parnes
Because Your Pockets Weren't There (detail) by Thomasin Parnes

4013 Chestnut 1st floor middle: Mike Harpring

4013 Chestnut 2nd floor middle: Diedra Krieger

4013 Chestnut 2nd floor back: Thomasin Parnes

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Announcing our 2012-2013 Resident Artists!

Our 2012-2013 residents are:
Fatima Adamu
Mike Harpring
Celestine Wilson Hughes
Diedra Krieger
Thomasin Parnes

Everyone is gearing up to move in and get started! We'll post more info later, regarding their individual working methods and media. And don't forget that you can meet all of these artists during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Sat. Oct. 6 and Sun. Oct. 7, 12-6pm both days.

Aaaaand Martin Plag, one of our 2011-2012 residents, is staying on for the year, filling the new role of artist liaison. In about 5 or 6 months, we'll open the application process to all AIR alum, so if you graduated from our program, will need a studio from August 2013 through August 2014, and don't mind pitching in here and there to help the new artists, consider applying. We'll let you know when applications are ready.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Cyclenauts at Kensignton Kinetic Sculpture Derby and EXCHANGE exhibition

Resident artist Michael Konrad and alumni artist Jim Garvey teamed up with youth from Neighborhood Bike Works in Philadelphia to design and build a rideable "flying saucer" sculpture for the 2012 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. The kids, dubbing themselves "The Cyclenauts," participated in all stages of the project from concept, design, construction, welding, costumes, decoration, and finally riding in the parade, where we won the Judge's Choice Award!

An installation including the flying saucer sculpture, the spacesuit costumes, and the above video documentary was presented at 40th Street AIRspace for Exchange, an exhibition highlighting the completed community outreach projects from the outgoing 40th Street residents.

The Cyclenauts installation at the Exchange exhibition.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mike (pictured), Martina (pictured), and the rest of us want to see you on friday august 10, right here in our 40th street artist-in-residence program back yard and gallery, 4007 chestnut, 6-8pm, as we say goodbye to our 2011-2012 residents, hello to our 2012-2013 residents, and show off our community outreach work!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

AIR Exchange - 8/10/12 - exhibit of 2011-2012 community engagement projects + bbq reception

Join us on Friday August 10th, 6-8pm, for an exhibit and casual bbq reception for Exchange!

This is our very first exhibit of the work completed over the course of residents' community engagement projects.

Bid farewell to our 2011-2012 residents, say hello to our 2012-2013 residents, and see how hard our artists work.

At our gallery, 4007 Chestnut St., 1st floor.

See work from these 2011-2012 projects -
Marie Alarcón: Park Pleasant Nursing Home & Rehab;
Michael Konrad: Neighborhood Bike Works;
E.K. Miles: A Renaissance is What They Call It (student-led art class for all ages);
Sarah Lowry and Beth Nixon & Ms. Weinraub's Drama Classes at West Philadelphia High School;
Martina Plag: University City High School

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

AIR@City Hall 6/14 + E.K. Miles opens Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder 6/15!

Hello Friends!

We have two very exciting announcements, and both have to do with events happening tomorrow Thursday June 14 AND Friday June 15, so read closely.  

pictured: Substitute by Michael KonradThe 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program was one of just a few artist-in-residence programs to be invited to display work in the gallery at City Hall, as part of Philly Residencies. We chose to display work from our outgoing 2011-2012 residents Marie Alarcón, Michael Konrad, Sarah Lowry, E.K. Miles, Beth Nixon, and Martina Plag. Come see brand new works and a few old favorites from these stellar artists.
Residency Reimagined: Artist Residencies in the 21st Century
Thursday June 14
5 - 6pm - Discussion, Mayor's Reception Room (City Hall Room 202)
6 - 7pm - Networking Reception, Art Gallery at City Hall (City Hall Room 116)
pictured: POST 2011 AIR flyer
our 2011-2012 residents

In today's arts landscape, the term "artist residency" no longer has a single, static meaning.

Different residency programs may offer funding, materials, training, work space, living space, or valuable partnerships and collaborative opportunities.  A more diverse set of artists - visual and non-visual - are being invited to participate in residencies by nonprofit arts organizations as well as for-profit businesses.

What do these changes mean for artists in Philadelphia?  What new residency models or trends are emerging around the globe, and how do our city's offerings fit into that larger picture?  How might an organization interested in creating an artist residency program begin the process?  Most importantly, how can local creatives of all types take advantage of these new opportunities?  Our panelists will discuss these issues within the context of their own perspectives on and approach to residency programs, as well as answer your questions.

Following the panel, we invite all guests to move downstairs to the Art Gallery at City Hall to enjoy a networking reception with light refreshments, as well as explore the new "Philly Residencies" exhibition, on display through July 20th.


Amie Potsic, Director of the Career Development Program, The Center For Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA)

Allan L. Edmunds, President, Brandywine Workshop

Gina Renzi, Facilitator, 40th Street AIR

Dan Schimmel, Director & Co-Founder, Breadboard

Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director, Alliance of Artist Communities

The Creative Philadelphia Event Series is an opportunity for creative professionals of every stripe to share their ideas, build their professional networks, and plant the seeds of future collaboration. The series is made possible with generous support from the William Penn Foundation.

Final Solo show of the 2011-2012 residency!
E.K. Miles opens Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder Friday June 15, 6 - 9pm!

pictured: E.K. Miles installationJoin 40th Street AIR as we celebrate our final solo show of the 2011-2012 residency. While we may hold some events later this summer, E.K. Miles' Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder is the last show of the 2011-2012 residency to highlight the work of one resident.

Opening: Friday June 15, 6 - 9pm
Gallery hours: Friday June 22 and 29, 3 - 7pm
or by appointment. Call E.K. at 216-965-7315
@our gallery, 4007 Chestnut St., first floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104pictured: E.K. Miles installation

Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder is an interactive installation-based exhibition. The show is a collection of pieces that compose together the misconception, oppression, and struggles within identity.

From the artist: "As an artist, I use my own personal narrative to weave together pieces of the complex but ever revolving puzzle that is race, class, gender identity, sexuality, family and community. Using objects to convey and mark each passage way of experience, I invite the audience to come along with me through a journey of self reflection and pavement."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Final Solo show of the 2011-2012 residency! E.K. Miles opens Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder Friday June 15, 6-9pm!

Join 40th Street AIR as we celebrate our final solo show of the 2011-2012 residency. While we may hold some events later this summer, E.K. Miles' Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder is the last show of the 2011-2012 residency to highlight the work of one resident.

Opening: Friday June 15, 6-9pm
Gallery hours: Friday June 22 and 29, 3-7pm
or by appointment. Call E.K. at 216-965-7315 
at our gallery, 4007 Chestnut Street, first floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Cross Road: Markings of a Place Holder is an interactive installation-based exhibition. The show is a collection of pieces that compose together the misconception, oppression, and struggles within identity.

From the artist: "As an artist, I use my own personal narrative to weave together pieces of the complex but ever revolving puzzle that is race, class, gender identity, sexuality, family and community. Using objects to convey and mark each passage way of experience, I invite the audience to come
along with me through a journey of self reflection and pavement."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Martina Plag's MONSTERS UNDER THE BED opens this Friday at 7pm!!


Opening: this Friday, May 11th, 7-10pm at 4007 Chestnut Street

Additional viewing times: Friday, May 18th and 25th, 3-7pm or by appointment (call 215-429-9939)

Monsters Under the Bed is an instillation of performance-objects, with an uncanny tilt towards the grotesque. The exhibition features a selection of puppets whose designs have been commissioned over the past four years. In May 2008, Martina Plag branched out as a free-lance designer for theater and dance by establishing a puppetry atelier: studium-praxis.

This installation specifically focuses on designs built at Martina's 40th AIR Space studio over the past nine months. Each puppet or set displayed in the exhibition has been designed for a specific performance and to serve a very specific function. Each puppet design is narrative driven. Martina approaches space-making similarly - from a narrative architecture. Martina's set designs serve to support the functions of the play by creating spaces within which to trans- or per-form... and through which storytelling objects such as puppets, masks and specialty props or the scenic elements themselves can be moved.

There are times when Martina approaches the puppet as metaphor, especially when working with non-figurative objects. She mostly limits this approach to every day objects that are minimally worked as a physical material and rather exalted for being mundane.

The objects in Monsters Under the Bed are designed by Martina Plag, some are even made by her, but many many more are made with the help of talented artists, each bringing their own unique approach to puppet making and puppetry. They include: Pam Raines, Stephen C. Layne. Bill Hanson, Deborah Glassberg, Laureen Griffin, Leah Walton, Lorna Howley, Leila Ghaznavi, Cory Palmer, and several interns too.

for more information about Martina Plag, visit:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CLOSING FOR RETROSPECTACULAR!! Thursday, April 26th, 6 pm!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012,
6:00pm until 9:30pm

Please join us!

7 PM a few shoe-box crankie shows by students from West Philly High.

9 PM songs by Beth Nixon and Morgan FP Andrews from puppet shows of old (sloths, mammoths, mice...)

Beth and her Ramshackle Enterprise have been creating puppet and clown shows and facilitating the creation of parades and pageants in Philly and beyond for over a dozen years. This retrospectacular showcases Beth's participation in over a decade of action in the West Philly/ East coast puppet underground. See, read and fondle relics from her first Philly performance at the 2000 post RNC Puppet Uprising to this winter's collaboration with Sarah Lowry in the creation of "Below and Beyond".

Puppets, masks, suitcase theaters, illustrations and cardboard constructions on display. (Almost) everything for sale! If you bought/claimed anything at the opening, please come to the closing to pick it up! (Beth) (Sarah and Co.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 residency! Deadline is Monday May 7!

Residency: August 25, 2012 - August 15, 2013
Application Deadline: Monday, May 7, 2012
We'll alert artists (whether they are accepted or not) by June 15, 2012.

If accepted to the program, you will be granted a studio space at either 4007 Chestnut or 4013 Chestnut Street for a period of one year, beginning on August 25, 2012 and ending August 15, 2013. You will be encouraged to use that time to develop your own creative work. In exchange, you will be asked to share your talents with West Philadelphia through a minimum of 40 hours of outreach work over the course of the year. Examples of this include a public installation or a workshop or class. Support will be provided to help you develop this project effectively. In addition, the artists in residence will have opportunities to work together to plan group exhibitions, both of their own work and of their outreach work.  Monthly meetings (or more when necessary) will help facilitate this work as well as create opportunities for artists to share ideas and create a true community. In addition to working with your fellow residents, a student intern and a professional facilitator will help to coordinate efforts, including outreach, gallery activities, publicity, maintenance, etc.   

Please note that our sites are not live-in facilities. The studios are available at all times, but the buildings are shared; you must be considerate of other tenants. The spaces can accommodate a variety of creative activities, including painting, sculpture, installation art, photography, and performance art. Collaborative as well as individual efforts are welcome. Ceilings are high (approximately 12 feet in some areas); rooms range from 100-300 square feet. Some areas have ample natural light, while others have none at all (making them ideal darkrooms). The studios are not furnished. The buildings also have small yards in the rear that may be used for assembling larger works, or as a place to exhibit sculpture. The spaces have ventilation, running water, and 120- volt AC outlets. However, the facilities will not accommodate highly toxic chemicals, welding, or very high-powered electrical equipment. Note also that within the spaces, there is open access to the different work areas; we count on resident artists to show respect for others’ property and privacy.

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program strives to create a community of artists who share their talents with each other and with the surrounding community.  

If you are interested, please email for an application.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

UNOCCUPIED reviewed by The Art Blog

UNOCCUPIED has received a nice review from The Art Blog:
At Fortieth Street AIR, which is always engaged with Philadelphia artists, the gallery this month, is graced by work from current resident-artist Michael Konrad. He is continuing his exploration of survival in the decaying urban ecosystem with an installation built around a tent and pennant festoons all made from recycled umbrella canopies. This is where dead umbrellas go to die!
Read the complete article here: West Philadelphia looking is good

The exhibition is on view until March 30 at AIRspace Gallery (4007 Chestnut Street).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Michael Konrad UNOCCUPIED currently at AIRspace

Reign Free, 2012 by Michael Konrad
(tent made from reconstructed umbrella canopies)
click here for additional images of the exhibition
UNOCCUPIED, a solo exhibition of new sculpture, photography and installation is now on view at 40th Street AIRspace through March 30.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening! 

If you didn't make it, the gallery hours are every Friday in March from 3-7pm.
Alternatively, you may view the exhibition by appointment (call 917-318-0380).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

40th St AIR Michael Konrad opens UNOCCUPIED this week!

Unoccupied: a solo exhibition of new sculpture, photography, and installation.

The show includes a selection of installation pieces made of photographs printed on Tyvek and a major new sculpture of a dome-style camping tent constructed from discarded broken umbrella canopies.

Opening Reception: Friday March 9, 6-9pm

Additional viewing times: Fridays March 16, 23, and 30, 3-7pm
+ by appointment (call 917-318-0380)

at the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Gallery (AKA Airspace)
4007 Chestnut Street, first floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104