Tilda Mann, Cerulean Arts

Tilda Mann, Wave (Paradise Cove), oil on paper mounted on wood, Creating Momentum, Cerulean Arts Gallery Studio

Creating Momentum, Cerulean Arts Gallery Studio

At a recent award ceremony, where I was one of the photographers, I overheard a comment from a voice behind me. The man said to his companion, “I miss those days when Philly had a great art critic, what was his name?” She said, “DoN’s sitting right there.” He said, “Not him. That’s not who I mean.” Ok, I gotta say it tickled me, I used to read the Inquirer art reviews religiously. I loved getting the Sunday paper and reading what the critics had to say about the latest art shows, sometimes flattering and sometimes mean, being the arbiter seemed so important. But, I’m not an art critic, I’m an art blogger.

Tilda Mann invited me to her opening reception at Cerulean Art Gallery – Studio, near the Divine Lorraine Hotel, at 1355 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA. It was a rainy evening but there was plenty of parking, thunder rumbled in the distance, I’m not familiar with the neighborhood and I felt like I was in a David Lynch movie. I worried Katy the Art Dog was huddled under my desk back home. So many questions. Why was there available parking? Where was everybody? The shining streets seemed empty, but there was a bright glow from a shop front and inside I found a gathering of Philadelphia art people.

I’ve known Tilda Mann since the early 2000s, we studied drawing and painting together at Fleisher Art Memorial, and I was flattered she invited me to her show. The installation was three art friends who completed studying painting at PAFA together, Ruth Formica, Susan D’Alessio and Tilda Mann, the artwork interspersed throughout the gallery in an informal array mixing the artist’s work together was lovely and colorful. The visual conversation of the painting styles among the friends artwork was compelling and uplifting. The Philly art scene creates friendship fractals that extends throughout the region, artist’s travel far to study at the Academy. Lifetime friendships are made through Philadelphia arts institutions like PAFA, UArts, and Fleisher.

Wave (Paradise Cove) by Tilda Mann is a memory painting of her favorite beach in California, the white wave of titanium washing across the canvas, the craggy shoreline with beach grasses flow with the tide of color. Recently I was asked what made 180 Farben by Gerhard Richter a great painting? First of all, I never said it was great, but my opinion is using color as communication is a powerful tool. Tilda’s painting has a distinct descriptive voice using color, there is a depth of realness, a liveness, to the paint color that expresses a moment in time. Time is the fire in which we burn and I ran out of time before this show ended to gather my thoughts.

I loved the show, the space, the owners, the locale, the history, the dedication to Philadelphia artists and creating art business success of Cerulean Arts Gallery – Studio. Ten years in any small business is an accomplishment, making an art business succeed is phenomenal. My only criticism is the lights are too bright, I have floaters.

Cerulean Arts is a Philadelphia art gallery and studio dedicated to promoting the importance of art within the community. Proprietors Michael Kowbuz and Tina Rocha have brought together their experiences in teaching and practicing art, retail, art history and architecture to create a unique place for people interested in the various aspects of art.” – Cerulean Arts

Cerulean Arts Gallery Studio current exhibit is FROM THE GROUND UP Richard Estell through May 21, 2016. Artist’s Talk, Sunday, May 15, 2pm

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Written by DoN Brewer. (except where noted)

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