Breakfast Club This Thursday Feb. 16…It Just Keeps Getting Better

Breakfast Club Coordinator, Paula Mandel, fills you in:

Well, we had another stimulating Artists’ Breakfast! We had two local artists present their stories as well as some of their work. The first was Steve Segal, an editor, wordsmith, visual art director and designer of books in addition to being a writer. He combines form and function believing that “language is the art.” Steve currently works primarily with small book publishers of fantasy and fiction although previously he has run magazines. In his job at Quirk books, he edits books, designs book covers and serves as curator as he matches creators with projects (often using the online social gallery communities such as “”).

Steve shared several books that he had developed with the group. The absolute show-stopper was a stunning and creative boxed accordion book entitled “The Thorn and the Blossom” by Theodora Goss. It contains two stories utilizing the same characters. When read in one direction it conveys a love story;  the other, a murder mystery. This is modeled after one-of-a-kind books created by artists. It had just been published the day before and made a huge impression on the group.

Discussions about the costs of creating books and projects ensued along with marketing ideas. Many questions followed and ideas were percolating.

An equally impressive artist, Arleen Olshan ( has her studio set up in the Mt. Airy Art Garage. She proceeded to describe her training at Fleisher, PAFA, and PCA and multiple paths she had travelled in the art world which led her to creating custom hand-sewn hand-dyed leatherwork, utilizing gemstones and glass as decorative inclusions. It all began years ago when she needed a pair of sandals! Having recently retired from her day job as a drug and alcohol counselor with women and children in recovery, she set about working on her life-long dream to establish MAAG, a community-based center for the visual and performing arts. Arleen shared some of her accomplished representational portraits with the group and talked about utilizing our local shop PROFILES (, in Chestnut Hill to create huge digital scans of her work.

As necessary tools and suppliers become scarce for Arleen’s craft, she mentioned a need to replace a tool used for punching holes in the leather. Someone mentioned that there is a shop in or around Northern Liberties which utilizes digital drawings to create 3D tools from a hard plastic.

Our next MAAG Breakfast Club meeting will be as always, the third Thursday of the month 9-10:30 am. February’s date is this Thursday, February 16. See you then!



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