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.

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.

MAAG Silent Auction Is Ready & Waiting For You!

diptych by Sara Steele

(c) Sara Steele

Our 4th Annual Silent Auction is almost here. That’s right… Sat., September 21, 6 pm at 11 West Mt Airy Ave. And here’s what you’ll need to bring:

Your love for original fine art and handcraft!

50 local MAAG member artists have donated their work to support the Mt. Airy Art Garage. Feast your eyes on just some of the work you’ll have a chance to bid on… HERE.

Your love for the arts!

Museum memberships, musical instruments and recordings, art classes by reknowned local artists…all for a good cause.

Your love for a great meal at your favorite restaurant!

Yes, it’s true. Gift certificates galore!

Your love for live music and the performing arts!

bowl by Jeff Kohr

bowl by Jeff Kohr

Live music featuring Andy Trackman on piano with Gaille Hunter on vocals. Then we’re going to change it up with some klezmer by Objective Perspectives and friends. Get ready to kick it!

Quilt by Christiane Meunier

Quilt by Christiane Meunier

Your love for good food and drink!

With food ranging from Herschel’s East Side Deli to local specialties, cakes, delights and drinks…you’ll be feasting.

Your love for community, the arts,  and supporting MAAG.

 What better than an evening of art and  music combined with camaraderie, good food and drink, and community…all for a good cause.

Tickets $30 if you buy now. $35 at the door. 

4th Annual Silent Auction

Buy your tickets now. It’s going to be quite an event!


With special thanks to our community sponsor:

Trolley Car Diner logo



4th Annual MAAGart Silent Auction!

Photography by Ellie Seif

(c) Ellie Seif

Mark your calendars for the Mt. Airy Art Garage’s 4th Annual Silent Auction. Back and better than ever, we’re going to immerse ourselves in an evening filled with music and art on Saturday, September 21st from 6-10 pm at 11 W. Mt. Airy Avenue.

This year’s Silent Auction will showcase the diversity of MAAG member talent from visual to performing arts. The Solomon Levy Gallery will highlight both 2 and 3-dimensional work including painting, photography, sculpture, mosaic, encaustic, clay, jewelry, fiber, woodwork, found objects, and more. Live music will feature MAAG member musicians Andy Trackman, Dave Kutzik, and a host of other performers bringing both jazz and maybe even some klezmer to the evening!

In addition to an array of artwork, the Silent Auction will also feature gift certificates as well as services and classes by artists, experts in their disciplines. Each year, the auction expands its array of fine art and handcrafts and attracts an even more incredible crowd of artists and art-lovers. This year’s no exception. 

Before the Auction begins, you are all are welcome and encouraged to preview the artwork. While you “Sip, Savor, and Stroll” at the Street Fare,  Thursday, September 19th from 6-10 pm, be sure to stop by MAAG for a special, free sneak peek!

Clay Figurines

Claudia McGill Clay Figurines

So, join MAAG on Saturday, September 21st, for a most fabulous evening of friends, fun, and incredible visual and performing art. Plus, with live music as well as catered food and drink from local and citywide restaurants, who can resist art for such a good cause?

2013 has been a banner year for the Mt. Airy Art Garage. 2014 boasts even more amazing things to come—a city-wide Quilt Show, a Film Series featuring local filmmakers, ongoing exhibitions, live music, and much more. And it’s your support that makes MAAG a showcase for the arts in Northwest Philadelphia and keeps us going. All proceeds from this very special event will benefit the Mt. Airy Art Garage.

Recycled necklace by Ellen Benson

Recycled necklace by Ellen Benson

Silent Auction tickets are $30 in advance (buy now and save) and $35 at the door.

For more information, call 215.242.5074 or buy your tickets now.

painting by Doris Grey

(c) Doris Grey

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



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

Jazz Jam…How Far We’ve Come

Generic Jazz Jam FlyerJust sitting back and thinking about how far we’ve come.

The MAAG Jazz Jam has really brought fourth some good local talent. Every 2nd Wednesday of the month – it’s become what many musicians have been looking for…a place to unwind with their instruments, some good times and good people.  When we begin to unload our all-time standards (which we, as jazz people,  all know) we end up tearing the house down.

So, join us this Wednesday, April 10, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. As a listener or player, make this the place to be…you won’t be disappointed.     


Tank Keitt