Shelter, our collaborative exhibition with Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA), was on view from September 5 – 23, 2018 in the DVAA Gallery 1 at 704 Catharine St. in Philadelphia’s Bella Vista neighborhood. An open call for artists resulted in a show that included diverse media and thoughtful interpretations of the theme. PS members, DVAA members, and artists from the greater Philadelphia community submitted works for the show, and curator Elaine Crivelli selected twenty one artists to exhibit their works.
Philadelphia Sculptors is pleased to partner with DVAA, an institution long known for its support of artists and the arts community. The artworks address the theme of “shelter,” and submitting artists were free to communicate their intent with any three-dimensional media of their own choosing. Points of view range from the personal to the political - and everything in between.
The theme of refugees and immigration resonated with many of the artists, and a number of them use their work to present a shared desire to create a safe haven for people fleeing unsafe environments. A bathrobe, teddy bear and woven children’s toys reflect some of the artists’ personal experiences and add poignancy to the works. Other artists focus on friends and family as a way of providing a refuge or place to heal. The concept is also explored from a psychologicalperspective, with artists addressing inner strength, personal space, and the role of memory. The nurturing and protective side of the natural world is represented by nests and trees, while its destructive side is shown through allusions to climate-driven calamities. Damage caused by floods and hurricanes inspired some of the artists to present work that comments on issues of environmental justice. Hope and inspiration also appear throughout the show, but no matter what the perspective, the art in Shelter draws attention to many urgent issues confronting us today.
Juror Elaine Crivelli is an artist and curator. Having spent many years away, she brings the benefit of her wide-ranging academic, artistic, and curatorial experience back with her as she returns to Philadelphia. Describing the show, she explains, "This exhibition presents a selection of twenty-one artists whose artworks represent multiple and diverse interpretations of the notion of shelter. It became clear in the review process that an engaging assortment of artworks utilizing a wide variety of inventive materials and approaches to art-making was about to unfold. Equally evident was a collective richness in concept and relationship to the proposed theme.
"The broad term of 'shelter' reaches far and wide and can range from an understanding of the personal or sacred to a greater socio-political dialogue and its impact on society. While thinking about all-encompassing definitions of a word, the artists’ intentions were strongly considered as a way to unify the exhibition and to navigate a path toward a combined focus. The artworks, both collectively and individually, address questions that many have asked at some point about what shelter is; what comforts or confronts us.
"How does one define shelter? Is it a place to call home or the fear of not having one; a place of protection from environmental, political, social or physical dangers? Or is it a state of mind, an abstract concept, an interpretation of what a safe place should be or could be? What does shelter mean for immigrants in search of better lives in America today? Can one find solace in a sacred place and can the human body serve as a sanctuary to protect us from the bombardment of information infusing our daily lives and the adversities of the outside world?”
Artists: *Ellen Benson, *John Costanza, *Uta Fellechner, Pamela Flynn, *Elizabeth Heller, Lydia Hunn, *Melissa Joseph, Aaron Kalinay, *Monica Kane, *Carole Loeffler, George Lorio, Cindy Lu, *Constance McBride, Chelsea Nader, Janis Pinkston, Sara Allen Prigodich, Amy Puccio, Chanthaphone Rajavong, Marco Rodrigues, Kathran Siegel & *Georgette L. Veeder
Shelter was part of the 2018 FringeArts Festival.