Community and creativity are truly an antidote to these challenging times. We, at the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG), have had our own unique challenges. We’ve done some grieving, some assessing, some growing. We’ve started a strategic plan (thank you Dragonfly Partners!). We’ve also been quietly busy — new partnerships such as those with Philadelphia Theatre Company for “Having Our Say.” (Stay tuned as that partnership deepens.) We especially want you to know we are alive and well, we are moving forward, you’ll be hearing a lot more from us, and we want to hear from you.
Our Community of Pride Mural Project is forging ahead as children at both Houston and Emlen Schools are now working on their murals which explore the question “What Makes You Proud?” As this project continues, the next phase will add a literacy component!
Plus, our new flagship location and display space at 6622 Germantown Ave. (right next to Little Jimmie’s Bake Shop), is a joy to behold! Filled with unique handcrafts and fine art, all work is original and created by local artists. Some 30 artists, in a myriad of mediums, are showing and offering their goods for sale. Do come and visit.
We especially want to thank some key partners who have helped us make it through this difficult transition:
· The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund — your support for the last two years has allowed us the breathing room we so badly needed. We are grateful.
· Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA)— we’re so proud to have you as a partner. When we did not know what our next steps would be this past August, MAUSA stepped up. You have provided us with meeting and event space at the Hub; you provided our flagship location where we now reside; and a future home. We urge all our supporters to “show your love” by attending their upcoming fundraiser on Sat., April 1. As MAAG supporters you’ll even get a 50% discount. Just hit the link directly below and make sure you use the promo code MAAG!
We at MAAG intend to keep the momentum going. We want you to know we are back and moving forward with our eyes planted firmly on the future.
So come on by. Ask questions. Share your ideas. Stay tuned for community meetings we host. Grow your creative soul with us. We are back.
We’ve explored gender with students at Moore College of Art in our International Women’s Day Celebration. We were honored to have the first citywide showing of My Son Matters! — a photo exhibition by Denise Allen that explored stereotypes and racism with positive imagery. We touched our community to make it a better place for children and elders with the Make Art Grow Food Project. More collaborations, more exhibitions, a small dream growing.
We have something important to share with you—our members, fellow artists, friends, supporters, our Northwest Community. Our lease will expire August 31, 2016, and unexpectedly, we have not been granted the option to renew it.
This means that, as we look toward next year, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will need to find a new home. It’s a big challenge—one we have every intention of meeting, with your support.
Just in 2015 alone, we engaged in more socially engaged art projects and creative thinking than ever before—My Son Matters!, the Gender Weave Project with Moore College, Make Art Grow Food , and a host of events, concerts, classes and gallery exhibitions. 2016 will see a city-wide quilt and fiber show. There will be more music, more murals and rain barrels, and more community projects. And that’s just for starters.
So we will be launching a major campaign to help us find a new home and for paid staff. With your help and commitment, together, we can do this.
Please Mark Your Calendars and Join Us
· Community & Member Meeting, Thursday, Aug. 20, 7 pm at MAAG. Next steps.
· ArtBash, Sat., Sept. 19, 6 pm featuring James Dupree, Music with Dena Underwood
Here’s What You Can Do Right Now To Help
· Come to the community meeting where we will layout projections and next steps.
Fundraisers? Marketing mavens, video artists, word noodlers, connectors? Strategic planners? Realty lawyers and realtors? Accountants? Admins? Architects? We need you all now. Lend us your skills. Step up and volunteer. Let’s push ahead into this new phase together.
We know we can forge through this and move forward.
Linda Slodki, President and Cofounder
Thank You Members and Supporters of the Mt. Airy Art Garage!
On Wed. June 25th we had a wonderful turnout of members and community supporters eager to listen to our progress report and hopes for the future. This meeting is the first of a series that we will be holding as we move into celebrating MAAGs fifth year!
We are so very pleased that many of you had questions and creative suggestions for our future as a vibrant arts organization in the Germantown Corridor. Folks had great ideas with constructive comments for MAAGs future visibility and organization. Board members spoke to upcoming Art Partnerships with neighboring universities in 2015, to Fall and Winter projections, and to MAAGs expansion. We now have a sound system which opens more doors of opportunity as a music and performance venue.
Participants stepped up and volunteered for many vital positions with MAAG—everything from helping to organize our upcoming September Silent Auction, to writing, to the daily tasks of staffing the gallery, to fundraising, to ongoing property maintenance…the list goes on. Do we still need your help? You bet we do! We need experienced graphic designers and marketing communications professionals, accountants, and others with solid skills willing to work on one project or several.
A number of members and supporters expressed their wish to help but couldn’t attend. Well, it’s not too late! Please email us at email@example.com. Committees are forming and more gatherings will be coming. So email us, let’s talk about how you can help, and stay tuned.
Thank you all for your interest, commitment, and devotion to what we are trying to build at the Mt. Airy Art Garage.
In love and art,
The Board of MAAG
Special thanks to MAAG member Michael Albany for his photography of the event.
Can you believe it? The Mt. Airy Art Garage is turning five years old this fall. It’s been an amazing journey and so gratifying—from our earliest 2009 Art Markets on Carpenter Lane, to a pop-up storefront exhibition, clothesline fundraisers in Ned Wolf Park and the build out of our glorious barn of a space (remember this famous pic on the left by Alix Passage?). Now we house changing exhibitions and events, monthly groups of writers, quilters, and visual artists, ongoing drawing groups, Quiltapaloozas, Poetry Slams, workshops, dances, and our resident artist studios.
We thank each and every one of you for your support, helping hands, belief and confidence in our vision for the Mt. Airy Art Garage. This continued expansion would not be possible without all of you.
We are now at a crossroads for MAAG. We have some major decisions ahead of us and want to hear your feedback, suggestions, and concerns. We also want to share our vision for the future and the groundwork we are laying to implement an ongoing arts hub within and by our community.
In the same way, we started off in 2009 by calling neighborhood meetings of artists and art lovers to get your input and commitment, we are inviting you now to a member gathering at the Mt. Airy Art Garage at 6:30 pm, on Wednesday, June 25 to plan the next five years. And we can’t do this without you!
Think about what we’ve accomplished so far, and what the future could hold. Please join us in bringing about the next phase.
Linda & Arleen
The “Art of the Quilt” show at MAAG is glorious and the exhibition is up until April 25. It’s involving all types of quilters, from emerging to professional, from traditional to contemporary. But we’ve been particularly struck, especially for International Women’s Day, by the number of participants in this show who have conquered their own doubts about being artists. In short, they have empowered each other.
So, this Sunday at 3 pm, at 11 West Mt. Airy Ave., we want to talk about it. And we’re confident you’ll want to be in the mix. This conversation will address art forms associated with women’s work and their place in fine art. We’ll pose the question “What puts the art in quilt?” “Does function equal fine art?”
Join our distinguished panel of textile, quilt, and fiber artists — Sarah Bond, Diana Trout, Carol Loeffler, Elena DiLapi, and Heather Ojiie as we discuss the role that women play in enriching visual culture. Read on for bios on our panel.
$10 at the door.
Panelists and Bios
Sarah Bond is a quilt artist and a teacher. Her art revolves mostly around traditional quiltmaking. She likes functional work; she likes making things that people can use and live with. She likes to play with traditional quilt designs and experiment with color and variation. Her teaching style focuses on making even the most complicated patterns accessible and achievable for her students. She is a resident artist at Mt. Airy Art Garage and pursues her quilt evangelism through classes and the world-famous Quiltapalooza!
Elena DiLapi —Tailler Puertorriqueno, and Former Director, UPenn Women’s Center for 23 years.
Carole Loeffler—Artist and Professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Arcadia University. Carole is a native of New Jersey and received her B.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and received her M.F.A. from University of South Florida in Tampa. Previously, she taught and directed the Foundations program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the School of Art and Design. She is currently teaching Sculpture, Senior Seminar and coordinating the Foundations program at Arcadia University in the Performing Arts Department in Glenside, PA.
While residing in the Midwest, Carole had numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, North Carolina, Indiana and Florida. Since relocating to the East Coast, she has had regional exhibitions in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Philadelphia. Her work is driven by intuitive process and play with various materials. The precipitating work takes many forms including sculpture, painting and immersive installations.
Diana Trout —Diana’s professional life is weighted equally between her twin passions for teaching and creating. Her stitched mixed media textiles, watercolor and bookarts have been exhibited nationally. Her artwork and articles have appeared in national magazines. Quilting is a hobby that offers a rich sandbox to play with color shape and texture. Trout’s book, Journal Spilling, Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression is used by artists, art journalers and teachers. Trout trained in Painting and Printmaking at Pa. Academy of the Fine Arts. She is a life time learner and explorer. You can reach Diana at her blog, http://dianatrout.typepad.com/
Heather Ujiie — I grew up in a loft in Greenwich Village, New York City, in a family of artist educators, and my artistic career has been informed by a lively bohemian childhood. I currently live in Bucks County, PA and serve as an adjunct professor, teaching across disciplines in art & design at Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University. I am both an artist and a designer, and my professional design experience includes designing for dance, theatre, and textile print design in New York City. My textile installation work has been exhibited in The Hunterdon Museum of Art, The Racine Art Museum, and at the prestigious Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum. My work has also been included in exhibitions in the Cleveland Museum of Art, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and The Philadelphia International Airport. I also currently show my textile print design work at Flavor paper in New York, a high-end textile wall-covering company for modern interiors.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Visual Art from the State University of New Paltz, NY, an Art- Education Degree from Brooklyn College, and an Associates Degree in Textile Surface Design, from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I have over 15 years of experience as a textile designer, for the home furnishing market in New York City. My textile installation work has been exhibited in The Hunterdon Museum of Art, The Racine Art Museum, and at the prestigious Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum. My work has also been included in exhibitions in the Cleveland Museum of Art, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and The Philadelphia International Airport. My printed textile designs have had numerous clients including Flavor Paper, and The White House private residences for President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Washington D.C. I also currently have a blossoming career as a nationally known artist.
We want to thank Valley Green Bank for their sponsorship to this event.
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.
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.
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:
Sheila and Deb Brown—Jewelry
Daisy Juarez—Watercolor and Charcoal
Martha Martin—Printmaking and Jewelry
Michelle Martung—Mandala works on paper
Lou Ann Merkle—Sculpture
Diane Podolsky—Woodcut prints
Janet Sampson—Fabric Art
Edward Sargent—Collage 3D Boxes
Laurel Schwass Drew—Handmade/Designed Tees & Scarves
Nettie Scott—Jewelry and Polymer Clay
For kids AND the Young at Heart
Robert Best—Soft Sculpture
Emily Finegold—Handmade Toys
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.
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 www.lovetwelve.com