Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Art Sale December 14 and 15!

Our residents are planning a sale of affordable small works made by them as well as invited guest artists!

The sale will take place on Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15, 11am-6pm both days at our gallery, 4007 Chestnut Street, first floor.

Most pieces are under $50! Prices for all budgets!

A percentage of proceeds will be donated to St. Columba, a safe haven for chronically homeless and seriously mentally ill men, at 4133-9 Chestnut Street.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Photos from the Youth Art Show opening reception on Nov 16!!

Thanks to everyone who came! Remember that you can still see the artwork on Saturdays November 23, 1-4pm, November 30, 1-4pm, December 7, 1-4pm, and by appointment before December 7 (just email

Check out these awesome pics by our intern Ajai!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Young Artists Exhibit opening Saturday November 16!!!

Please join us for our first ever
Young Artists Exhibit
November 16 – December 7
here at 40th Street Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Gallery, 4007 Chestnut Street, First Floor

Opening Reception: Saturday November 16, 2PM - 6PM 
Gallery Hours: Saturdays November 23, November 30, and December 7, 1-4pm + by appointment 

There are very few spaces in Philadelphia to see art work by youth (an age range we have loosely defined as 18 and under).  This show is an opportunity for youth to present their art in the gallery.  This artwork will range from drawings and paintings to video and dioramas. Our connection to young artists through art is part of a practice that we find meaningful and important to share with our community of friends, family and neighbors. 

Opening on Saturday, November 16 youth affiliated with 40th St. AIR Artists will be showcasing their artwork. Along with the work being presented, please join us on-site art-making, snacks, dancing, and more!

AND visit The Rotunda (4014 Walnut Street) at 7pm on Thursday November 21 to see the films of Johnny Dickie (16 years old)!!! We'll preview some of his work at this opening here at AIR! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

POST 2013 was great! Thanks for visiting!

Thanks so much to the dozens of people who visited our studios and gallery for Philadelphia Open Studios 2013! Here are some photos from the weekend!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meet our new artists during POST! Oct 19 and 20, 12-6pm

Meet our artists during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST)! Our artists will keep their studios open for YOU Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20, 12-6pm. See their work and hear their stories! Refreshments served at both locations. 

Don't forget to visit BOTH buildings, 4007 Chestnut 1st floor and 4013 Chestnut!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Video from 2013 Kinetic Sculpture Class available (Partnership Between AIR and Neighborhood Bike Works).

2012-2013 Resident Mike Harpring co-taught a Kinetic Sculpture Class for area youth at Neighborhood Bike Works as part of his community outreach project. The three month course introduced participants to kinetic sculpture through a variety of workshops and art projects, and culminated in the creation of a giant ride-able spider, aptly named Big Mama, which was raced in the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Check out the videos below that co-teacher and previous AIR resident Jim Garvey made:

The big ride:

The mini-magnet-motor workshop:

The most important workshop of them all:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gallery hours tomorrow Friday Sept 20, 3-7pm! See Celestine Wilson Hughes' glass works!

gallery hours Fridays September 20 and 27, 3-7pm.
4007 Chestnut Street, 1st floor.

Meet our new artists during POST! Oct 19 and 20, 12-6pm

Meet our artists during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST)! Our artists will keep their studios open for YOU Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20, 12-6pm. See their work and hear their stories!

Plastique Cirque and Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor Streets with Huey Community School

What do you do to

How is your relationship with 
An instructional piece:

Make a list of everything in your life that is plastic

Label them as either ephemeral disposable products or possessions.

It is with great pleasure

that we present a selection of images

from Plastic Fantastic with 49th & Chancellor and Huey Community School, September 2012 and Plastique Cirque's Event and Exhibition, May 2013 

an exploration of play,circus arts, plastic history, relationship to water, water bottles, feminism, plastic ocean, puppetry, tetrahedrons, art, collaboration, celebration

but first the Project Description of Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor Streets

Plastic Fantastic is an immersive, nomadic environment for play, built from 6,000 postconsumer plastic water bottles on a 16-foot diameter geodesic dome. The dome serves as a centerpiece for organizing social relations. Inspirations include Fluxus, subRosa, the Yes Men, Creative Time, Yayoi Kusama, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and El Anatsui. Some of the places that Plastic Fantastic has lived are Salisbury University, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the Schuylkill Banks next to Fairmount Water Works at Art in the Open 2010.

For the community outreach for the 40th street Artist-in-Residence Program and the thirteenth iteration of Plastic Fantastic, in fall of 2012 we worked with block captain, Ms Coffee of the 4900 block of Chancellor Street, the residents and property owner John Cox to bring Plastic Fantastic as a public art project to a lot at the corner of 49th Street and Chancellor Streets. Recycling buckets for the blocks were donated by University City District  A new batch of water bottles was collected from friends, Planet FitnessBikram Yoga Philadelphia and United by Blue’s collection from Bartram’s Garden clean ups (note the more dirty bottles on the dome). Hector Medina’s Metal Shop contributed their time and skills to guide and make a new dome armature. Huey Community School students and neighborhood youth worked with me to transform the dome into public art. A group of West Philly high school students cut the plastic grid to fit the unusual shapes and add in more bottles to more fully cover the dome. A celebration of the finished dome was had with a party with grilled pineapple tortas by Raw Peas and sounds by Staco.

In mid-October, Plastic Fantastic was relocated to a highly trafficked area, for a two week visit at the Rotunda. After a hiatus post-Sandy, since early Spring 2013 Plastic Fantastic has enjoyed residency in the backyard of the 40th Street AirSpace, which had been previously cleared by the 2011-12 AirSpace residents. During this time, Upholstery developed the site specific theatrical production “Marvin & Mae (in a Sea of Plastic)”, a fantastical tale of loneliness and love told through puppets made entirely of plastic waste, that premiered at Plastique Cirque in May, and runs again tonight (8/9) for AIR Exchange.

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. Please “Feed the Dome” a positive message.

Now on with the documentation...

Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor, September 2012

Installing Plastic Fantastic Dome with Kelly Anne (Raw Peas), Andrew and Todd. Visitors take a recycle bin donated by University City District and learn more about the project. Plant donations from Bartram's Garden. 
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Huey School 7th & 8th graders visit Tuesday 9/25/12.  
450 bottles onto the dome in 30 minutes.
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Teacher: Chenequa Jones, Kellie Brown, Lee Marcus

Collaborators: Rya McLeod, Lauren Monk, Ameenah Mack, Richard Bernhardt, Nataye Jones, Pay-ten Robinson, Erica Lockett, Dana Scott, Andrea Cain, Dy'anny'a Holmes, Duranah Anderson, Tykira Adams, Doniesha Landon, Chase Mills, Dashaun Mills

Block captain: Ms. Coffee and her dog, Macy

Artist: Diedra Krieger

Plastic Fantastic Youth Ambassadors, Super and Tonaya
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Plastic Fantastic Dome, 16 foot in diameter, water bottles, plastic grid, 3/4" conduit 
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Plastique Cirque, May 10, 2013

"Play", neon sign, diedra krieger, 2013


Upholstery's "Marvin & Mae (in a Sea of Plastic)"

"Meditative Play Tetrahedron" water bottle caps, paper, mixed media, Diedra Krieger, 2013
"Bottles" Woodley White (Outside the Frame Collective), 2013
"Tipplers Planet", mixed media, water bottles, Anna Perricci

"Cartwheeling through Feminist Theory" video performance, damali abrams and Diedra Krieger, 2013

"Aquarium Wonderland", Digital video installation, Sean Stoops, 2013

xo End Notes xo

I kept a playlist of the videos produced from the 40th Street AIR Space Residency which includes videos documenting a view from inside the artist's studio.

We are excited to announce Plastic Fantastic's next adventure will be to Alaska at the Anchorage Museum with the Gyre Exhibition in 2014!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2012-2013 resident Celestine Wilson Hughes opens LOOK. SEE. HEAR. on FRI SEPT 13!

Join us as we celebrate LOOK. SEE. HEAR. the glass works of 2012-2013 resident Celestine Wilson Hughes. This will be our final exhibition of work by a 2012-2013 resident. Let's send Celestine off with love and support. As always, we welcome the general public, friends, family, supporters, and past residents.

Opening Reception: FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 6-9PM
refreshments served
Gallery Hours: Fridays September 20 and 27, 3-7pm or by appointment (email
At our gallery, 4007 Chestnut St., 1st Floor

After this, catch our 2013-2014 residents in their studios during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours SAT OCT 19 and SUN OCT 20, 12-6pm both days!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thomasin Parnes opens How Many Guys? Remembering My Grandfather FRIDAY JULY 12TH!

On display July 12-26, 2013
at 40th Street AirSpace Gallery, 
4007 Chestnut St., 1st Floor  

Opening Reception: 
Friday, July 12, 2013, 6 - 9pm

Gallery Hours: 
Fridays July 19 and 26, 3-7pm and by appointment (email

Thomasin Parnes is a queer/trans artist, DIY archivist, and curator of everyday junk. Prior to their arrival in Philadelphia in 2002, they studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Thomasin has worked off-and-on in freelance illustration and print design, but has shifted their focus in recent years to the intersection of food, social/economic justice, and community-building through their current role as Grocery Coordinator and Buyer for the newly-expanded Mariposa Food Co-op at 49th and Baltimore. After a nearly three-year hiatus from drawing, Thomasin returned to art-making with a renewed passion in 2009 and has since created and shown two new collections of work (Portraits of Evidence, 2011 and Counterweight, 2012). Thomasin was also a 2011 recipient of the Leeway Foundation's Art & Change Grant.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Past is Over: An exhibition of Illuminated assemblages by Mike Harpring; opens FRI JUNE 14!

The Past is Over: An exhibition of Illuminated assemblages by Mike Harpring
On display June 14 - 29, 2013
at 40th Street AirSpace Gallery, 4007 Chestnut St., First Floor
Opening Reception:

Friday, June 14, 2013. 6 - 9pm
Gallery Hours: Fridays June 21 and 28, 3-7pm & by appointment (email

40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program is pleased to present The Past is Over, a solo exhibition of new work by 2012-2013 artist-in-residence Mike Harpring. Please join us at the 40th Street Gallery on Friday June 14, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm for the exhibition opening and to meet the artist.
In the exhibition, Harpring presents a body of work created during his year-long residency at 40th Street. The work explores personal transition and the reinvention of identity through the collective experience. As the title of the show suggests, the main theme is letting go of the past and moving forward on an intentional trajectory.
Harpring's installation is comprised of ten illuminated assemblages that combine screen-printed illustrations and salvaged building materials with laser-engraved acrylic panels (each of which glows from an internal LED light source). Individual narratives are expressed within each composition, engaging the viewer and carrying them through each layer of the piece. By incorporating reclaimed materials and traditional printmaking practices alongside more advanced art-making technologies, the work suggests a nod to the past while embracing the future.
Native to Louisville, Kentucky, Mike Harpring received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Indiana University in 2008. He moved to West Philadelphia in 2011, where he currently resides. For more information or to obtain more images of his work, contact or call (229) 444-4688.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gallery Hours Tonight 5:15pm - 8:00pm Friday 5/24/13

Tonight is the last night for  Plastique Cirque “gallery hours” at 40th Street AIR Space, 4007 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. Coinciding with this I’ll be hosting a live via the internet google video hang out from 630pm – 730pm. Drop by!

Image: “Marvin and Mae, in a sea of plastic” by Upholstery, still from video of performance in the Plastic Fantastic dome

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Just TWO Days Left! Apply now! Deadline is Monday! Apply for our 2013-2014 residency!

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) awards West Philadelphia artists one year of free studio space at 40th and Chestnut Streets. In exchange, each artist shares his/her talents with West Philadelphia by leading workshops, teaching classes, exhibiting in the area, etc. Founded by artist Edward M. Epstein in 2003 and run by Gina Renzi since 2008, the program addresses the need for studio space in West Philadelphia, assists artists with career development, and makes the 40th Street area a nexus for visual arts.

AIR is NOW accepting applications for the 2013-2014 residency. Applications are due Monday May 13, 2013 at 11:59pm.

The 2013-2014 residency begins August 25, 2013 and ends August 15, 2014.

Please keep reading for application information.

The mission of the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program is:
pictured: 4013 chestnut street
·    To address the need for artist studio space in West Philadelphia by offering studios rent-free, on a rotating basis, primarily to those artists who reside in/are very closely affiliated with Philadelphia neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River.

·    To assist in career growth and provide exhibition opportunities for new and emerging artists and those whose work has not been recognized in mainstream venues.

·    To enrich the 40th Street area by placing artists here who share their talents with our neighbors.

If accepted to the program, you will be granted a studio space at either 4007 Chestnut or 4013 Chestnut Street, beginning on August 25, 2013.

You will be encouraged to use that time to develop your own creative work. In exchange, you will e. k. miles in studio 2011 be asked to share your talents through a minimum of 40 hours of outreach work, within West Philadelphia, over the course of the year. Examples of this include creating a public installation or holding a workshop or class***. Support will be provided to help you develop this project.

In addition, residents will have opportunities to work together to plan 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 foster community within the program.

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, etc. 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 as darkrooms). The studios are not furnished. The buildingshave 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 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.

To apply:
You can access the application in multiple ways: 
1. Click HERE for a Google doc version.
2. Click HERE to download from Dropbox.
3. Email for an application. Please specify if you want an application in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
Once completed, please submit the application by 11:59pm on Monday May 13, 2013. Email it to or mail it to 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program, 4007 Chestnut Street, First Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Do not drop off materials; there is no guarantee we will receive them.
We can return application materials if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope.