Make Art Grow Food Mural Comes To Life!

Make Art Grow Food Mural

Oh yes! The kids from Houston School, elders from Homelink, and MAAG teacher artists have been busy making murals and growing urban gardens. There’s so much happening here…we jus have to show you how much fun we’re having and the amazing artwork we’re all creating. Who knows? Just maybe, you’ll join us and volunteer to make this amazing project even better! We’re full steam ahead into September.

So, please indulge us as we share our ongoing joy in this project.

It starts with an idea. Urban gardens, food, vegetables, nature, animals, nutrition, and, of course, a big helping of creativity and love. Then everyone starts to do their artwork. Daisy Juarez and Arleen Olshan take those ideas and help incorporate them into a mural. Daisy does the layout and design of the mural, while everyone’s artwork gets added to the mix.


Then begins the mural painting, and everyone gets to work. Sometimes the kids come to MAAG every day to make the most of their time before school’s out!





And, lo and behold, the mural starts to come alive. The kids are jumping up and down as they see their birds, and caterpillars, and faces, and… The elders smile—they love their mural hands, shaped in a heart, leaves of the tree, embracing all, especially the children.


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The urban garden? Thriving!

From this…


To this….

With Nettie Scott, MAAG garden and nutrition teacher, at the helm…



To this…




To this…

garden volunteer

BUT WAIT! We’re not done. We’re tending to the garden, watering, weeding, and nurturing so that Earth, Bread, and Brewery will have a luscious crop from which to cook their meal in September for all the participants to enjoy. Thank you Peggy Zwerver!

We’re also finishing off the mural, filling it in, making it even richer. And we need your help! It really is great fun when you’re painting with a group of 5-6 folks. You don’t have to be an artist. Just have a steady hand.

So, reach out to us at or call 215.242.5074. We need your help. We pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks again to our sponsors. We could have never done it without you. Stay tuned for updates on Make Art, Grow Food.


Joint logos August


Make Art, Grow Food Summer Exhibition Opens It’s Doors

Opening Reception Finally Friday, June 26 @ 6 pm. Admission Free. Exhibition runs Friday, June 26 — Sunday, Sept. 6

Garden flowers GloriaKlaiman

© Gloria Klaiman

Nathalie Borozny2

© Nathalie Borozny

We’re flying high on the tails of the Make Art, Grow Food Project which is moving full steam ahead. We’re finishing off a mural filled with artwork created by elders at Homelink and kids at Houston School while the urban garden continues to thrive. So what better way to celebrate our luscious urban garden and a mural that is exploding with color and creativity than to toast the world that surrounds us.


© Lee Muslin

You’ll feast your eyes on an array of painting, photography, sculpture, found objects, and fiber. Participating artists include Meri Adelman, Poppy Rae Bass, Ellen Benson, Nathalie Borozny, Bill Brookover, Robert Finch, Bill Hanson, Shari Johnson, Gloria Klaiman, Judy Levy, May Lomax, Jay McClellan, Lee Muslin, Arleen Olshan, Patricia Smith, Vita Tew, Karoline Wallace, and Larry West. It’s a feast for the eyes and senses.


© Poppy Rae Bass

So, stop in to our gallery. Cool off, maybe even help with the mural. And, of course, enjoy the show!

Make Art Grow Food Project Is Off To A Running Start

What do you think is happening at the Mt. Airy Art Garage right now? Magic…that’s what’s happening.

Autistic kids at Houston School are partnering with elders at Homelink and MAAG artist teachers are right by their sides. For starters we’re all making a mural—one that will have everyone’s artwork in it, both young and elder. At the same time, we’re planting an urban garden—learning about nutritious foods and how to grow them in your own backyard. Earth, Bread and Brewery will be cooking up the garden herbs and veggies in September to make something yummy. The fruits of everyone’s labor for all to participate in and celebrate.

This project’s part fantasy, part reality, pure creativity, and all about sustainability, urban gardens, nutrition, good health, and, of course, art. Children and elders, working together, creating something so very special. Anyone who comes in can’t help but fall under its spell. We see it every day with our very own eyes.

Come visit, volunteer your time, donate, join our growing list of community sponsors. Join the growing list of supporters who are becoming a part of this project happening right in the heart of Mt. Airy. We’ll be updating you on a regular basis.

Meet the teachers!

Arleen Olshan, Art Teacher

Arleen Olshan, Art Teacher

Daisy Juarez, art teacher and muralist designer extraordinaire

Daisy Juarez, art teacher and muralist designer extraordinaire

Our artist teachers design, teach, prep walls, mix paint, and share the best of themselves.

Both Nettie Scott, our Master Gardener & Artist Teacher, and Carol Nashleanas, our artist gardener, were camera shy.





A small section of Daisy's imagining with artwork from one of the children.First time ever in the garden! Getting the soil ready, planting tomatoes and watering them.

A small section of Daisy’s imagining with artwork from one of the children.First time ever in the garden! Getting the soil ready, planting tomatoes and watering them.

First time ever in the garden! Getting the soil ready, planting tomatoes and watering them.

First time ever in the garden! Getting the soil ready, planting tomatoes and watering them.

Creating The Mural & Urban Garden

Make an impact this summer! Stop in and learn how you can get involved in Make Art Grow Food. We need volunteers to keep the garden growing. We’ll be hosting community paint days to complete the mural. And lots more.

Be a part of something really special. Join the neighbors that are stopping by with soil, plants, and an abundance of smiles and enthusiasm. Be a part of making a difference. Email us at or all 215.242.5074.


Stay tuned as we get ready to paint!

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My Son Matters! TALKBACK…A Plea From One Mother To Another

TALKBACK Friday, May 15, 6 pm, @ 11 W. Mt Airy Ave. $5 Donation. Everyone welcome.

Post Ferguson—My Son Matters! Post Baltimore—My Son Matters! 300 people at Denise Allen’s opening reception—My Son Matters!  Check out this video! The main question on everyone’s lips—when can we talk more about this? 


(c) Sheppard Williams


(c) Sheppard Williams

TALKBACK is our response. A roundtable discussion with Denise Allen and the mothers in the Exhibition. A safe space, amidst the most positive imagery. As Vashti Dubois says “It’s a chance to speak through motherhood to all mothers regardless of race or status.” A time to talk, to listen, to share, to understand. For all of us. Men, women, and children.


(c) Sheppard Williams

You won’t want to miss this. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring yourself. Why? Because My Son Matters!



MAAG December Holiday Market Is Fast Approaching! You Won’t Want To Miss It!


Jewelry by Martha Martin

December is fast approaching! Our gallery is open for holiday business (Thurs-Sunday). And our Holiday Market is bursting at the seams with over 25 local artists ready to share their work with you! With one of a kind work, live music and food, you won’t want to miss this! Saturday and Sunday, December 14th – 15th from Noon – 6 PM, we’ll  be hosting a free weekend of holiday art markets.

IQ2D0646v2  James Hayt

(c) James Hay

During these days, we’ll burst open our doors to you and offer our community a diverse selection of fine art and handcrafts created by local Northwest artists. Artists will fill the 5,200 square foot gallery with one-of-a-kind items, for both adults and children, made by woodworkers, sculptors, fabric artists, painters, leathercrafters, jewelers, photographers, ceramic artists, and more.

Plus with free admission, food and drink, as well as live music from local favorites Art Miron, David Cantor, Bethlehem & Sad Patrick, Mike & Dan, Sarah Napolitan, Cliff Numaninblak,  and more, there’s bound to be something to please every name on your list.NThornton_SundaySchool-web

 So, stop in!  All are welcome to browse the unique display of original artwork and enjoy the holiday festivities. After all, supporting local artists (in the community you already love) surely beats going to the mall.

Feast your eyes on the artists who will be in our Holiday Show:

Kevin Bennett—Photography

Sheila and Deb Brown—Jewelry

Jackie Clifton—Pottery


Watercolor by Daisy Juarez

Daisy Juarez—Watercolor and Charcoal

Jim Hay—Photography

Bettie Kleckley—Jewelry

Jeff Kohr—Woodworker

Martha Martin—Printmaking and Jewelry

Michelle Martung—Mandala works on paper

Lou Ann Merkle—Sculpture

Jeff Kohr

Woodwork by Jeff Kohr (his son not included)

Diane Podolsky—Woodcut prints

Kathy Robinson—Scarves

Janet Sampson—Fabric Art

Edward Sargent—Collage 3D Boxes

Laurel Schwass Drew—Handmade/Designed Tees & Scarves

Nettie Scott—Jewelry and Polymer Clay

Karen Singer—Tile

Patricia Smith—Photography

Kathy Robinson 2

Kathy Robinson handpainted scarves & wraps

Karen Stevens—Tile

Natline Thornton—Drawings

Nikki Toizer—Photographer

Renate Woessner—Painting

For kids AND the Young at Heart

Robert Best—Soft Sculpture

Emily Finegold—Handmade Toys

Tiles by Karen Singer







Photography by Nikki Toizer

Open Call: Applications for MAAGs Juried Holiday Shows in Nov./Dec.

 Original Fine Art and Handcraft Show

There’s Still Room In This Juried Holiday Show

Open to All Artists


Our gallery is filling up for both the November and December shows. Live music will abound (artists + music = party!). The word is out… MAAG is THE place for Thanksgivukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa gifts, especially when the work is Northwest artists. And there’s still room for you.


Brown Family Jewelry Designs

All artists are invited to submit your work for sale at our Holiday Shows. All work must by your own original work. Shows will be held Nov. 16 & 17 (for Thanksgivukah) and Dec. 14 & 15 (for Kwanzaa/Holidays). The cost for each weekend table is $100 for two days.  We are also offering wall space in the gallery (members only). Not a member yet? Now could be a great time to join!


Karen Singer Tilework

 Special for MAAG members only! Have you been hoping to display a wall or a case of your work in the Solomon Levy Gallery at MAAG? This season is your time!

We are offering ½ walls and cases for up to 10 more artists to show and promote your work. There will be a 30% commission for work sold during regular Gallery hours each month. Any member artists displaying their work on the walls (tall cases do not apply) may also participate at that month’s art market at no additional charge. The artists retain 100% of their sales when selling during the art markets.

sized Claudia McGill

Claudia McGill clay, collage, and painting

We’re planning on throwing one heck of a holiday bash! Join us, join the artists, join MAAG.

Download your application here.




Mt. Airy Art Garage to Host POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours)

Web-POST-POSTER-#2-2013With audiences of 30,000+ hitting the streets of Philadelphia for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of visual artists at work in their environments, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours is bound to be a feast for the senses. Among the various locations hosting the tour, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will be a special destination point – as the primary Northwest distribution site – on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from noon till 6 pm.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, affectionately known as POST, is a program of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), and is the largest tour of artist studios and creative workspaces in the region. CFEVA is also one of the premier open studio tour events in the country.


Quilt by Sarah Bond

In its completely refurbished 5,000 square foot garage, located at 11 West Mt. Airy Avenue, MAAG will open its resident artists’ studio doors, as well as provide you with the most up-to-date festival information about participating artists and venue locations in the Northwest. Yet, the rest of our space will also feature an art market with numerous local emerging and professional artists. Here, you’ll find a variety of mediums including clay, painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, woodwork, leather goods, handcrafts, and more.

So, be sure to stop by and see why MAAG is both proud and excited to be included among one of the premier open studio tour events in the country. More importantly, come out and engage with Philadelphia’s art community, be inspired, and support your local artists – after all, it’s free and there’s bound to be something for everyone!


Claudia McGill

For more information, call 215.242.5074, visit, or stop by the Mt. Airy Art Garage’s POST table at the Chestnut Hill “Fall for the Arts” Festival on October 6th.

Post and Holiday Art Markets, Call For Artists



POST and Holiday Markets

Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) @ MAAG

Open to MAAG Members Only

Holiday Art Markets

Open to All Artists

As we gear up for a dynamic fall/holiday season we’re thinking up new and exciting ways to have your juried work sold at MAAG! This is your chance to sign up from October through December, one month or more, at great table prices, and a wonderful, heated indoor artist’s community space. Some opportunities are for MAAG members only, others are open to all artists. So please read on! And if you’re not a member yet, this could be a great time to join right here.


Ceramic tile by Karen Singer

All artists are invited to submit your work for sale at our Holiday Shows. The shows will be held Nov. 16 & 17 (Chanukah Show) and Dec. 14 & 15 (Kwanzaa/Holidays). The cost for each weekend table is $100 for two days. For information and the artists’ application, please click HERE.


Jewelry by the Brown Family

Special for MAAG members only! Have you been hoping to display a wall or a case of your work in the Solomon Levy Gallery at MAAG? This season is your time!

We are offering ½ walls and cases for up to 50 artists to show and promote your work. There will be a 30% commission for work sold during regular Gallery hours each month. Any member artists displaying their work on the walls (tall cases do not apply) may also participate at that month’s art market at no additional charge. The artists retain 100% of their sales when selling during the art markets.

sized Claudia McGill

Clay and collage by Claudia McGill

  1. POST: Friday, October 19-20. For wall/case renters delivery Monday, September 30 from 4-8 pm.
  2.  Holiday Art Market: Friday, November 16 – 17. For wall/case renters delivery October 26 & 27, noon till 5 pm.
  3. Holiday Art Market: Friday, December 14 – 15. For wall/case renters delivery November 23, noon till 6 pm.
Fused glass by Shernise Alen

Fused glass by Shernise Alen

Download your application HERE.



Artist In Residence Studio Available @ MAAG


A rare opportunity to be part of an artists’ community…

The Mt. Airy Art Garage is created and run by those who love art, love their community, and believe in dreaming together to make things happen.

For a limited time, we still have one studio available at the Mt. Airy Art Garage. Be part of our Northwest Philadelphia thriving arts organization, an incubator for both professional and emerging artists in Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill.

We’ve got heat, AC, and 2 handicapped-accessible bathrooms. We’re one to three blocks from all public transportation. We’re located in the midst of the thriving Mt. Airy commercial corridor. And we have one studio still available.

DSCN2057_1716Studio #5 is available. It’s got 2 massive windows that let the light pour into 300 SF of heaven. Recently built, this is our largest studio. $475/mo., year’s lease, and you are permitted to share the space with another artist. This studio rents to MAAG members only, so if you’re not a member, now’s a good time to join.

You will not just have a space for your own work; you’ll have access to a large and supportive community. We are home to other working artist studios, the Solomon Levy Gallery, artist-driven workshops and events, fine art and handcraft markets, and more. At the end of the day, our goal is to provide communal space for artistic creativity, collaboration, and celebration.

Download your application HERE or call 215.242.5074 to find out more. Having a studio outside your home is truly a wonder.

Storefront Renovation: “Doesn’t it feel good to be done?”

992837_512363032165487_778931709_nIf you haven’t yet heard or noticed, the Mt. Airy Art Garage received a brand new set of front doors, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. Sure, the old ones had their charm, but these new ones — well, they’re truly fabulous and reflect the diverse and talented spirit of our member artists.

With the arrival of this new facade, we’ve been hearing this question a lot: “Doesn’t it feel good to be done?” 

Well, why yes, it does feel good to finally achieve our exterior renovation; however, to be honest, we here, at MAAG, are never quite done. While it may seem that the completion of our facade symbolizes the end of our progression, we are far from long-term sustainability. Trust me, we love doing what we do. We love hosting exhibits, events, and programming that makes art a vital and essential part of the community. Just see for yourself a few of the things we’ve accomplished since the beginning of 2013 besides ushering in our new front doors…

  • Remained home to five talented, working-artist studios
  • Continued our monthly Jazz Jams, Artists’ Breakfast Clubs, and Quilt Clubs
  • Boasted talented performers and a packed house at our International Women’s Day Celebration!
  • Hosted an ol’ fashioned and affordable Artists’ Garage Sale
  • Entertained Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque for the Valentine’s Day Dance
  • Participated in an on-site CultureBlocks Philadelphia discussion
  • Offered Live Model Drawing classes, a Plein Air class, and Art for Kids classes
  • Painted 25 rain barrels in association with the Environmental Protection Agency and our great community  of Northwest artists (ranging in age from 10-85!).
  • Became home to the Love, Twelve initiative for cancer survivors
  • Become the home for Northwest Community Paint Days for  Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
  • Hosted several exhibits such as “Faces, Families, and Relationships”,  “Earth Day Through the Artist’s Eye”, and “Summer Show Off”, our first open call, nonmember show
  • Loved every minute of it…

2014 holds even more exciting events already in the worksa city-wide quilt show, film series, and ongoing community partnerships. Yet, at the end of the day, all of this programming costs money,  and we’re still a young nonprofit doing our absolute best to make it in a tough economy. So, we’re asking you to show your financial support and commit to a tax-deductible donation to MAAG.  

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, without YOU, there is no US. There never has been, and there never will be. We’ll show our gratitude on our next projectthe MAAG “Thank-You” wall for our gracious supporters.

If you share in our dreams, and believe, as we do, that MAAG is really making a difference, then support us.  Donate generously, donate now.