Dumpster Diver Exhibit Extended to November 4!

In our last post,  we told you about “DUMPSTER DIVERSions”,  our 25th anniversary pop-up exhibit by 46 members of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers,  that predictably unpredictable band of found-object artists and their painter/photographer/performance artist friends….

17_10_16 1 Dumpster Divers Exhibit DC_4073Some of the more than 125 works you’ll find behind our purple door.

TOO  MUCH  IS  NEVER  ENOUGH

Based on the encouraging feedback we’ve received in our first two weeks  (hey, we can never predict what will happen when we schedule one of our unlikely projects!),  we’ve extended the exhibit to Saturday,  Nov. 4.

17_10_16 2 Dumpster Divers Exhibit DC_4077aCollage,  fiber and found-object art by Eva Aanya Preston,   Ellen Sall,  I. George Bilyk, Burnell Yow! and  Bruce Gast

Our free South Philadelphia exhibit at 1548 E. Passyunk Avenue (Tasker Street corner) will now be open every Friday and Saturday through Nov. 4 from 6-9 pm.

We’ll also be open  Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1-5 pm to celebrate East Passyunk Avenue’s annual Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday.

17_10_16 3 Dumpster Diver Exhibit DC_4093aAnd,  yes,  we’ll flip off the overhead lights so you can enjoy the full effect of the Divers’ multi-colored light sculptures.

LOOKING  UP

As described last time,  our 26 windows bordering East Passyunk Avenue’s singing fountain are also filled with smiling portraits of Dumpster Divers and their art,  and we’ll light them daily through Nov. 4….

17_10_16 4 Passyunk Windows CM_8273 cropThe new view from our windows:  Leo Sewell,  Harry Anderson and Eva Aanya Preston have been Divers since 1992,  the group’s first year.

VIRTUAL  REALITY….

Want to see more Dumpster Diver art now?   Check out our  Unexpected Philadelphia  website,  where you’ll find a 25th anniversary photo directory featuring 47 Divers….

17_10_16 5 Dumpster Diver Exhibit 4Clockwise from top left: Work by Dr. Photon,  Joanne Hoffman,  I. George Bilyk,  and Taji Ra’oof Nahl.

Simply click here (Part 1) or here (Part 2) to start the tour.   Then  click on any thumbnail-sized image to page through larger versions of all the photos in alphabetical order by Diver name.

You can also take photo tours  of 15 creative Dumpster Diver homes and studios.

….AND  THE  REAL  THING

So,  join us on any Friday or Saturday night through Nov. 4 from 6-9 pm,  or on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1-5 pm.

Or send an email if you’d like to visit at another time with a class or art group,  and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

17_10_16 6 Dumpster Diver Exhibit DC_4107The pop-up crowd at 1548 E. Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia

Driving in?  Check out the end of our our last blog post for transportation and parking tips on East Passyunk Avenue’s busy restaurant row.

Enjoy!

Kate & Dave

 

DIVER WINDOWS ARE UP – EXHIBIT OPENS OCTOBER 6!

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….

“DUMPSTER  DIVERSions”

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…!)

LOOK!  UP IN THE SKY!   IT’S….SOMETHING

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.

DON’T  MISS  OUR  VIRTUAL  EXHIBIT

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.

PASSYUNK  @#$%  PARKING  TIPS

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).

SEE  YOU  HERE  IN  OCTOBER…

…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 Divers Are Coming!

Over the past two years,  we’ve introduced you to the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers – that big-hearted coalition of artists who have played,  exhibited and produced witty, found-object art together since 1992.

17_08_21 1 Philadelphia Dumpster Divers IGBWho are these people,  and do they always dress like that?   Well,   actually,  some of them do….  (Photo by I. George Bilyk)

We’ve also led you on photo tours of 15 striking Diver homes and studios…

17_08_21 2 Dumpster Diver Homes CM_DCClick here to visit the secret lairs of artists like (clockwise from top left)  Alden Cole,  Isaiah Zagar,  Susan Moloney,  and Betsy Alexander & Burnell Yow!

YOU  ARE  INVITED….

This April Fool’s Day marked the Divers’ 25th anniversary and,  to celebrate,  we’re hosting “DUMPSTER DIVERSions”,  an exhibit of the Divers’ found-object art assemblages,  collages,  paintings,  photography and more in our South Philadelphia studio.

17_08_21 3 Dumpster Diver Art 3Definitely the Divers:  Work by Bruce Gast,  Randall Cleaver and Leslie Stuart Matthews.  (Photos courtesy of the artists.)

Opening night is Friday,  October 6 from 6-9 pm,  and our doors will open every Friday and Saturday in October from 6-9 pm at the corner of E. Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street.

We’ll also open 1-5 pm on Saturday,  October 28,  during the annual Passyunk Avenue fall fest,  so be sure to include us in your Halloween plans.

AND,  YES – THERE  WILL  BE  WINDOW  PHOTOS

As you may know,  we love marking everything from holidays to elections by placing over-sized portraits of neighbors and friends in our lighted windows.

17_08_21 4 Vote Windows DC_8280A raft of Philadelphia artists,  writers and performers urged you to vote in October,  2016.

So,  starting in late September and running through October,  we’ll light up South Philadelphia’s singing fountain corner with portraits of over two dozen Dumpster Divers,  including this engaging trio of Diver “founding fathers”…

17_08_21 5 Benson Spivak Davidson DCStill crazy after all these years:  Neil Benson,  Joel Spivak and Len Davidson

AND,  YES,  THERE’S  MORE….

Can’t visit in person?  Never fear:  In late September,  our “Unexpected Philadelphia” website will feature photos of over 40 current and former Dumpster Divers,  along with images of their fun and inspiring art…

17_08_21 6 Richards Benowitz PrestonComing up on our website:  the ultimate Diver directory, including work by (clockwise from top left) Susan Richards,  Sara Benowitz and Eva Preston.  (Photos courtesy of the artists)

Want to receive automatic updates of our blog posts?   Simply enter your email address and hit the black “Follow” button at right,  near the top of this post.   (And,  no,  we never send or accept advertising or share your email address.  We hate spam,  too.)

SEE  YOU  IN  SEPTEMBER  (&  OCTOBER!)

This May,  we took an unannounced (even to us) blog break to deal with family responsibilities,  but we’re still here behind the scenes — happily working on our blow-out 25th anniversary celebration.

So please spread the word about our upcoming “DUMPSTER DIVERSions” exhibit,  window display and online art directory,  and we’ll see you then!

17_08_21 7 Mellina & Benson DC_2993Uh,  Dave,  why does this guy keep photobombing me?

Happy rest of summer —

Kate & Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Our New Dumpster Diver House Tour: Meet Leo Sewell

When Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum moved to Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall in 2008,  they asked city artist Leo Sewell to build a replica of the Statue of Liberty’s torch and arm,  which had originally been displayed in the park during the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

Leo obliged the children’s museum – with a fun-filled,  40-foot rendition that features everything from toys and skis,  to discarded license plates and road signs.

17_05_04 1 Leo Sewell Liberty Torch LSLeo Sewell’s Lady Liberty tribute took three years to plan and construct.   (Photo courtesy of Leo Sewell.)

PLAYING  IN  THE  (JUNK)  YARD

Leo’s introduction to the joys of junk came early,  when he explored the dump near his childhood home.   His dad taught him to use tools,  and soon he was shaping and assembling industrial discards into wonderful new objects.

17_05_04 2 Leo Sewell DC_1618Leo constructs a flamingo in his studio.   The bird and its partner now grace the lobby of a Florida business building.

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Claude Lewis – A Journalist After Your Heart

Last fall – when pre-election angst and anger were at their peak – Dave and I contacted over two dozen Philadelphia artists,  writers and performers,  and asked them to pose for our windows holding upbeat signs with words like create,  collaborate,  envision and,  yes,  VOTE….

17_04_20 1 Tasker Street Windows CM_5602Twenty-eight smiling artists lit up our South Philadelphia windows last October to remind us that we really do have more in common than not.

As you may recall,  participants included everyone from singer Bobby Rydell and comedian Jennifer Childs,  to jazz pianist Alfie Pollitt and sculptor Miguel Antonio Horn.

But there was one window,  front and center,  that was reserved for my earliest role model.

IN  PHILADELPHIA,  NEARLY  EVERYONE  READS….

Like today,  the late 1960s were a confusing and complex time to be a teenager and,  three days a week,  I’d rush home from high school,  tear open the Philadelphia Bulletin,  and read Claude Lewis’ column.

17_04_20 2 Claude Lewis Phila BulletinPhiladelphia’s first black newspaper columnist,  Claude Lewis,  during his Philadelphia Bulletin days.  (Photo courtesy of the Lewis Family.)

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Artist Lou Hirshman – A Philadelphia Original (Part 2)

(Continued from Wednesday,  March 29.   Click here  to read Part 1…)

While Philadelphia artist Lou Hirshman first became known in the 1930s and 1940s for his witty three-dimensional caricatures of public figures,  his subject matter evolved with the decades.

By the 1960s,  he was using his found-object constructions to comment on social types ranging from psychiatrists and dictators,  to pot smokers and TV viewers.

17_03_30 1 The Duel_Lou Hirshman_1962Hirshman’s 1962 “The Duel” shows two combatants – deftly outlined in long strands of string – locked in eternal combat by the children’s scissors that bind them.   Their matching physiques and identical button faces hint at a different type of duel – an internal one.

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Artist Lou Hirshman – A Philadelphia Original (Part 1)

A major perk of writing our  Unexpected Philadelphia  blog and website is the connections we make with intriguing Philadelphians,  past and present.

In October,  2016,  we led you on a photo tour through the art-filled home and garden of Philadelphia Dumpster Diver Randy Dalton and former Inquirer editor Michael Martin Mills.   Among their treasures was this 1963 portrait of then-President John F. Kennedy by the late Philadelphia artist Lou Hirshman….

17_03_29 1 JFK Louis Hirshman CM_4950Artist Lou Hirshman transformed coconut and peanut shells,  matzo,  peas and Chiclets into this witty caricature of JFK.   Note the fish-shaped tie.

BIRTH  OF  AN  ARTIST – AND  AN  ART  FORM

Which is what led us last week to a fun phone conversation with Hirshman’s son and daughter,  William  (Bill)  Hirshman and Deborah Donnelly.

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