Summertime, Sarah Watkins Nathan, Off the Wall Gallery

Summertime, Sarah Watkins Nathan, Sun Tea, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery

Summertime, 10th Annual Community Juried Art Show, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

“SULTRY INDEED: We’ve been waiting for just the right day to break out a pitcher of good ol’ fashioned SUN TEA, often the first example of solar energy we know and understand. SARAH WATKINS NATHAN, a great friend of the Gallery who is making her long-awaited debut on the Wall, garnered the appropriate jury accolade — SULTRY SUMMER — for this refreshing brew and garnishes her tasty beverage with few lines of her own poetry: Tea brewing in the sun, on the kitchen windowsill, / a flashback from childhood… / To cool you on a summer day.” – Togo TravaliaOff the Wall Gallery

Iced tea sweet, the tang of lemon zest and the clink of ice cubes tells the tale of summer in a sip. Even though the tea is made to cool us down, the zing from the caffeine encourages us to do more outdoors. In Sarah Watkins Nathan‘s photograph, Sun Tea, the honey colored tone of the background buzzes with warmth, the cut glass pitcher filled with brewing tea feels welcoming, the casual nature of friendship revealed in the soaking tea bags. The limited palette of the composition is relaxed and refreshing, the grain of the window screen a breezy sketch of lines and tones to tell summer stories.

Summertime, Fernando Poyatos, OTW Gallery

Summertime, Fernando Poyatos, Summer Penetrations #1, watercolor and tempera on paper, Off the Wall Gallery

“Summertime is a period of light perception for all of our senses. Color penetrates into us, generating a spontneous, passionate state, that evokes our most primitive thoughts.” –Fernando Poyatos

“Existe en el color la capacidad y la fuerza física de influenciarnos. El color es el hecho real y más primitivo de la pintura y es en mi obra el elemento principal. En mis trabajos el color es el tema, la composición, la disposición de los planos, las formas, las líneas, etc… trascendiendo de lo simbólico a lo visual y al mismo hecho físico que representa. Encuentro en el color la expresión didactica de la vida misma y un misterioso elemento plástico que nos exterioriza como personas.” – Fernando Poyatos

Fernando Poyatos lives in Granada, Spain, I met the visiting artist at an afternoon reception at Dirty Frank’s on a scorching summer Sunday. While a jazz band played in the back we talked through an interpreter about the Philly gallery scene, whether to take a portfolio on First Friday to Old City or to just introduce yourself? Which galleries to look to for opportunity? I told him Off the Wall Gallery is where it’s at. The eclectic collection of art is mostly Philly artists, Fernando Poyatos was welcomed into a unique community of artists.

Summer Penetrations #1 reflects the modern sensibility of abstract art and the emotional power of color, marks and lines. Painting cubes still feels avant garde, the liquid nature of the paint adds action, the boundaries of color bouncing off each other like moments in a long, full summer day. The yellow green reminds me of sunlight through the trees, the ochres like a sunset beach and deep blues like a starlit night. Color is a language which can be spoken visually like poetry.

Summertime, Robert Yong Lee, OTW Gallery

Summertime, Robert Yong Lee, Bosc Pear, cyanotype toned with black tea, Off the Wall Gallery

“Summertime is sun print time. AKA cyanotypes. These prints on various watercolor papers were hand coated with fresh emulsion, printed with sunlight, developed with water and toned with a cold beverage and metallic paint.” – Robert Yong Lee

“ARTIST’S BLOCK: Today’s ROBERT YONG LEE cyanotype takes us just east of the Avenue of the Arts to an extraordinary thoroughfare of creativity and collegiality. The 200 block of South Camac Street is home to THE PLASTIC CLUB and THE PHILADELPHIA SKETCH CLUB. For a combined 273 years, these groundbreaking organizations have sparked art-making, nurtured talent and broadened horizons for thousands of Philadelphia artists. A case in point: Bob himself, whose career as a photographer and filmmaker has blossomed as a Plastic Club member.” – Togo TravaliaOff the Wall Gallery

Bosc Pear, a cyanotype stained with tea, is an adventurous study in still life photography. The dark tones the tea adds to the blue are deep and strong, the emulsion brush marks are casual and efficient, the composition is realistic and natural. There is nothing forced in the narrative but the deep seated meme of summer fruit activates the nature of the photographic process in a way that is serious and fun. Camac Street is serious fun, the access to the clubs, the galleries, the studios and workshops is unique and urbane. The Avenue of the Artists is lively with inspired creativity, collegial friendship and authentic collaboration across ideas, styles and media. I think that’s why community art shows like Summertime are so important to the social fabric of the arts and culture of the city and show off our skills.

Summertime, DoN Brewer, OTW Gallery

Summertime, DoN Brewer, Camp Oneida, oil on canvas, Off the Wall Gallery

“NEW MEDIUM? COOL: If you’re a fan of OFF THE WALL, we’re pretty sure that you have been captivated by DoN BREWER’s photography and engaged by his forays into digitally interactive art. If you’re a fan of Philly art, we hope you follow his acclaimed and widely followed DoNArTNeWs blog and Facebook page. But PAINTING?!? We honestly did not know that DoN’s a painter, too — and that he paints so skillfully and passionately. The season shines through. “Summer is my favorite time to make art: painting on a camping trip, drawing in the woods, workshops in the garden at The Plastic Club, plein air painting around the city,” he says. “Whether painting trees or figures, making art outdoors, for me, is what summer is about.” – Togo TravaliaOff the Wall Gallery

I love painting, it’s art yet it’s science, it’s planned but full of mistakes, it’s messy, smelly and totally engrossing. When I’m in the right head space and the paint starts to work there’s no feeling that compares. Camp Oneida was painted on a camping trip, my French easel was set up in the same spot for three days. I worked on the painting around the same time each afternoon as the sun started to slant through the woods. The leaves are so alive, the fractals of nature swirl through the paint making marks to remember the millions of them. Each leaf a daub of paint, each a different color, the layers of light refract and reflect through the matrix of energy.

It feels good that people are surprised by my paintings, and that I’m thought of as multi-faceted and creative individual in the Philly art scene. I feel so lucky to be part of the history of this event, ten years is a long time and a lot of summers. Entering juried shows is always a risk. It’s really not about whether your art is good enough but does it fit in the show? Being part of the Summertime show was a risk for me, to have my painting compared to Robert Bohne, Bob Gorchov, Cynthia Harvey…it feels good like catching a solid wave on a boogie board.

Summertime, 10th Annual Community Juried Art ShowOff the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s, 13th and Pine Streets, Philadelphia through July 31st, 2015.

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