MAAG Rain Barrel Project Unveiled At The EPA!

(Left to right)<br />Top Row: Ms. Hunter (Henry), Cristin Harrington (teacher, Henry), Linda Slodki, Shawn M. Garvin, EPA, Regional Administrator, Region III, Daniel Brewer (SCHA)<br />Middle Row: N'Aaliyah McIntyre, Elizabeth Brown<br />Front: Alison Weiss (SCHA)

(Left to right)
Top Row: Ms. Hunter (Henry), Cristin Harrington (teacher, Henry), Linda Slodki, Shawn M. Garvin, EPA, Regional Administrator, Region III, Daniel Brewer (SCHA)
Middle Row: N’Aaliyah McIntyre, Elizabeth Brown
Front: Alison Weiss (SCHA)

The Art & Science of Rain Barrels, an exhibit at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) running July 8 through Sept. 20, 2013 features handpainted rain barrels from the Mt. Airy Art Garage Rain Barrel Project. Actually, it highlights the work of our participating artists from CW Henry, PA School for the Deaf, and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Other Rain Barrel artists included elders from Homelink and the Germantown High School Stained Glass Project. Our entire group ranged in age from 10-85, each group painting two barrels.

Our artists were honored to be partnering with the EPA, the Water Department, and the Energy Coordinating Agency. At the July 9th press conference, Alison Weiss, senior from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, was a featured speaker along with Linda Slodki, cofounder of MAAG.

Over 50 participants celebrated the City of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters plan by educating the public about storm water issues and the ways people can help reduce runoff.  This exhibit will also help promote the message that small actions in storm water management can make a big difference. And for MAAGs Rain Barrel Project, we celebrate artists bringing children and elders together to paint rain barrels, build community and use art to create a sustainable future. Now, we are honored to have these barrels celebrated at the EPA.

Alison Weiss, SCHA

Alison Weiss, SCHA

After September 20 these barrels will return to the participating schools to be attached to downspouts and used for rain gardens and other green projects. Seven more rain barrels are already spread throughout Mt. Airy and Germantown (adding to the already existing 15 barrels from a prior MAAG project). In fact, you’ll find one at Lovett Library! Let’s toast to more rain barrels throughout the Northwest to enhance our community, for all to enjoy.

PA School for the Deaf Rain Barrel

PA School for the Deaf

Citywide Selection of Artists in “Summer Show Off” Exhibit

(c) Daisy Juarez

(c) Daisy Juarez

Are you looking for a way to beat the heat this season? If so, MAAG has the perfect solution to overcome those dog days of summer: A trip to our air-conditioned gallery to view our city-wide selection of artists in our new “Summer Show Off” exhibit. 

As MAAG’s first open-community exhibition, “Summer Show Off” will feature both member and non-member work in an incredible breadth of mediums, ranging from painting, photography, sculpture, mosaic, encaustic, clay, jewelry, fiber, wood, found objects, and more.

So, don’t spend those summer days sweltering. Instead, come to MAAG and indulge your creativity! What do you have to lose except boredom?

(c) Nicki Toizer

(c) Nicki Toizer

MAAG’s “Summer Show Off” opens on Friday, June 28th with an opening potluck reception from 6-8 pm and continues until Friday, August 30th, with a closing reception. Regular hours are: Thursday-Saturday, Noon-6 pm and Sunday, Noon-5 pm. 

For further information, visit or call 215.242.5074. 

(c) Patricia Smith

(c) Patricia Smith

But to satiate your appetite now, just check out some of the work that’s been pouring in…

painting by Elizabeth Castiglione

(c) Elizabeth Castiglione


Love, Twelve…Art, Community, Survival, and Pride

The Love, Twelve Pin-Up calendar project, featuring young adult women surviving cancer, will partner with the Mt. Airy Art Garage to feature four local Philadelphia breast cancer survivors  for their 2014 pin-up calendar.

Photo Tracy Birdsell

Photo Tracy Birdsell

When you least expect it here at MAAG, another door opens… We are honored to share our space with artists and women in both the  local and national cancer communities.  Love Twelve is doing their local photo shoot and setting up house here at MAAG July 8-12.

Love Twelve is an on-going volunteer initiative using the photographic arts to raise confidence and provide more age-appropriate resources for young adult cancer survivors.  Love Twelve is about the healing power of art, knowledge, friendship, community, self esteem, and positivity.

So when Los Angeles-based photographer Tracy Birdsell reached out to Linda Slodki about her mission to inspire women to live without fear and live a fully expressed life after cancer, through art and community, this partnership made absolute sense to them both.  Birdsell said, “I do this by photographing women who are surviving cancer in vintage-inspired pin-up and produce an annual calendar. I’m a survivor myself and I believe that cancer can’t take away our value, our femininity, or our power as women.”

Linda saw this as a perfect partnership. “MAAG is a resource center of creativity for artists, art lovers, and all those who seek to bring an eco-friendly and artistic sensibility to their lives. At the foundation of all we do, is community. Art and community. Offering our space to make this photo project a reality in Philadelphia just makes sense.”

Inspired by her personal brush with breast cancer when she was 29, Tracy Birdsell underwent lumpectomy surgery on her left breast for a tumor. Birdsell decided to put her talents as a photographer to use after experiencing first hand the limited resources available specifically to cancer survivors her age. “I felt really alone. You’re not a child and you’re not an adult who has already had a career and a family. It surprises people who see so much media attention given to cancer when you explain how your unique needs are not represented in that,” said Birdsell.  “I wanted to create something that was beautiful, reminded me that I was still strong and sexy, and that I wasn’t alone. A calendar is a perfect metaphor for this. It’s all about each day, each week, each month – fill the squares in with the events of your life and go live!”

Birdsell is also creating the Love Twelve Internet site as a compliment to the calendar to serve as a unique resource for those afflicted by all types of cancer: patient and loved ones alike. “Most support groups rightfully focus on the internal wellness of the patient, but cancer also has many negative fallout effects on a woman’s body,” said Birdsell.  “I know from personal experience that it’s hard to feel healthy and confident when you don’t feel that your appearance follows suit. We’re building the Love, Twelve calendar and website to provide a much needed boost to how young adult women feel about themselves on both the outside and the inside.”

 – MORE –

Each of the models featured in the calendar are posing in a way that represents some aspect of their life. Whether imagining how they are going to reinvent themselves in their “new normal” after cancer, or how they are going to pursue a long-held dream, all scenarios reflect something they feel is empowering, inspiring and life-affirming on a personal level. This year’s theme is film noir, a genre that embraces the darkness and shadows in life instead of running from it. Photographer Tracy Birdsell is excited to add the signature humor, fun and sexiness that is at the heart of Love, Twelve to this theme and show how “courage is the new black.”

For more information visit



Jazz Jam…That’s What Change Is All About

Generic Jazz Jam Flyer

Hey jazz fans, we’re  going through some changes in our ensemble. So while that happens, you’ll probably experience certain changes in our music and personnel. But that’s what change is all about. And I know how to deal with change. So make sure you plan on attending our next jazz jam on Wednesday, July 10th. We will not disappoint!

This past month our guest pianist graced us with some sounds for the evening along with congas, djembe and the strong bass sound of Charles Witherspoon. The night started slow.  As the evening grew,  so did the music. With the horns arriving it was off to the races. We had two young musicians in the audience seeing live music for the first time, something that I definitely promote. I even got a chance to meet them (what a charge). They were excited.

During the course of the night I couldn’t help but think about the next session and what it will consist of. So in saying that, I want all of my fellow musicians,  jazz fans, and listeners to stay tuned. The best is yet to come. Only one thing troubles me though…I haven’t seen your face in the place.                                        





Summer Show Off! Open Call To ALL Artists!


Click to Enlarge

The Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) is opening up our Solomon Levy Gallery to all artists throughout the Philadelphia area for our Summer Show Off.  And we want to feature your work—whether you’re a MAAG member or not. We’ve had so many artists asking to show in our gallery…this is your opportunity to be seen. 

All media will be considered, both 2 and 3 Dimensional—no larger than 4’ x 4’.

Submissions will be accepted on Saturday, June 15, from 12 – 6 PM, and Sunday, June 16, from 12 – 5 PM. All work will be juried. We also ask that you submit jpegs of  your work to (up to two submissions per artist).  If you are accepted, we will use them for MAAG marketing purposes.  The Summer Show Off will open on June 28 and close Sept. 6.

You can download your application HERE or call 215-242-5074. You can also pick up an application at the Mt. Airy Art Garage, 11 W. Mt. Airy Avenue, during our regular hours Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 6 PM and Sunday, 12 – 5 PM.

Join us for a hot summer of great art as we celebrate our Summer Show Off!


Show Us Your Pride at MAAG’s June Pride Dance!

Pride Dance Flyer

June — A time of summer sun, backyard barbeques, and get-away vacations. A time to kick-back, throw your feet up, and relax. More importantly, though, June is a time to celebrate!

So, in that same spirit of riotous celebration, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will celebrate the LGBTQA community and host its annual June Pride Dance on Sunday, June 9th from 5-8 PM. Admission is $10 at the door at 11 West Mt. Airy Avenue, and ALL are welcome! After all, diversity just wouldn’t be the same without all your fabulous faces.

With food, drink, and more importantly DJ Lady Di spinnin’ oldies and all your favorites, you won’t want to miss out. Plus, there’s even rumors of a few special guests. But, we can’t give it all away now, can we? We’ve got to be just a lil’ coy. 

So, stay tuned for updates as we have some surprises up our sleeves. Until then, rally your friends and be sure to come on out and show us your pride on June 9th. 

For more information, feel free to stop back here on our blog or check us out on Facebook or Twitter.




Jazz Jam…This Might Be The Start Of Something Big!

Jazz Jam groupSo we thought, what better way to tell you how our monthly Jazz Jam’s are going (next one is Wed., June 12) then to hear from our MAAG jazz musicians! This one’s from Dave Kutzik (aka Dave the Klezmer guy!)

Take it away…Dave!

Jazz Jam groupAs you know I’m a member of MAAG and a regular participant of the monthly Jazz Jam. 

I was very much encouraged by the last jam session held this past Wednesday May 8th.   This was the second session of the new format which features a guest artist in addition to the house band and other musician participants.  Based on what I saw and heard last Wednesday, it seems that the level of both performance and the musicians attracted to the session were on a much higher level. 

Jazz Jam friendsThe performance compared favorably with what one would expect at the best jazz venues in and around Philadelphia.  Talking to fellow musician participants, the jam session is of sufficient quality to become a real attractor for the kind of high level artistic interaction we have been hoping for.  Speaking with non-musician audience members from the neighborhood it was clear that they felt the experience was well worth the small price of admission and that the venue was truly excellent in its warmth and informality.  In the opinion of the featured guest artist in conversation with another musician, this was the kind of session that musicians can come to in order to “think” as opposed to the kind of automatic playing one does at a standard gig.  This is exactly the kind of comment you want to hear from a musician.

Jazz JamSo, fingers crossed: if these sessions continue to move in the same direction and continue to gather momentum you might well have, in words of Steve Allen’s most famous jazz standard, This Might be the Start of Something Big.

Jazz Jam guitaristBravo and kudos to you and Arleen and Tank and his houseband mate, Richard.

Dave Kutzik


The Rain Barrels Are Coming!

MAAG-Quilting-Web-010SMALLWhat happens when artists at the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) bring children, adults, and elders together to paint rain barrels? For starters, we build community. We believe in making waves for water conservation through our paintings and luscious images. We raise awareness of water as a natural resource. We demonstrate to homeowners and businesses how we can all save money, while protecting the Wisssahickon Watershed, by capturing water in a rain barrel. We use art to build a sustainable future.

Member artists of the Mt Airy Art Garage, a community center of creativity in Northwest Philadelphia, embraced this project as a natural extension of our first rain barrel project. In May 2012 the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (MABID) was the first Philadelphia neighborhood association to receive 15 rain barrels from the Water Department to be used for sustainable practice within our Northwest community. MABID reached out to to partner with MAAG, and we turned it into both sustainability and art.

Today these barrels are being used to water planters on Germantown Ave., beautifying and revitalizing our community. Painted by students, MAAG member artists, educators and family members, the collaboration we all created 15 incredible paintings on barrels. All participants got the support and input of other artists to realize their creativity. Germantown Avenue is now sprinkled with 10 unique works of art for all to see, with 5 more painted barrels, in winter storage, now starting to surface.

IMG_5393SMALLFor us at the Mt. Airy Art Garage, this was only a beginning. What was missing was a concerted effort to reach out to area schools, include the children, and also reach out to elder populations. So we launched Phase 2 of our Rain Barrel Project creating 10 more barrels to be displayed in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown, for the community to appreciate.

We reached out and got a resounding response from local Northwest organizations. Children, young adults, elders, teachers, occupational therapists, artists—they all joined in. Our crew had participants from CW Henry, Homelink, PA School for the Deaf, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and the Germantown HS Stained Glass Project. And we’ve been painting away!

IMG_5515SMALLSo now, as we are finish off our painting and conservation, we are asking you to save the date! May 31 at 7 pm at MAAG @ 11 West Mt. Airy Ave. We’re pulling out the stops. We want you to see with your very own eyes, how wondrous these barrels are—so many ages, differently abled, bringing their view of the world to you. And meet our artists, young and old, as they proudly display their work. You’ll get to share a very special moment. And when it’s over each finished barrel will be placed in public space in the Northwest, and each organization will bring home their very own barrel.

Mt. Airy Art Garage realizes that in large part—we have a responsibility to you… to increase awareness of the restorative and educational opportunities that we, as an artist cooperative, can provide. And being located in the heart of the Wissahickon watershed, we can create unique opportunities to combine art with an awareness of the fragility of our natural infrastructure.

So, what better than to embrace our children, reach out to elders and emerging artists, give them the opportunity to work with professionals… all to make our community an even better place to live.

PSDSMALLJoin us on Finally Friday, May 31, 7 pm at 11 West Mt Airy Ave.

With extra special thanks to our sponsors for this special project—Blick Art Materials, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Philadelphia Activities Fund (Honorable Cindy Bass), and our Northwest business sponsors Philly Office Retail, SmithHouston Inc., The Flying Horse Center, and Martin Elfant, Inc. We couldn’t have done any of this without your support. 




Celebrate Earth Day Through The Artist’s Eye

EllenMarcus_planet_cornSMApril and May, what better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a new exhibition and a plein air (outdoor) painting workshop in May. Feast your eyes on a wealth of work from local artists expressing their vision through sculpture, painting, found objects, works on paper, and sustainable art. Work by both professional and emerging artists including Sara Steele, Robert and Sue Finch, Ellen Benson,  Michael Albany, Ellen Marcus, Melissa Hamilton, Daisy Juarez, Barb Danin, and a host of others.

Images celebrating the beauty and serenity of undisturbed nature. Landscapes with and without human influence. The delicate balance of humanity and the environment.

Whiting Community Church by Michael Albany

Whiting Community Church by Michael Albany

We will also be celebrating Spring with a plein air outdoor painting workshop on Saturday, May 25 at 10 am @ MAAG. Find out more and enroll online HERE!

Opening reception Friday, April 26, 7 pm.

Closing Reception  Friday, May 31, 7 pm.  We will also be holding an exhibition for the MAAG Rain Barrel Project-an evening you won’t want to miss! Join local area participating  schools and elder communities , ages 10-85, us as we celebrate art, sustainability, and community.

Gallery Hours: Thursday- Saturday, noon till 6 pm and Sunday, noon till 5 pm.


Tod by Sara Steele

Tod by Sara Steele

Plein Air (Outdoor) Landscape Workshop

Doris Grey

Image by Doris Grey

Great weather, a group of both students and professional artists, all together and painting. What better way to feed your spirit?

Saturday, May 25, 10 am to 2 pm.

Meet at 11 West Mt. Airy Avenue.

Instructor: Joyce Klinefelter (bio below).

We meet at the Mt. Airy Art Garage and introduce you to the basics of landscape painting. Next we walk a few blocks away and learn to create. Bring drawing materials, a light chair you can carry to the site, and your lunch. Adults, 17 +. We’ll have a blast!

Sign up Online!

$20.00 Add to cart


Joyce Klinefelter, bio

Joyce Klinefelter graduated from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1999) where she won The Louis and Estelle Pearson Prize for Landscape with Figures, The Morris Blackburn Landscape Prize, The Frances D. Bergman Prize, and The Lambert and Emma Wallace Cadwalader Prize for Landscape. Joyce also studied at Moore College of Art, Tyler School of Art, and Fleisher Art Memorial. She taught art at Chestnut Hill Academy from1969 -1996 and has shown at the Manayunk Art Center, The Sketch Club, and Springside School.

Joyce has a lifelong love and concern for the natural environment. Her work speaks to our stewardship of creation by looking for the beautiful and transcendent in the sometimes ugly results of our carelessness. She is currently working on a series of paintings and drawings using several of our local creeks to tell her story.