A major perk of hosting our Unexpected Philadelphia website is that we get to run happily amok – with cameras in hand – through the homes and studios of our fellow Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, that merry band of artists who have played, exhibited and produced witty, found-object art together since 1992.
So when “Dumpster Diva” Ellen Sall invited us to photograph her South Jersey home last August, we had our beach clothes packed before the phone call ended.
“You expect us to drive all the way to the Jersey shore? Can we come today??”
Ellen and her mom, Bernice Rosenfeld, began making beaded jewelry together in the early 1980s, under the name “By Bernel”. By the mid-1990s, Ellen had struck out on her own, making Fimo clay earrings and pendants that incorporated objects like beads and her own watercolor drawings.
Ellen and husband Robert Sall in the living room of what she calls their “HOE” house – “Heaven on Earth”.
Over the past several posts, we’ve told you about our new South Philadelphia window display, a do-it-yourself remedy for the pre-election blues….
Twenty-eight smiling artists light up our windows at E. Passyunk & Tasker to remind you that the apocalypse isn’t quite here yet.
And, yes, regular readers of our Unexpected Philadelphia blog and website might recognize a few familiar faces…..
Say, haven’t I wandered through your living room?
What happens when a longtime potter with a background in teaching and television takes a papermaking class?
If it’s Philadelphia area artist Carol Cole – with a love of multicultural art and a penchant for found objects – the results probably won’t fit in your stationery drawer….
Carol’s “Turn of the Century: 500 Familiar Objects from 1999” is made of paper pulp imbedded with – yes – 500 real objects ranging from a wristwatch to a wrench. This outdoor version is cast in fiberglass.
A major perk of belonging to the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers – that merry band of artists who have played, exhibited and produced witty, found-object art together since 1992 – is that we get to hang out in the area’s most creative homes.
Today our Unexpected Philadelphia website takes you on another Dumpster Diver photo tour – this time to the inspiring home, studio, and garden of Susan and Patrick Moloney.
Patrick and Susan Moloney with one of their ever-ready coffee makers
Linda Lou Horn always dreamed of becoming an artist.
So when the long-time nurse, elder care activist, and gestalt psychotherapist decided to radically change up her life at age 50, she marked the occasion with a two-mile free fall from an airplane.
Linda Lou with “Going Nowhere Fast” in her polka-dotted dining room.
Now the much-exhibited, found-object artist – whose art-and-imagination-filled home we profiled last summer – has landed in a one-woman show at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens through August 28. Continue reading
Ready for another great artist’s house tour? Today we’ll meet Philadelphian Len Davidson, owner of Davidson Neon, and his wife Judy.
Len is a neon artist and restorer, writer, collector, 20th-century cultural observer, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, that merry band of artists who have played, exhibited and produced witty, found-object art together since 1992.
(Always up for fun: Judy and Len Davidson)
Judy Davidson, his partner in adventure for 50 years, is a retired counselor familiar to 35 years of students at the Community College of Philadelphia. Continue reading
Last summer, Unexpected Philadelphia toured the home and studio of architect, artist, author and community activist Joel Spivak and his artist wife Diane Keller.
(Joel and Diane in their art-and-imagination-filled South Philadelphia home.)
Joel, a co-founder of that merry band of found-object artists known as the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, is also the inspired originator of Philadelphia’s National Hot Dog Month celebration, leading tours to classic hot dog stands and giving away hundreds of hot dogs each July to confused-but-happy pedestrians around the city.
INTRODUCING THE TROLLEY LAMA
But Joel has another avocation: Known among the Dumpster Divers as the “Trolley Lama”, Joel is the co-author of two photo-packed books on Philadelphia trolleys and trains:
(“Philadelphia Trolleys” and “Philadelphia Railroads” by Allen Meyers and Joel Spivak for Arcadia Publishing)