Neil Johnson, Amie 2, Da Vinci Art Alliance

Neil Johnson, Amy 2, hand tinted photograph, MEDIUM, Annual Members Exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance

MEDIUM, Annual Members Exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance

Da Vinci Art Alliance asked me to juror the annual members exhibition and I was truly honored to choose the medal winners. The new executive director Gaby Heit and the board of directors designed a theme that would bring forth new works, with wide parameters, from the membership. The members represent all parts of the Philadelphia region from Frankford Ave to Federal Street, Sherwood Ave to Maple Shade, NJ. The multi-disciplinary group entered almost sixty artworks in all manner, form and media, all of the highest quality, their best artworks.

At the opening reception on a hot Summer night, I had the honor to speak to the crowd of artists and enthusiasts who crammed the space. My heart was pounding but I managed to speak about the artwork and explain why they received awards. The day before I had looked at all of the artwork and spent time with the team while they installed the show. The show is opulent with masterful paintings, collage, prints, photography and sculpture, each artwork a best work in that medium from Da Vinci Art Alliance members.

“Neil Johnson’s hand tinted photograph is beautiful and contemporary. It’s a real photograph from film, a black and white dark room print that was hand tinted with 82 layers of color. Neil told me that the first layers of blue are invisible. The delicacy of the process, the messaging in the pose with the black heart shape and the sweet, open expression of the subject is lovely.”

Dante Celia, Da Vinci Art Alliance

Dante Celia, Dressing Room, oil on canvas, MEDIUMAnnual Members Exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance

“There are some amazing paintings in the show looking around the room there are so many examples of fine art it’s difficult to pick one. Dressing Room spoke to me in a luxurious and quiet language all it’s own. The painting is skillful and exquisite but the content, the narrative is considered and thoughtful. Even though there are wonderful elements of trompe l’oeil, each line and shape of the composition is loaded with information and detail. The sense of space and light is shows a mastery of the artist’s medium.” – DoN

“I received formal training at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, graduating in 2000 with an MFA. Working within European Classicism, comprised of rigorous drawing and the color of oil paint, inspired by DeChirico, and other painters of the previous seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, I convey a virtual reality and use still-lives and even portraits to reveal a different, dream-like and poetic sense!” – Dante Celia

John James Pron, Da Vinci Art Alliance

John James PronphiladelphiaBURNOUT #15: The 3rd St Gallery on 2nd StMEDIUMAnnual Members Exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance

John James Pron‘s black and white print, philadelphiaBURNOUT #15: The 3rd St Gallery on 2nd St. spoke to me in a language of images, signs and symbols. The image of the urinal is very Philadelphian with the Dada connection to DuChamp’s The Fountain at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But the language of the lavatory symbol also speaks of a Social Practice, a social consciousness of cooperation, following rules and social order. In the composition the people are struggling with crumbling infrastructure, the image of the toilets dwells on the narrative of human needs and social anxiety.” – DoN

“John James Pron is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Fine Arts. He is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Architecture, Tyler School of Art, Temple University where he taught design studios, architectural graphics and architectural history, both on main campus and at Temple University Rome. He is currently the Director of Architecture and Design for Hospitality Design Group, Architects, in Chalfont PA, a firm that specializes in hotel design for both new construction as well as the renovation of older buildings of historic character. – John James Pron

Arthur Ostroff, Da Vinci Art Alliance

Arthur Ostroff, Schuylkill Reverie, MEDIUMAnnual Members Exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance

“I recently was reading about the artist Georges-Pierre Seurat, the pointillist, his friends described him as a quiet man, only spoke when it was pertinent, yet had a quiet eloquence. That is how I would describe Arthur Ostroff‘s artwork, Schuylkill Reverie; the tonality of the work, derived from a photographic image, is soft greens, there is a sheen and texture to the print and the simple shape, size and presentation permits the eye to be drawn into the composition without distraction. Even thought the small piece is surrounded with outstanding, bold artwork, Ostroff’s Schuylkill Reverie speaks loud and clear with a language of color, tone and shape that is subtle and subdued, a quiet elequence.”

Photography by Rosie WeigandDa Vinci Art Alliance

Written by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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