The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program awards West Philadelphia artists 1 year of free studio space at 40th & Chestnut Sts. In exchange, residents share their talents within West Philadelphia by leading workshops, teaching classes, exhibiting, etc. Founded by artist Edward M. Epstein in 2003 and managed by Gina Renzi since 2008, we address the need for studio space in West Philadelphia, assist artists with career development, and make the 40th Street area a nexus for visual arts.
TOMORROW: current AIR resident Genesis Martinez-Crespo presents a group exhibit from local artists. Check out their work, including photographs with accompanying artist readings, poetry, videos and more. Hope to see y'all there!!
Friday, December 11. 6 pm, talks start at 7 pm. 4007 Chestnut Street, First Floor.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let the festivities continue and join us for a closing ceremony of our indigenous artists show tomorrow. The event will be hosted tomorrow, Saturday, November 28, at the gallery, 4007 Chestnut, starting at 7pm. Speak with the artists, eat some food, and enjoy this collection for one last time. Hope to see you there!
A picture from the opening reception to entice you:
2014-2015 AIR resident Brujo de la Mancha has organized a collection of art by local indigenous artists. The opening, on Saturday, November 7th, was a tremendous success. Please check out a preview of the exhibit in the pictures below.
We will have open gallery hours at 4007 Chestnut on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm until Saturday, November 28th. On the 28th, join us at the closing reception for a chance to speak with the artists and munch on some snacks. All are welcome to attend!
Mixed Indigenous Artist Exhibit To Our Ancestors November 7 - 28 OPENING Reception on Saturday Nov 7, 6-9pm! Closing ceremony on Saturday Nov 28 at 7pm Gallery open on weekends, 12-6pm at our gallery at 4007 Chestnut St., 1st floor Featuring work by: Genesis Martinez-Crespo Nazbalam Cascada del Jaguar Vernette Morningstar Carroll Jose Rodriguez Priscilla Anacakuyani Bright Star Brujo de la Mancha
Join AIR, Lori Waselchuk, and the contributors of 40th Street Windowwishes on Friday, October 30th for TWO SPECIAL EVENTS !!
First, from 4:00 to 5:30, a Windowwishes Walkabout. Come and meet the artists/community stewards in front of their creations. They will talk about their work and share their passions. Come to hear from these truly inspiring women!
Second, from 6:00 to 9:00, the Block Party closing reception. Join us in the 4007 Gallery to speak with the artist, munch on snacks, and admire her work before the exhibit closes on November 1st. Facebook event here. More information on the postcard images below!
Closing Reception: Saturday August 15, 2015 - 6-9pm
at AIRSPACE Gallery 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program 4007 Chestnut Street, 1st Floor Phila. PA 19104 Gallery Hours: by appointment. Please email 40th.AIR.firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTIST BIO Lorna Williams was born in 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. She studied at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia. In 2009, she attended the Norfolk Program at Yale University. Her work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum Harlem, Harlem, NY; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Williams’ work has been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Art in America, The New York Times, FLATT, Boston Magazine, Concierge Magazine, and The Boston Globe, among others. She was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalist, ARTS Recognition Finalist, National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Finalist, Art and Change Grantee of the Leeway Foundation, Ellen Battell Stockel Fellowship Recipient. Her work is included in the collection of 21C Museum, The Pizzuti Collection and Wellington Management. Williams lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
ABOUT THE WORKWilliams’ anthropomorphic sculptures are meticulous amalgams of unlikely and often provocative material juxtapositions. In nothing (k)new, Williams continues to use the body as her primary subject while focusing on the specific and essential processes of birthing and digesting. Plastic teeth, locked hair, root systems, pipes, stones, thorns and snakeskin, are some of the artist’s materials, assembled to form the ecosystem of each piece and a collective narrative throughout the body of work. In held, djet, fabricated from the carcass of a taxidermied reptile, Williams compresses metaphors of life, death and re-animation into the form of a digestive track. The piece bears an intimate acceptance of life cycles, as the snake was once the artist’s pet living, dying and then re-born. Revealing what is literally hidden beneath the surface, Williams’ unflinchingly embraces bodily function. The serpentine creature is known for its own unique digestive processes; an ideal material for the twisting, turning intestines. held, djet. alludes to human movement through life—gathering, breaking apart, taking what is essential and discarding the waste. Williams’ collaged sculptures serve as a means to express specific, and at times, personal narratives alongside those of the collective human condition. Focusing on the processes of digestion and birthing, she offers the matter-of-fact reality of each as a means to express their symbiotic relationship. While birthing creates and builds life, digestion consumes, breaks down and extracts; yet ultimately they find similarity in the simple event of expelling. Williams’ artistic process itself is grounded in both mechanisms as she accumulates, fuses, extracts, creates, and releases. ARTIST STATEMENT
Lorna the roots of my body: the power of art-as-ritual
As the primary site of expression, the body is the tool and subject of my work. I closely analyze and deconstruct human anatomy to speak to the reality that human-made materials mimic nature. These processes organically unfold through external support systems, timing, cause and effect. My works are intricately constructed with detritus from my life, including various hardware, bike parts, music instruments, ropes and chains. I also use natural materials such as raw wood, root systems, bird’s nest, insect hives, animal corpses, hair and snake shedding- of which has been collected over the course of travels, living, and circumstance. These materials unify the concept of what is created artificially and what manifests organically through natural processes.
My anthropomorphic sculptures are meticulous amalgams of unlikely and often provocative material juxtapositions. I am fascinated by the functions that all materials, whether human-made or natural, are subject to performing and am always searching for the possible relationships among them—always seeking to assemble, arrange and connect them in ways that speak to concepts that I am visually processing. I question everything and take time to research materials- considering their historical/timely functions and associations. It is in the way I arrange and assemble the materials that gives space for the concepts to take form and present themselves. I enjoy discovering the many different ways a material can be manipulated, taken apart and put back together. I am always looking for the double/triple meanings/functions of the words that are used to define, describe and label the various materials. I draw upon this language for guidance in my decision-making assemblage processes.
My works represent rituals of rebirthing and initiation, of reevaluating, dismantling and rebuilding “self” through natural and man-made materials. Its focus is considering every perspective and then shedding—letting go in order to reinvent, redefine, rediscover and reintroduce. Distilling collected material into anthropomorphic forms, my sculptures address the cross-section of personal narrative, cultural heritage and a shared human condition. The material and figurative interconnectedness of my works creates an on-going mythology that speaks of life and death, birth and decay. My hope is that viewers will experience their own initiation ritual for the release and (re-)introduction of our shared anatomical foundations.
Join us on Thursday June 11, 6-9pm, as we bid farewell to Althea Baird's show. This will be your last chance to see her work, take away some mural broadsheets, and experience the myriad unique performances that result from her infamous cootie catchers. Don't know what we're talkin about here? Well, come to the reception to find out!
The Facebook event is HERE.
Coming up, the fourth resident show of the year, featuring artist TENBROECK CRIPPS. 40th Street Artist-in-Residence presents "Insects and Angels: the Secret Show" with past and present works by Tenbroeck.
Join us for the show's opening reception, Saturday, June 20th, from 6 to 9 pm, where you will have the opportunity to speak with the artist about her process, inspiration, and ideas. The show itself will run in the AIRSPACE Gallery on the first floor of 4007 Chestnut Street from June 20th to July 9th. Find further details in the postcard image below. Hope to see many of you there!
Join us for Althea Baird's gallery show opening, this Saturday, May 16th, from 6 to 9 pm in the AIR Gallery at 4007 Chestnut, first floor. The opening will kick off a one month long show featuring new work by Althea. The night will be full of live performances by the artist herself, a chance to discuss with her about her work and process, and some food to munch on. You can find more about the artist here.
Althea's show will run from May 16th to June 7th. Gallery hours by appointment. Please email email@example.com to set up a time.
Mark your calendars! 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program presents "Past and Present works by Brujo de la Mancha." On display at 4007 Chestnut Street, first floor, from April 18th to May 9th. More information below:
Saturday, April 18th, 6-9pm
Saturdays and Sundays 12-6pm
Or by appointment: (215)firstname.lastname@example.org
About the artist: I am a multidisciplinary, self-taught artist, teaching artist. Born in Mexico City in a mixed Mexican-indigenous and Spanish working class family. In my childhood, during visits to my father's family around Xico, Veracruz in Mexico, I experienced the surviving Mayan, Olmec, Aztec and Catholic cultures, traditional farming, and popular crafts that represent and express the life of the indigenous Mexican people. Later, I cultivated a sense of freedom to express my personal dreams and reality by immersing myself in indigenous cultures in the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Michoacan and Tlaxcala. I grew up believing and experiencing independent thinking, realizing that people are rich in resourcefulness in their own power for self-control. My paternal grandmother migrated from Xico, Veracruz to Mexico City before I was born, and I have continued this family experience with my own migration to Philadelphia eleven years ago, where I have joined the diversity of lives and cultural exchanges of this city. In Mexico a great emphasis is placed on the connection between human beings and the natural world. In 2007 I got my Aztec name "Tletxayacoatl" (The Snake with the Face on Fire) in a summer solstice ceremony in Chicago with Master "Ocelotcoatl" (The Jaguar & Snake) and Master "Xavier Quijas Yxayotl". I also won a grant from The Institute for Cultural Partnership to learn how to make "Tlapizcalli" clay flutes with the Master "Xavier Quijas Yxayotl", my first formal training in art. I have continued this work on my own making a clay instrument called the "Ehekachiktli" -The Dead Whistle- an instrument that is very old. My artistic name BRUJO DE LA MANCHA was giving to me by my friends through my artistic development. My name, Brujo, means "witch" in Spanish. Because transformation is a magic power that humans have inside, I encourage people to focus on the present, to recycle and embrace what they have around them now.
BRUJO's project discusses indigenous identity in Philadelphia. He wants to include and give a voice to indigenous people, which could include Northern, Central, Caribbean, or South American indigenous people, as well as Africans or non-Africans who mixed with indigenous people and who currently live in Philadelphia. He is currently leading discussions about identity in this city, which will culminate in a collective piece of artwork (possibly a mural or a book). ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION.
Wednesdays April 8, 15, 22 from 6-8 pm at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street.
Sundays April 12, 19, 26 from 2-4 pm at By My Side Parenting Program at Atonement Lutheran Church, 1542 East Montgomery Avenue.
Some pictures from the first discussion, last Wednesday at the Rotunda:
ALTHEA has been holding choreography workshops and work-making sessions over the past few months. Pictures of these sessions are displayed below.
And don't forget to check out our upcoming artist shows at 4007 Chestnut Street. Brujo's show opens April 18th and Althea's show is coming up in May!!
Monday, May 4, 2015 at 11:59pm
We'll alert ALL applicants by Friday June 26, 2015.
Thanks for your interest in the 40th Street
Artist-in-Residence Program. This letter describes the program and provides
information on the application process.
The mission of the
40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program is:
address the need for studio space in West Philadelphia by offering studios
rent-free, on a rotating basis, to visual artists who reside in/are strongly
affiliated with Philadelphia neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River.
•To assist in the career growth of new
and emerging artists and those whose work has not been recognized in mainstream
•To enrich the 40th
Street area by placing artists here and allowing them to share their talents with
members of our community.
What you get and
what you give:
If accepted, you will be given a studio space at either 4007
Chestnut Street or 4013 Chestnut Street beginning September 1, 2015 and ending
August 15, 2016. 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 service over the courseof
the residency. Examples of outreach projects include a public installation, a workshop,
or a class. You may work at a school, prison, hospital, nursing home, etc. Administrative
and modest financial support will be provided. In addition, all residents will
have opportunities to work together to plan group exhibitions.Monthly resident meetings (or
fewer/more when necessary) will facilitate this while creating opportunities to
foster community within the program. In addition to collaborating with your
fellow residents, a student intern and a part-time facilitator will help to
coordinate efforts, including outreach, gallery activities, publicity,
• You must be a new or emerging artist. This does not
necessarily mean that you are a recent college graduate (though it’s fine if
you are!). You can be any age, at any stage of life.
• You must be affiliated with West Philadelphia, meaning you
live, work, volunteer, or create art here.
• Full time students may not apply.
• Former 40th Street artists-in-residence may not apply.
• Groups may not
apply, though collaborative duos may apply. Our studios cannot accommodate more
than two artists at a time.
• Artists who have applied in the past and were not accepted
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, drawing, sculpture, installation art, photography,
puppetry, and fiber art. The studios are too small for dance. Ceilings in most
studios are high (approximately 12 feet in some areas); rooms range from 150-300
square feet. Some areas have ample natural light, while others do not. The
studios are not furnished. The buildings have small back yards 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 different work areas; we count on residents to show respect for
others’ property and privacy.
On MLK day, current resident Althea Baird worked with local young people, adults, elders, and artists to create a powerful art demonstration entitled "Cosmic Soul Force". The project was youth led co-facilitated, with collaborators ART F//ACTION and Ash Richards.
In her own words, "We will write alone and together to create a speech that speaks to the freedom dream we are unfolding, to the destruction of the forces of oppression, and the transformation of power and spirit. This speech will be painted onto double sided signs for anybody that wants to roll to the protest."
Check out more about the project here. Video on Youtube here. Pictures below.
The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program 5th Annual Friends and Neighbors Exhibit
Exhibiting work from friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues of our residents
January 17 - February 7
SATURDAY JANUARY 17 • 6-9pm
Artist Talk at 7pm
Gallery Hours: Saturdays Jan 24, 31, Feb 7 • 2-6pm
+ by appointment - email email@example.com
at AIRSPACE Gallery
4007 Chestnut ST, 1st FL • Philadelphia
Yemaya Gabriel was born in Philadelphia, PA in 2009. She is a visual artist and musician of both the violin and piano. Gabriel studied at the University City Arts League and has studied with Philadelphia-based artist Jacqueline Unanue. Gabriel is most interested in drawing and making objects out of clay, paper and other found materials.
My name is Carlos Gonzalez, and I am from Mexico. For the last three years, I have been drawing with charcoal. But I'm primarily a tattoo artist and have been living in the US for the past 17 years.
My name is Lisa Barkley, born and raised in West Philadelphia. I started taking an interest in art at an early age. My Aunt Inez showed me how to make all kinds of crafts from which I later developed a love of Mosaic Art. You can use buttons, pennies, gravel, just to name few, and make beautiful art. I started trying beans that come in all sorts of colors and eggshells which can be painted in many colors. Combined with my love of fashion I came up with the lovely pieces that you'll see at the show.
Emyluz Almodovar Ortiz
Emyluz Almodovar-Ortiz is currently a student at The Community College of Philadelphia. She is the Co-Facilitator/Intern at Art Factory.
Rachel Hoppenstein Rachel Hoppenstein
paints and draws in her home studio in West Philadelphia. Also a yoga
teacher and occupational therapist, her work explores forms in the human
body. She uses diverse media, including oils, acrylic, ink, pencil,
pastel, nail polish and other beauty products. She received her BA from
Brandeis University and a Certificate from Philadelphia Academy of Fine
A mother, artist, curator, and teacher, Lucy Pistilli's community work has focused on collaborating with mental health patients and children. Growing up in Philadelphia and studying art in post-industrial Kansas City, MO, she developed a fascination in the beauty of imperfection, humility, and humanism. She recently teamed with Brian Bazemore to found The Pedestrian Project, a collective that encourages artists to engage directly with under-represented communities through collaboration, actualizing philosophy that art should be accessible and not reserved for elitist populations. Pistilli collects discarded family photography and utilizes it as a primary subject matter in her work, finding definitive qualities in images people have weeded out and nostalgia in the captured moments of awkwardness of strangers. She has said: "I see life's greatest beauty in its simultaneous strangeness and familiarity, in the struggle to comprehend and connect and the unpredictable and ephemeral moments in which this is achieved."
Kaitlin Kylie Pomerantz
Kaitlin Pomerantz is an artist living in West Philadelphia. Using a variety of mediums, her work explores the relationship between humans and the environment, attempting to capture what a modern "nature" might look like and mean. Kaitlin facilitates the ongoing botanical arts project We The Weeds. She recently completed the RAIR residency at Revolution Recovery recycling plant in North Philadelphia. She is working towards her MFA at University of Pennsylvania.
Antonio Rojas Nazbalam Cascada del Jaguar
Soy Antonio Rojas, de la ciudad de Mexico ; el proposito de nazbalam arte y cultura es plasmar la riqueza que nos distingue reflejando asi la diversidad cultural, creativa de nuestros antepasados identificandonos en todo el mundo .y tratar de mantener viva nuestra cultura y nuestras raizes. I'm Antonio Rojas, from Mexico City; Nazbalam the purpose of art and culture is to capture the richness that distinguishes us so reflecting the cultural, creative diversity of our ancestors identifying ourselves worldwide, and trying to keep our culture and our roots alive.
Samarah Tahir was born in Philadelphia, PA in 2003. She is a writer and performance artist. Tahir studied at the Freedom Theater in Philadelphia from 2010 -2012 and Philadelphia’s Young Performers Art Camp from 2012 - present at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Tahir is most interested in writing short stories and performing in plays and dance shows.
Barbara graduated with a B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1999, and then moved to NYC. She met success in shows at Figureworks and Get Real Art, but felt drawn to study classical painting in Florence, Italy. She lived there for one year studying drawing under Mario Pachioli. In 2004 she moved to Philadelphia, on a full scholarship, to study at Studio Incamminati with master painter Nelson Shanks. She left the atelier in 2005 to work on a series of large paintings. After travelling and painting extensively, Barbara has returned to Incamminati to finish the Professional Program. While studying, Barbara continues to show her work and take on commissions. Continuously challenging herself to find new expressions through painting and drawing and the combination of the two, Barbara has been working on all different types of approaches from gestural, alla prima to slowly developed realist painting. She currently paints plein air, figure paintings, portraits and combined paintings from life, photo and imagination. She also works on traced monotypes, a drawing technique used by many painters of the past including Gauguin and Degas. Barbara strives to merge intuitive feeling and gesture with a studied, trained or cerebral approach, but never too much of either. Being an artist, for Barbara, means not being afraid to create the ground she is about to step on, taking risks and following instinct.