The Philadelphia Dumpster Divers’ 25th anniversary exhibit opens this Friday,  and we’ll have Divers on the inside,  Divers on the outside  (check out our new window display,  below)  and Divers on our website  (don’t miss our two-part anniversary album of Diver art).

But first,  we’d like to invite you to visit….


The Divers,  of course,  are that merry band of found-object artists and their painter-photographer-performance art friends who have worked and played together since April Fool’s Day,  1992.

17_09_30 1 Dumpster DiversAmong our 46 featured Diver artists are (clockwise from top left):  Leo Sewell,  Ellen Sall,  John Jonik,  Hugo Hsu,  Smokie Kittner and Harry Anderson

And starting Friday,  October 6 (our opening reception) – and every Friday and Saturday in October from 6-9 pm – we’ll host  “DUMPSTER DIVERSions”,  a free pop-up exhibit of the Divers’ found-object art assemblages,  collages,  paintings,  photography and more.  Just visit our South Philadelphia studio at 1548 E. Passyunk Avenue,  on the corner of E. Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street.

17_09_30 2 Sewell Davidson Spicer DupreeIncluded in our exhibit (clockwise from top left):  Works by Leo Sewell,  Len Davidson,  Simone Spicer and James Dupree

We’ll also welcome visitors from 1-5 pm on Saturday, October 28 during East Passyunk Avenue’s annual Halloween & harvest fest.

(And, yes – be sure to check our parking tips below…!)


During our five years on East Passyunk,  we’ve used our corner windows to display photos of everyone from our neighbors at holiday time,  to South Philly celebrities from the 1960s,  so this weekend we unveiled –  you guessed it – 26 portraits of longtime Divers.

Here’s the view from Linn Street….

17_09_30 3 Linn Diver Windows DC

And here’s the view from Tasker Street and E. Passyunk Avenue….

17_09_30 4 Tasker & Passyunk Windows CM“That couple on the corner have WAY too much time on their hands….”

The portraits will be up every day through October 28,  and will be lit from 4 pm ’til 1:30 a.m.


Can’t visit in person?   No problem!  Check out our online 25th anniversary photo directory for more work by 46 Divers….

17_09_30 5 Keech Mellina Cole AlexanderWaiting for you in our online Diver directory:  Greetings from  (clockwise from top left)  Ann Keech,   Kate Mellina,  Alden Cole,  and Betsy Alexander

Simply click either here (Part 1) or here (Part 2) to visit our “Unexpected Philadelphia” website.

Then,  when you arrive,  click on any thumbnail image to page through larger versions of all the photos in order.   For each Diver,  you’ll see a mini-bio and portrait,  followed by multiple examples of their work.


If you’ve been to East Passyunk Avenue’s wildly popular restaurant row,  you know that parking is a headache at night.   What to do?

17_09_30 6 Ann Keech AK“Oh, the Places She’ll Go” by Ann Keech

Arrive by taxi,  Uber or Lyft.   Or take advantage of the handy valet service right across Passyunk Avenue from us  (at Tasker Street,  by the singing fountain plaza).  The cost is $16  (another incentive to carpool),  and they’re open until 9:30 or 10 pm.

You can also choose our preferred luxury option and arrive by the Broad Street subway (we are three blocks east of the Tasker-Morris exit – just stroll up Tasker to Passyunk) or take the 45 bus from Center City.  The 45 travels south on 12th Street to Tasker (Passyunk Avenue is one block east) and north on 11th Street from South Philadelphia (the Tasker Street northbound stop is visible from our house).


…and bring a friend!

17_09_30 7 cdavid cottrill CDCFormer Philadelphian cdavid cottrill from the Divers’ West Coast annex.  And,  yes,  cdavid is flying in for opening night.   (No word about the bird….)

Kate & Dave


The Dumpster Diver Photo Directory Is Up!

Last month,  we told you about our upcoming 25th anniversary celebration for the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers.

The Divers are that spirited band of found-object artists and friends (photographers,  painters,  a poet and more) whose homes and studios we’ve documented on our  “Unexpected Philadelphia” website.

17_09_25 1 Dumpster Diver FormalA 1990s rogue’s gallery of (semi-)dressed-up Divers….

17_09_25 2 Divers Award Banquet 2015 IGB….and their understated 2015 look.  (Both photos by I. George Bilyk,  front row with bow tie)


Starting Friday, October 6  –  and every Friday and Saturday in October from 6-9 pm  –  we’ll host  “DUMPSTER DIVERSions”,   a free  exhibit of the Divers’ found-object art assemblages,  collages,  paintings,  photography and more in our South Philadelphia studio on the corner of E. Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street.   (Check back for details next week.)

17_09_25 3 Willowbee Enright UlrichFound-object work by Divers Sally Willowbee,  Lion Studio,  and Jim Ulrich.   (Photos courtesy of the artists.)


Following our “everyday’s a holiday” tradition,  we’ll also light up South Philadelphia’s Singing Fountain corner by placing 26 oversized Diver portraits in our windows….

17_09_25 4 Dumpster Divas 2017

Six “Dumpster Divas”  who will grace our lighted windows:  Clockwise from top left are Charmaine Caire,  Charna Eisner,  Toni Nash,  Sally Willowbee,  Leslie Stuart Matthews and Eva Aanya Preston


But there’s no need to wait ’til October 6:   Today we’re kicking off the 25th anniversary festivities with an online photo directory showing almost four dozen Dumpster Divers and their work….

17_09_25 5 Caire Altabef Alsbrooks AndersonNow showing in our Diver directory:   Work by  (clockwise from top left)  Charmaine Caire,  Gretchen Altabef,  Kim Alsbrooks and Harry Anderson

Simply  head to our  “Unexpected Philadelphia”  website and check out our two-part,  alphabetical Diver exhibit by clicking either here (Part 1) or here (Part 2). 


When you arrive there,  simply click on any thumbnail image to page through larger versions of all the photos.   For each Diver,  you’ll see a mini-bio and portrait….

17_09_25 6 Randall Cleaver 1Randall Cleaver moved to Maryland,  but he’s always in the Divers’ hearts – and in our South Philly exhibit and online photo directory.   (All Randall Cleaver photos courtesy of the artist.)

…followed by two photo collages of their work….

17_09_25 7 Randall Cleaver 2Randall’s imaginative timepieces and lamps are unmitigated fun.  And,  yes,  two of his  unlikely cuckoo clocks are already chirping in our gallery


So have fun exploring our two-part Dumpster Diver photo directory,  and visit 15 creative Diver homes while you’re there.

We’ll be back here next week to show you photos of our lighted Dumpster Diver windows and to tell you more about our October 6 opening night!

And,  yes,  we hope you’ll come and bring a friend….

17_09_25 8 Burnell Yow!Diver Burnell Yow!  with a new recruit

Kate & Dave