In Front of Strangers, I Sing Exhibition at Woodmere

June 17, 2013
"In Front of Strangers, I Sing" exhibition catalogue. Courtesy of Professor Dona Nelson.

“In Front of Strangers, I Sing” exhibition catalogue. Courtesy of Professor Dona Nelson.

The Woodmere Art Museum is hosting the works of 52 artists in the show “In Front of Strangers, I Sing.”

Painters and Tyler School of Art professors Dona Nelson and Rubens Ghenov were among the jurors that helped select the art that would be in the show.

“It’s a juried show rather than a curated show,” Nelson said. “We  received almost 600 applications.”

The contemporary art featured in this show was selected to illustrate the strains of artists in Philadelphia.

“We tried to develop themes like how art appears in photography these days, and also the whole nature of photography because one doesn’t usually question the  actual nature of a photograph,” Nelson said.

Nelson and Ghenov both had their own work included the show, but Nelson believes there are other, more important pieces to see.

“I have one painting and the other artist who juried [Ghenov] has several other paintings, however there is a big wall piece Frank Bramblett did,” Nelson said. “It is really Frank’s piece that dominates the room, not mine or Ruben’s.”

Nelson also points out work like Andre Ponticello’s “Widowmaker Purple #1 (Sal’s ’69 GTO)” which reflects a car paint job that his uncle did in the 60’s and was described to Ponticello by his father, and Jamie Felton’s (MFA ’13) painting “The Towel That We Sank On” that really shows how art flows out of an idea or feeling.

“It is an expressive show,” Nelson said. “It’s a difficult show for some people because of how emotional it is in nature.”

The “In Front of Strangers, I Sing” exhibition can be found at the Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue, through September 1.

Architecture Students Create Spatial Experiences

May 9, 2013

Professor Robert Trempe’s capstone course Architectural Design VI gives students the opportunity to take on a special topic in architectural design.

“The students are expected to learn about new techniques in full-scale architectural manufacturing including the translation of complex computational geometries and physical production employing CNC [Computer Numerical Control] technologies,” Trempe said.

For this studio, students are required to complete two installations, “Patterned Porosity” and “Sequential Conversations.”

For “Patterned Porosity,” students used Styrofoam insulation to design a group installation in the window bay of the corridor between the Tyler Cafe and the Architecture building.

“The installation was meant to adjust condition of light through a sequence of transformative patterns milled into the Styrofoam, one pattern per window bay/student,” Trempe said. “So this installation served (pragmatically) as a method by which students could examine the usage of computational technology towards the articulation of a building facade.”

The second installation, “Sequential Conversations” will consist of character studies inspired by the 2003 Jim Jarmusch film “Coffee and Cigarettes.”

“Each student graphically mapped the movements of the characters in space to determine how their bodies are used in the articulation of a conversation,” Trempe said. “These drawings are now serving as the logic towards a sequence of physical installations that attempt to shape users who sit within each installation to act out moments of the conversation. In this way, students learn about the intimacy of architecture and the fact that small operations can have a massive effect.”

When the students are working on these projects, Trempe meets with them three days a week for three and a half hours per sessions.

“At every meeting graphical work is expected…the graphic is our language, and the best means for us to communicate. I help the students by challenging them to pay attention to their own internal design processes through graphical explorations while enabling them to understand the connections between design process and physical product,” Trempe said.

Having the students complete these projects helps them learn how to design something as a group and to understand the true potential of installations.

“I want the students to learn the power of full-scale constructions and the methods by which they can navigate what I have coined as a ‘computational design pipeline.’ This pipeline is the system by which they employ various computational toolsets as part of a design process. Physical constructions have an immediate and important part in this pipeline as they are moments where a digital process translates to a built form,” Trempe said.

While the students learn a lot from these installations, the audience is also able to see the amount of work that goes into large projects like these.

“I’d love people to realize that architecture can be (and is) an allied art with other disciplines at Tyler and that there are many ways in which out disciplines can ‘cross-pollinate.’ I’d like people to know that the role of an architect is much larger than simply following building code…that architects are passionate in the crafting of space and spatial experience,” Trempe said.

Mark Shetabi, Assistant Professor, Has Upcoming Exhibition

May 6, 2013

Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Tyler, Mark Shetabi, has an upcoming exhibition in New York City.

The Grand Tour will be Shetabi’s fourth solo show presented by the Jeff Bailey Gallery. It will feature new sculptures and paintings that explore ideas about travel, transition and escape.

Many of the pieces depict places or technology of the past that have now become obsolete.

The sculptures that serve as points of departure, Campers, and the painting Girl on a Bicycle feature styles that could be old or new.

The exhibit also features the sculpture Arcade and the painting Caspian Sea Hyatt. Both portray a certain technology or style from another time that are now outdated

Shetabi depicted objects and images in a way that invites further consideration. By using painting and sculpture, he creates a permanent place that resists the eventual disappearance of the things from the past.

The exhibition will open on Friday, May 10 and run until June 22.

For more information, visit

Tyler Professor Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

February 10, 2013

Keith Morrison, a professor of Painting at Tyler, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award as an art educator from the Brandywine Workshop at their 40th Anniversary Year Celebration.

“I am honored to be receiving the award, especially considering the great artists who have received the award previously. Never imagined my name being mentioned in the same breath as some of them,” Morrison said.

As both an artist and an educator, the award acknowledges Morrison’s impact on the art community.

“It means that my national peers respect the body of work I have done as painter, printmaker, educator, curator, critic and arts administrator, over a long time,” Morrison said. “I guess folks feel some of my work has been good enough for this kind of award.”

Morrison has taught at many art schools throughout the United States and abroad, however he believes that the students at Tyler are “among the very best.”

“It is a privilege to teach them,” Morrison said. “What is also very rewarding about teaching at Tyler is that the students, although as talented as those anywhere, are also modest and unassuming. This is a wonderful thing for an art teacher to experience. It inspires me to give my all to Tyler students every day.”

Amber Cowan on the Cover of Glass Line Magazine!

February 6, 2012

Glass Professor Sharyn O’Mara writes:  Amber Cowan, MFA Glass 2011 and adjunct faculty in Glass, has been awarded the prestigious international Stephen Proctor Fellowship in Canberra, Australia.

She is also on the cover of the new Glass Line magazine, and featured in an article in the publication.

And, she is one of only eight invitational finalists for a prestigious invitational residency at the Toldeo Art Museum to commemorate one of the most significant historic events in the American Glass Movement.

We are all thrilled for Amber and to share this news.

Temple Art Education Faculty and Students Participate in an International Colloquium

October 12, 2011

On September 30, 2011, an international virtual exchange, Contemporary Issues in Art Education: Practice and Theory Colloquium, occurred between Graduate students at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, USA and Doctoral students at ELTE University, Budapest, Hungary. Four presenters from each University presented their research study. Prior to the virtual seminar, students exchanged their powerpoint presentations, abstracts and references. At the time of presentations, Skype was used to broadcast the seminar internationally. The colloquium was facilitated by Dr. Lisa Kay and Dr. Andrea Karpati. More information can be found at

Dr. Lisa Kay is an Assistant Professor in  Art/Art Education/Visual Studies at Temple University/Tyler School of Art and a Fulbright Scholar to Hungary, 2011-2012.  Dr. Andrea Karpati is a Professor at the Centre for Science Communication/UNESCO Chair for Multimedia in Education, ELTE and Fulbright Scholar to the USA, 2009-2010.  Photo above is of Dr. Lisa Kay and the Temple University, Tyler School of Art MEd Graduate Student Presenters: Jasmeen Rekhi (Teaching Multiculturalism through Photoshop Layers: An Intersection of Technology and Art Education), Lindsay Sparagana (Collaborative Learning in an Arts-based Community/University Partnership), Kelly Steinlage (Is silence golden? Talking about Controversial Topics with Early Adolescents in the Art Room) and Courtney Todd (Characteristics of a Rich Art Program for children with Autism in a Museum Setting).

Tyler Faculty Member Pepon Osoria at the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery, NYC

September 13, 2011
Image: Drowned in a Glass of Water (detail), 2010, mixed media installatio

September 10 – October 22
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery
31 Mercer Street, New York, NY

Pepón Osorio, known for his multimedia installations that overpower the space they inhabit, will exhibit four new works in his first solo exhibition in New York since 2005.  In this exhibition, Osorio’s socially engaged art practice transforms real life stories, weaving together themes of psychological hunger and nourishment within the cultural context of class difference.

Drowned in a Glass of Water (2010), set on a large rotating platform, reconstructs the home environments of two families of contrasting wealth.  Implied narratives reveal commonalties that relate to issues of health, violence, and death.  In the living room of a working class family, a mother extends her bandaged arms towards an empty wheel chair as a boy watches television.  In the other scene, a hospital stretcher rests beside a swimming pool on a manicured lawn.  Mirrored panels invite viewers to locate themselves somewhere in the continuum, and images of rising and falling water reference the title, which is based on a Spanish expression for life’s overwhelming problems.  Growing out of a year-long project involving local communities, the installation was originally sited in a store front in North Adams as a work in progress and then exhibited at the Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts.

Todo o nada, in English “All or Nothing,” merges story-telling with aspects of reality TV.  Set within the “window” of an aluminum siding wall, a video depicts a bruised boy’s face and the application of make-up that creates the illusion of violence, while a mother’s voice-over recounts her son’s beating.  As a third component of the exhibition, elaborately-embellished security gates convert the gallery space into a place of tension as viewers move from one installation to another.

With El Arresto, a staged arrest, to take place in front of the gallery at designated times on the day of the opening, Osorio continues to explore performative elements in combination with his sculptural installations.


Pepón Osorio was born in Puerto Rico and lives in Philadelphia where he teaches at Tyler School of Art, Temple University.  Ronald Feldman Fine Arts has represented him since 1995.  His previous installations at the gallery, Badge of Honor (1995), Las Twines (1999), Face to Face (2002), and Trials and Turbulence (2005), explore issues pertaining to the Latino community and society in general.

A MacArthur Fellowship recipient and participant in the PBS Art21 documentary, Osorio has had numerous solo exhibitions, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.  His work was included in the traveling exhibition, NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, co-organized by The Menil Collection and P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center; and Voces y Visiones at El Museo del Barrio in 2010.  Public collections include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and the National Museum of American Art.


There will be an opening reception September 10, 6 – 8.  Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 – 6.  Monday by appointment.  For more information, contact Sarah Paulson (212) 226-3232 or

Jessica Hische Featured in the Communication Arts Design Annual

September 13, 2011

Tyler School of Art graduate and Adjunct Instructor Jessica Hische is featured this month in an an article in the Design Annual (September/October 2011) edition of Communication Arts Magazine.  (You can see her name right there at the top!)  Way to go Jessica!  We are so proud of you!

Jessica Hische is a designer, typographer and illustrator working in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Tyler School of Art with a degree in Graphic & Interactive Design, she worked for Headcase Design in Philadelphia before taking a position as Senior Designer at Louise Fili Ltd. While working for Louise, she continued developing her freelance career, working for clients such as Tiffany & Co., Chronicle Books, and The New York Times. In September 2009, after two-and-a-half years of little sleep and a lot of hand-lettering, she left Louise Fili to pursue her freelance career. Hische has been featured in most major design and illustration publications. She was featured as one of Step Magazine’s 25 Emerging Artists, Communication Arts “Fresh”, Print Magazine’s New Visual Artists 2009, and The Art Directors Club Young Guns. Her Daily Drop Cap project has been featured on countless design websites and blogs.

See more of Jessica’s work at her website:

Professor Alan Braddock Receives Smithsonian Fellowship

August 16, 2011

Tyler Art History Professor Alan C. Braddock was recently named a Senior Fellow in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2011-2012 academic fellowship program. The museum’s program grants awards for scholars and students to pursue research at the museum, including senior, pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships

During his fellowship Professor Braddock will complete a new book titled Gun Vision: The Ballistic Imagination in American Art, which explores the relationship between art and arms, seeing and shooting, during the years leading up to the emergence of the Avant-garde in the early twentieth century.

From his project description: This book project critically explores the relationship between art and arms in American culture from the Civil War to World War I, a period during which ballistic phenomena acquired new metaphorical meanings that implicated seeing with shooting in powerful and unprecedented ways. I have coined the term gun vision to designate that catalytic metaphorical relationship and the rich cultural discourse it produced—a discourse forged amid the technological revolutions of modernity, and yet so commonplace today as to seem primordial or timeless. Whenever we “shoot” a photograph, peer through a gun “sight,” or feel physically riveted by “bullet time” special effects in a Hollywood movie, such discourse speaks through us, but any number of other visual forms can similarly conflate or closely relate the act of looking with the explosive potential of ballistics. The discourse’s pervasiveness in our time bespeaks the naturalization of violence in American culture, including art, but it also reveals an important modern innovation in aesthetics and perception. Since the late nineteenth century, when the market for images became exponentially more diversified, industrial, and competitive through mass media and mechanical reproduction, artists have increasingly leveraged their ballistic imagination in order to make an impact and attract attention. The guns spectacularly pointed in our faces in recent works such as James Rosenquist’s Blue Nail or Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry (directed by Don Siegel), for example, belong to a tradition established by Winslow Homer, Charles Schreyvogel, Edwin S. Porter, and other post-Civil War artists whose works I examine. Although American artists were by no means alone in pursuing such ballistic effects, the peculiar configuration of historical factors in this country—frontier ideology, imperialism, and an extraordinarily productive arms industry—made the United States especially conducive to the invention of gun vision. That invention is the subject of my book.

The Smithsonian notes that, since 1970, the museum has hosted more than 380 scholars who now occupy positions in academic and cultural institutions across the United States. Fellowship opportunities include the Terra Foundation for American Art Fellowships for the cross-cultural study of art of the United States; the Patricia and Phillip Frost Fellowship for research in American art and visual culture; the Wyeth Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship for the study of the traditions of American art; the Sara Roby Fellowship in Twentieth-Century American Realism; the Douglass Foundation Fellowship; the Joshua C. Taylor Fellowship; and the James Renwick Fellowship in American Craft. The museum also hosts fellows supported by the Smithsonian’s general fellowship fund.

Research resources at the museum include extensive photographic collections documenting American art and artists and unparalleled art-research databases. An estimated 180,000-volume library specializing in American art, history and biography is shared with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. An active publications program of books, catalogs and the critically acclaimed journal American Art complements the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Our congratulations to Dr. Braddock for receiving this prestigious fellowship!

Art History Students & Faculty Receive Fellowships and Grants

April 13, 2011

The Art History Department is pleased to announce that the following grants and fellowships were awarded to students and faculty this spring!

Jasmine Cloud, who was awarded a four year University Fellowship by Temple when she entered the doctoral program, has now won the Kress two-year fellowship to the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome, one of only four Institutional Fellowships that the Kress Foundation awards, for her doctoral research in Italy.  She has also been awarded a Fulbright Grant for dissertation research in Italy.

Laura Turner Igoe, a student in the Ph.D. program, has been awarded a Predoctoral Fellowship for Historians of American Art to Travel Abroad from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) to support her trip this summer to northern Europe, where she will visit museums of art and science as well as Kunstkammern.

Tamara Smithers, a student in the Ph.D. program, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship by the American Academy in Rome, 2011.

Agnes Szymanska, a student in the Ph.D. program, was awarded a Fellowship to the Byzantine Greek Summer School at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Cheryl Harper, a student in the M.A. program, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, 2011.

Dr. Elizabeth Bolman, Associate Professor, Late Antique and Byzantine Art, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for the academic year 2011-12.

Photo Credit: Dr. Elizabeth Bolman studies a Red Monastery painting.  Photo by Gustavo Camps