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