Sunday, January 5, 2014

The 4th Annual Friends and Neighbors Exhibit opens FRIDAY JANUARY 24!

Friends and Neighbors is an annual exhibit showcasing work from friends, neighbors, students, and colleagues of our residents. Each resident invites two artists to show work, and voila! we have a show! The opening reception is usually packed with great people, great food, and, of course, great work from a diverse group of artists showing a variety of media.

Here's the rundown!

WHAT: The 4th Annual 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program Friends and Neighbors Exhibit


Opening Reception: Friday January 24th, 6-9pm
Gallery Hours: Saturdays January 25th, February 1st, and February 8th, 1-4pm, and by appointment (please email

WHERE: Our gallery, which we are calling AIRSPACE from now on! 

It's located at 4007 Chestnut Street, First Floor, Philadelphia


Barbra Chigounis
Rachel Dobkin
Petra Floyd
Lauren Hansen-Flaschen
Najee Haynes-Follins
Terry Johnson 
Johnny Plastini
Shawn Thornton

About the Artists:

Barbra Chigounis
Barbra is from the Powelton neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her work is a combined reflection of her scholastic endeavors and personal creativity. Barbra’s artistic style is described as painterly and organic.  Barbra began nurturing her talent in the Saturday Youth classes at Fleisher Art Memorial, where she has now returned as a teaching artist.  She has taught art and guided children in completing murals through the Mural Arts Program, and currently uses fine arts to teach preschool aged children as a lead teacher at Trinity Playgroup. Barbra’s paintings and drawings are owned in various private collections. Currently, she is focusing on creating a series of intimate portraits in the oil paint and pastel mediums.

Rachel Dobkin is a Philadelphia-based artist. She received her MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art

Justin Duerr: "I see my body of creative expression in total as part of a story being told down the centuries, within our human species, beginning at least 20,000 years ago. While cultures rise, flourish and crumble, empires run their course, and technologies change the speed and mode of our communication, our human story, which we tell to ourselves, continues to captivate us. I view myself as a participant in an archetypal story-line, which enables us to commune with our ancient past. The past to which our decorative story-song instinct ties us is one which, I think, arcs back to the beginning of time. Our relation to all life-forms, both extinct and yet to come, strands together in a lace-like pattern, which we are both shaped by, and participants in the active creation of. This is a past which predates even our current status of human-hood, which traces ever further back to our origins from the primordial chaos of cosmic upheaval, and also propel us forward, into the unknown of the future..." Visit Justin's web site for his full bio and statement. 

Adam Fergurson: "To me art is spiritual. I am a translator of energies that via visual phenomena invite the viewer to enter into new worlds manifesting as experience and energetic exchange with the work. I often employ chance techniques like pouring, splashing, and puddling. This allows for major aesthetic decisions to be made by the moment, universe, and the work its self transforming my studio practice into a series of alchemical experiments. I employ the use of bright colors and iridescent mediums to make my work experiential..." Visit Adam's web site for his full statement. 

Petra Floyd is a Liberian-American visual artist from Philadelphia. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2012 with a B.A. in studio art. Petra is a founding member of The New Black, a queer black artists collective. She is also a post-graduate apprentice at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. Her work, visual or written, often explores first-generation identity, gender, storytelling, and texture.

Lauren Hansen-Flaschen is a freelance, fine art and documentary photographer. She uses her lens to explore the worlds around her and capture curiosities of human experience. Her fine art photographs are intended to provoke questions, emotions and unexpected connections across seemingly unrelated moments or concepts. Lauren has shown work in Philadelphia and Boston, and was named an "Emerging Documentary Photographer" at the 2010 Bread and Roses Annual Tribute event.

Najee Haynes-Follins is a visual artist based in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Hampshire College with a BA in costume design. Her primary interests are mask-making, self portraiture and illustration. She is currently using mask to understand different ways of performing identity.

Terry Johnson

I want my art to defend the right of humanity to soar, to dance among shapes and millions of shades of color; to hear the whispers of shadows, both ancient and new. I believe my art is at its best when it looks forward and back at the same time, and when it is connected at that point in time and space where the nerve endings of our species plugs directly into the power generator that is the exterior world. My art is partisan and sensitive to the birth pangs of a new order.  
Brooke Lanier received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Tyler School of Art, where she spent her first year of graduate school studying in Rome, Italy.  She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has shown her work in Rome, Italy; Prague, Czech Republic; and across the United States, most notably in The Smithsonian Institute’s S. Dillon Ripley Center and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Lanier currently resides in Philadelphia where she continues her studio practice.

Nicole Myles (b. 1991) is a photographer born in Phoenix, AZ and based in Brooklyn, NY

Johnny Plastini: "Rather than obsess over a clear vision of future image, I invite the elegant clumsiness that can result between the interaction of man and machine, the rational and the instinctual. With the aid of a printing press and power tools, I am able to partially abandon the self and embrace the unpredictability and indirect nature of the medium. I view printing not so much as a series of technical steps trapped within a passive reproductive process, but rather as an opportunity to activate variables which become less about reproducibility and engage a more intuitive and alchemical process. When I make my own handmade paper I view it as a drawing and sculptural practice because the authentic surface of each handmade sheet is just as important as what is printed on it. At the root of my practice is always material investigation. I love wet paper pulp, gobs of aromatic ink and the aura of a tangible work of art..." Visit Johnny's web site for his full statement.

Shawn Thornton 
Shawn Thornton’s intricate paintings are layered with kinetic movement and are rich with color.  Talismanic pictograms uncover mysteries of the subconscious. Influenced by the ancient and painted with an acute awareness, the works evoke a timeless meditation on the subconscious. Labyrinths of circuitry are interwoven with signifiers and visions, a glimpse into the artists struggle with a brain tumor. Shawn Thornton lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.  He received his BFA in Painting from VCU, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was a recipient of a Pollock Krasner Grant.  Shawn is an avid gardener, experimental musician and skilled baker of delicious treats.


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