Sweet Jazz And Open Mic Are Just Days Away

Open Mic, Sat., September 6 @ 7 pm $5 at the door

Jazz and Poetry—we liked it so much we’re doing it again.

When we first started our monthly poetry events, we envisioned a slam. We met some really cool poets, some emerging and others established. We had judges, some listened to the words, and others not.


Last month, in the slow month of August and vacations, we tried something new. Open Mic, just Open Mic…with a spoonful of jazz. Specifically Tank Keitt on drums and Charles Witherspoon on bass. And the poets came. And the soft beats of the music, followed suit. We had a really good time—intimate, safe space, to try on different kinds of words while the beats inspired. We liked it so much, we’re doing it again. Read just one of the poems that birthed from our August Open Mic.

So this Saturday, at 7 pm stop on by. For a mere $5, you’re in the mix whether you’re a poet or a lover of poetry.



Tank, ending the evening, with a little bit of Langston Hughes.

Tank, ending the evening, with a little bit of Langston Hughes.


Susan Windle

Susan Windle

We’ll start off the evening with Susan Windle, our guest poet, who uses her craft to explore and share the wonders of everyday life, to strengthen community, and to challenge the forces of injustice within and without. Susan collaborates with musicians, visual artists, spiritual leaders and activists. She writes poems for community choirs, for non-profit and progressive organizations, as well as for personal celebrations. Her most recent book, Through the Gates, is a memoir in letters and poems. Other books include Love Letters, Between the Doors, and Already Near You: Poetry in Concert, a compilation of poems performed with co-creator Ellen Ford Mason. With her performing ensemble Voices of a Different Dream, Susan has produced two recordings blending poetry and a capella song– Refuge for a Soul and You Know My Name. Find out more at www.susanwindle.com

And Now A Word From A Poet…

Next Open Mic on Sat., Sept. 6, 7 pm $5 at the door

Jazz backup with Tank Keitt and Charles Witherspoon

2014-08-02 20.06.36Poetry Slammin’ at The Mt Airy Art Garage

(a poet’s review)

And even tho’

I’ve made a practice of

hiding in plain sight

safe in the knowing

that no one really knew

what they were looking at

when they saw me,

I heard there would be jazz


2014-08-02 20.30.39I heard there would be

soulful songs from

singing hearts

accompanied by bass notes

and rhythmic drums.


And there were.


Every wild woman in town

who heard the call

who had something worth saying


they were compelled to say


that emerged from the cracks

made by the wear and tear of

living and



of keeping a candle lit

in the darkest days,

in the violence of storms,

in the irretrievable nothing

left by loss,
DSC_9036WEBREADYAnd it was magic.

It was lightning.

It was a blazing


of soul.


So come

and slam

your poetic self

down on the table

naked and writhing

DSC_9020WEBREADYin all its glorious


and darkness.

Show yourself,

bear witness here.

History is being made.

You won’t see it on the news

but it’s quake

can change your destiny.


This poem written and contributed by Alison Nappi, founder of Write With Spirit.


Want to read at our next open mic/slam? Contact poetryslam.maag@gmail.com





End of Summer Dance Party Blowout!


Sunday, August 24, 5-9 pm

Coming back from the Shore and want to shake it up? Staying in town and ready to party a little before summer’s end? Missing DJ Sandy Stabler who always spun at Sisters? Well, she’s ready to rock the house out and everyone in it! Lights down low, tables set and ready. So let’s party and shake it up! It’s a perfect cap to a weekend of summer fun.

Bring your honey, bring your friends, make new ones—it’s all good! Because we want to celebrate with YOU! Put on your high tops, your high heels, your dancing shoes. Just dance your heart out.

So, get ready to celebrate the end of the summer with us on Sunday, August 24 from 5-9 pm at 11 West Mt. Airy Avenue (19119). $10 at the door. Everyone is welcome!

For further information, visit www.mtairyartgarage.org or call 215.242.5074.



Add the Sweetness of The Summer Salon To Quench Your Thirst

Show opens Friday, July 18. Closing reception Friday, August 29, 6 pm.

On July 18, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will host its newest Summer Salon exhibition showcasing a body of work by eight local Northwest MAAG artists. Artists, ranging from emerging newcomers to award-winning professionals, display a wide variety of mediums and color, all of which are deeply personal. From abstract paintings bursting with color, to landscape photography on handmade paper, to serenely beautiful drawings of the human body, to collage that is both historical and spiritual, to geometric mandalas, there is something to delight everyone. The variety and quality of work is exemplary and continues to show that creativity abounds in Northwest Philadelphia.



Images on handmade paper (c) Nathalie Borozny


The artists on exhibit are Natalie Borozny, Bill Brookover, Colette Katz, Joyce Klinefelter, Michele Martung, Lee Muslin, Patricia Smith, and Kenneth Weiner.

The show opens Friday, July 18. We’ll be celebrating the exhibition and artists at a Closing Reception on Finally Friday, August 29th, at 6 pm. Admission is free and open to the entire family.

The Solomon Levy Gallery of the Mt. Airy Art Garage is open Wednesday & Friday from 12 – 6 PM, Thursday & Saturday 12 – 6 PM and Sunday 12 – 5 PM at 11 West Mt. Airy Ave. (19119).



Photography (c) Patricia Smith


Printmaking (c) Bill Brookover

Come back through the summer. Beat the heat. Bring your family. Share the vision. Feed your soul with art.

For more information visit www.mtairyartgarage.org or call 215.242.5074.

An August Summer Night of Poetry and Lemonade

August Open Mic Sat., Aug. 2, 7 pm

And now a few words from Jen Hemenway, cohost of the Poetry Slam

Back in April the Mt. Airy Art Garage hosted it’s first poetry slam. The event went so well, we were ready to keep it going. We liked watching it grow in poet participation, with both published and emerging artists turning out their work. The audience members? They come, perhaps stuck in a writer’s block, and become inspired. Or they come to find the eclectic hub of Northwest artists— where networking and socializing thrive under one roof.



Katrina Smith


We’re taking a break in July but MAAG is coming back in August with a warmup, getting ready to bust loose in the Fall.  We’ll be hosting an Open Mic event Saturday, August 2, at 7 pm. Extra added bonus! We’ll be trying something new…background jazz featuring the D&B combo with Tank Keitt on drums and Charles Witherspoon on bass. We expect that it will be an awesome evening of writers, artists, and folks looking for a nice spot to chill and relax on a fine summer Saturday night. August will be the time to try out new work and share written thoughts in a relaxed atmosphere while we get ready for Fall.

The event will be hosted by Mary Ann Domanska (poet and actor), April Lynn James (sonneteer and poet), and Jen Hemenway (cartoonist/painter and poet)…all MAAG members. We expect to bring high energy, laughter, and talent to the table.

We hope that artists and poets will escape the walls and confines of their homes and come to this event at the Mt. Airy Art Garage and be inspired to create, share and explore. This event will be an open mic. So come one, come all and share your poetry talents on stage with other fellow artists. Picture this…a cluster of tables in a lounge-like setting, with candles, and a stage…with lights beaming down, mics ready and waiting, and words being spoken that floor you, pull you, center you, intrigue you, move you, inspire you! Come solo, bring a date, bring friends, family, or loved ones. It will surely be a night to remember.



Andre Saunders


Slam Winner Sarah Killian

The Mt. Airy Art Garage is a hot spot for Northwest artists and writers with a beautiful wide, open space and gallery, always showing new work on its walls. There is always something to be seen there, always people to be intrigued by, and always interesting conversation to be heard. Once again, save the date for this night of open mic poetry! Saturday, August 2, 7 pm.  $10 at the door.

For more information you can contact us at poetryslam.maag@gmail.com.

Quiltapalooza’s Right Around The Corner

Next Quiltapalooza Friday, July 25, 6 pm 

Sometimes people ask me (Sarah Bond) “What is Quiltapalooza? Is it an event? Is it a feeling? Is it a way of life?
Quiltapalooza started four or five years ago at Fabrics on the Hill. The idea was to bring quilters together for a marathon session of sewing, quilting and community. We started at six and sometimes went past midnight! It was a liberating experience for everyone to have a block of time to indulge in our shared passion without interruption or need for justification. It doesn’t seem like a big thing to many people, but to us it was heaven.
quilt, Mt. Airy Art Garage

MAAG Quilt Club

After Fabrics on the Hill closed, I ran the Quiltapalooza out of my house. I opened up the dining room table to full capacity. I put up folding tables in the living room. I could cram twelve happy quilters into the first floor of my house. Still a blast. Still a creative bonanza.

Then, one day, I happened upon the Mt. Airy Art Garage. Shortly thereafter, Linda was looking for an artful activity to promote on a First Friday. I suggested the Quiltapalooza. There were giggles (ok, the name is a little silly), but it was generally a positive response. At the time, MAAG had just put in their bathrooms and was still acquiring equipment. When I asked about tables and chairs, Linda said there were a couple of tables and maybe eight chairs. (How far we’ve come!) She thought it was plenty. It was my turn to giggle. I sent out the email and brought in tables and chairs. I don’t remember how many were there, but we were in double digits and the MAAG era of Quiltapalooza had begun. That was more than two years ago and we’ve been rocking the Quiltapalooza ever since. Every other month on the third Friday, quilters from all over Northwest Philadelphia and beyond come together at the Mt. Airy Art Garage to stitch and sip and share and laugh and create.

Join us Friday, July 25, from 6-10 pm. Bring your sewing machines, your work, something to eat or drink. It’s time to create more quilts, meet other artists, and build more community. It’s a great way to spend an evening, doing what you love, with others who share a passion with what you do. $15 at the door. $10 MAAG members.


Comic Book Class? You Bet! All You Need Is Enthusiasm!


6 session class starting Wed., June 11 at 6:30 pm

We’ve been getting inquires about Ellen Marcus’s upcoming class, and we wanted to share some of Ellen’s thoughts. So read on and join us!

Question: I am not a painter/illustrator. I am creating characters and writing it up. I have a composite pic of my character but I was going to use a friend to do my drawing. Would this class work on storyboards? Is it worth it for a person who cannot draw?

Ellen responds: Comic books and graphic novels relate very much to storyboarding, and there’s absolutely no need to know how to draw for this class. The first class will cover story structure and the following 2 weeks will be spent focusing on bringing “stick figures” (or rough sketches) and your words together to form a story. The other 3 weeks will be spent on “fleshing out” your characters with some inking/character design exercises, but it’s up to you how much you want to do that. You are more than welcome to spend more time on story structure and character composition. I expect some participants will want to spend more time on one thing over another and I’ll be there to give as much guidance as I have to offer for the needs of everyone. The end goal will be to glue your organized “panels” on paper and bind them together in a physical book format.  We’ll be working primarily with physical materials (paper, rulers, pencils), though, I do plan on giving a brief demo with Manga Studio on my laptop. I’ll have a few things pre-printed and prepared for your use (like story board sheets/note cards/basic character design sheets), but you’re more than welcome to draft your own if you need to.

If you’ve been thinking about attending, we hope this whets your whistle a bit and you’ll join us.


$130.00 Add to cart




Come Feast Your Eyes On Our Summer Show Off!

Opening Reception Friday, June 6 at 6 pm

Exhibition runs June 6 through June 27

LayingTheGroundwork_muslinWEBREADYThe artists of the Mt. Airy Art Garage have been working hard in their studios through this grueling winter to show some of their best work. Feast your eyes on work by Kirsten Fischler, Carole Loeffler, Lee Muslin (image on the left), Kathy Robinson (image on the right),KathyRobinson WEB Yulan Mimmy San, Nicholas Thaete, and a host of other Northwest artists. This exhibition features an incredible breadth of mediums ranging from painting, photography, fiber, sculpture, woodworking, collage, jewelry, found objects, and more.


Totem I, reclaimed wood, acrylic, colored pencil, and oil on Brazil board, (c) Kirsten Fischler


“Dream,” sculpture, (c) Robert Silverman

So why not beat the heat with a trip to our air-conditioned gallery to view our “Summer Show-Off” group show. Join us at our opening reception Friday, June 6. The exhibition continues through June 27.

Copyright credit for the following images: (top left) “Laying the Groundwork,” acrylic on paper, (c) Lee Muslin, (top right) “River Angels” silkscreen from original photo (c) Kathy Robinson

June Poetry Slam Is Coming & April Lynn James Wants To Talk About It!

Poetry Slam Saturday, June 7, 2014 @ 7 pm

PoetrySlam-artworkI came to Philadelphia in search of Communi-Tea. My immediate family had become toxic, and after taking a friend up on an offer of sanctuary and sharing her studio apartment in NYC’s East Village for the first half of 2013, I needed to find a home somewhere. I had to begin again. After traveling the northeast (Boston, Maine) and across the pond (France, the Netherlands, Germany), I moved to Chestnut Hill. Here in northwest Philadelphia, amid trees and stone, I hoped to heal my heart and find other artists.


Cohosts: April Lynn James (R) and Mary Ann Domanska (L)

I had heard that Philly was a town supportive of the arts and artists.  At a street fair in Mt. Airy in September 2013, I learned of the Mt. Airy Art Garage, and met Arleen, one of its founders. I became a dues-paying member the following month, and met Linda, MAAG’s President. I loved Linda and Arleen’s vision of creating a space for all the arts—visual, literary and performative. I attended events sporadically over the fall and winter, and got involved in planning the second annual International Women’s Day event. In March 2014, I had the opportunity to co-host that event and to perform some of my (and my alter ego’s) poetry. It was during the IWD event that I met Mary Ann, who was leading MAAG’s Writer’s Group. I was exhorted to attend the Slam, so I did. The vibe was so friendly that inaugural night: people brought their picnic baskets, filled with wine, cheese and other edibles and sat themselves around the candlelit tables. One entrant brought her entire family who cheered her on. The audience and participants were a mixture of young and old, black and white, gay and straight, and all things in-between. We had 60 plus people at that first Slam, exceeding our expectations, and challenging our supply of chairs. 

DSC_9020WEBREADYThe biggest surprise for me that night was that I won the slam! I had come simply to support a fledgling event and to share my work, yet here I was walking away with the top prize!  How about that? A Sonneteer wins in Mt. Airy! This would never have happened in gritty, cut-throaty New York City! Now, I co-host the Poetry Slam. Our audience for the second slam was also a vibrant and vocal mix of folk from Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill and other parts of the city. Yes, some folks even came up from Center City! What, you say? People traveling into the Northwest for poetry? Yes, Virginia—yet again, something that would never happen in NYC.

I want to see this Poetry Slam become THE place to be the first Saturday evening of every month. 

This month our featured poet will be Kasey Jueds, author of The Keeper. Her poems have appeared in publications including Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Manhattan Review, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, Women’s Review of Books, and 5AM. She’s been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Soapstone, and the Ucross Foundation. Keeper, my first book, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. So, we expect an exciting evening!

DSC_9036WEBREADYThe slam starts at 7 pm and goes until 9pm. You can sign up at the door, or send an email to poetryslam.maag@gmail.com. Download the list of Slam Rules HERE. The poets are limited to five, count ‘em 5 entrants. At only $5, the MAAG Poetry Slam’s a deal that can’t be beat. And for those competition-shy amongst us, there is an Open Mic directly following the Slam at 9 pm. Come one, come all and spread the word!



Spring Classes @ MAAG: Photoshop For Artists, Rain Barrels, Creating Your Own Comics, Drawing & More!

DSCN1788_1489Looking for a way to beat those winter doldrums? Well, here at the Mt. Airy Art Garage, we’ve got the perfect solution and we’re busting loose for Spring. MAAG will offer an array of studio classes for both children and adults, which include quilting, drawing, painting Rain Barrels, plein air painting, and more. 

Regardless of your desire, our accomplished teachers are bound to cultivate your creativity. Whether a novice or experienced student, you’ll find a welcoming and supportive environment where creativity can rule. 

Plus, with classes being oh so affordable, now’s the time to register! Until then, browse through the quilting class below, and stay tuned as we publish more classes. They’ll be here soon! Find what you like? You can enroll online with the button displayed under each class description.

Come to MAAG and indulge your creativity! Claim your inner artist now!


Original Ribbon Quilt Sarah Bond.Ribbon Quilts: Color and Fabric Fusion | Sarah Bond

2 Classes – Saturday March 22 & Saturday April 26 

2 pm to 6 pm

Class Fee $65

This is a workshop style class. Using solid fabrics as a starter, students will explore the power of strip piecing and experimentation with color gradations, size gradations and alternations of solid fabrics with other fabrics. Working with solids is a great way to really experiment with color without the interference of textures or patterns. We will incorporate some patterned fabric as the class progresses. Students can use their own ideas or instructor’s “recipes” for fabric constructions. Those constructions will then be cut and assembled into quilt tops. The title of the course refers to the ribbons of light and color that can be achieved with this technique.  

Students should bring basic sewing supplies, their sewing machine in good working order, and a variety of fabrics to work with. A detailed materials list will be sent to you upon enrollment.

This exercise in color play will translate into quilts of a variety of sizes and patterns and styles.  


Low resPlein Aire Landscape Workshop and Artists Gallery Talk|J. Jordan Klinefelter

Saturday, May 17 and Saturday, May 31

10 am – 2 pm

Each Session: $30

In celebration of “Earth Day, Every Day,” MAAG is showcasing the work of landscape painter J. Jordan Klinefelter, an award-winning graduate of the The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Ms. Klinefelter will speak to her exhibition and then outdoors to the creek! Adults, 17 and up. What better way to spend a glorious Spring day!




Profiles Logo for webPhotoshop Elements for Artists| Mike Zaikowski

Sunday, June 1

1 pm – 4 pm

Class Fee: $35

Join Mike Zaikowski of Profiles fine art printmaking studio for a live demonstration of a straightforward method for artists to prep their files for juried shows. Mike will begin by discussing the basic tools of Photoshop Elements and will demonstrate step-by-step how to import a digital file into Photoshop, adjust color, sharpen and crop an image, and save the adjusted file within any given size and format specifications.

A workbook will be provided for each participant and there will be time for questions and answers during the presentation and at the end. There will also be samples for review.  


Robert Finch Figure Holding KneeDiscover Drawing|Robert Finch

8 Sundays, June 8 – July 27

2 pm – 5 pm

Class Fee: $250 for all 8 classes. Once registered, we will notify you of materials you will need.

The Mt. Airy Art Garage presents an outstanding opportunity for artists who are interested in improving their ability to draw effectively in a personal and expressive manner. Your skill has always been there, some aspects of which are lying beneath the surface. Now is the time to realize your natural gifts and bring them to the fore. Robert Finch, a modern day master of the art of drawing, will act as the catalyst in your personal journey of discovery. We will work from both the human figure and still life arrangements while unraveling the traditions in drawing.Drawings by Robert Finch are in many public and private collections. Including the Potsdam Museum in New York, and, in Philadelphia, the Free Library and the Pennsylvania Law School.

Students 16 and older are welcome. Open to all levels.


DSCN1608_1406Design and Create Your Own Rain Barrels For Spring|Arleen Olshan

3 Saturday Sessions, June 7 – 21

Noon till 3 pm

Class Fee: $150 includes up to 2 participants & all materials fees. Please bring your rain barrel.

With winter finally behind us, now is a great time to day dream about the beautiful greenery that surrounds us in the Germantown corridor. With the expertise of MAAGs Rain Barrel Project teachers behind you and leading the way, you will plan and create unique, sustainable works of art for your home and community.

We will draw our designs, prepare the barrels with primer, paint and finish our designs together, and seal them for the warm season ahead.

For our neighbors who have participated in the Water Dept./ECA classes, bring your barrels to the Garage. Don’t have your free rain barrels yet?  Easy! MAAG is partnering with GRinCH and the Water Dept. to host the May 17 Rain Barrel presentation at the Mt. Airy Art Garage. SIGN UP HERE and register directly on the Water Department’s website to save your space. You will have your barrel delivered in plenty of time to take the class.GRinCH Logo for Rain Barrel

Both adults and children are invited to participate. Children, ages 8 and up, must be accompanied by a parent. Cost of the class includes up to two students per barrel.


Ellen Marcus web photoCreating Your Own Comics|Ellen Marcus

6 Wednesdays, June 11 through July 23 (no class July 16)

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Class Fee: $120 for the series + $10 materials fee

Comic books are pages of illustrated panels that are placed together to tell a story. They became popular in America with the first publication in 1933, and have since grown in popularity for people of all ages. This class is instructed by an illustrator and animator with over 10 years of experience in the world of commercial animation and comics. You don’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to learn about basic elements of comic book creation on paper and produce your own comic book at the end of class (space is limited to 15 students).

Want to know more about the class? Download the syllabus.