Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy 2010 from Sage Projects!

Photo is from the opening reception of Dragnet. Photographer Johnathan Zeller took all of the images and made the photo collage. Thank you to all of those who made 2009 such an interesting year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Photographers Seek a Lift With a Pop-Up Gallery

The headline is from a New York Times article on another collective that is using a storefront as a pop-up gallery, this time in Chicago.

"Made up of 30 local shooters, the collective grew from an informal club whose five members met monthly in local diners to lament the state of their craft."

“Ours is a dying trade as digital and video take over,” says Paul Natkin, who spent nearly three decades photographing Chicago’s music scene. Mr. Natkin said he believed that the collective would help keep photography in the public eye through further exhibits, salons and lectures. –Lori Rotneberk

read on 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Art in Storefronts initiative in San Francisco

The New York Times has covered the idea of artists using storefronts throughout the year. Here is a recent article.

An excerpt from the piece,

"No one likes empty storefronts; they make streets look like gap-toothed smiles. Now that San Francisco’s business districts are feeling the economic pinch, city officials, like dentists, have been scouting for ways to fix the cavities. Whether business picks up next year remains to be seen, but in the meantime, civic leaders and neighborhood associations have turned to artists for a temporary solution." –Chloe Veltman

read on

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In New Jersey, jobless put on a show to fight hunger


In Wayne, New Jersey, young artists discouraged by the crummy job market have kept their spirits up by returning to their hometown and reviving the Wayne Firehouse, an inspirational all-ages venue of their youth. Working in partnership with local high school bands, they're using their efforts this time to help feed the hungry, calling the initiative "The Pantry Party"

"Depending on the success of the show, they hope to continue the Pantry Party as an ongoing series at the firehouse. The motivation is, in part, nostalgia: to bring back a simpler time (the early 2000s), when they saw shows for the first time at local venues like the firehouse and the Knights of Columbus Hall. Bands that eventually exploded into the mainstream like Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio and The Get Up Kids made pit stops at the firehouse. “It was a gateway for music in my life,” Lacherza said." read on

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art in Storefronts: San Francisco

A excerpt from a piece on the DailyServing blogsite.

Art in Storefronts is a pilot program initiated by the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom and implemented by the San Francisco Arts Commission and Triple Base Gallery to reclaim abandoned storefront spaces in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Mission, Bayview, Market and Tenderloin. Rounding up participating artists by sending out a call for proposals, those selected were then assigned an address where they were allowed to create large-scale installations implementing a variety of mediums. read on

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Member Jon Manteau, Educator

This time of year is when students get to show the work they've been doing this semester. The image above is work from a class that Sage member, Jon Manteau teaches. He also designed and built the installation aspect of the show and hung the student's work.

Introduction to Visual Language/Drawing I
Art/Art Education Department/Tyler
Fall 2009
Prof. J Manteau

An excerpt from the course description:

The class is based upon a traditional, observation based approach to drawing. Our primary subject/source is the human figure (nude models). Still life and landscape are also considered. Development of gestalt (implied shape/closure), space, figure-ground and perspective are active components in this course. Materials are of a time honored nature. Mainly, monochromatic "dry mediums", charcoal, conte crayon, chalk, etc. This course is taught at an introductory level and is predominantly technique driven.

This presentation is meant to be seen as a cohabitation of sorts. These drawings, while based upon traditional approaches were made in a Post-Modern environment. We are part and parcel with the age that we live in, even if we attempt to "affect" the look and feel of the past.

What we gain from the lessons of antiquity, colliding with the pastiche of "the here and now".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bob Barbera Virtual Show

Before we received notice that our lease us up on South Street, member Bob Barbera was working away painting and planning for his upcoming exhibition. We have other plans in the works but for now here are a few of Bob's new paintings. All works are made using spray paint and acrylic on canvas. Click on the images to enlarge the work.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last Dance at 333 South

Here are some photos to commemorate the last reception Sage will be having at 333 South Street. Heather Raquel Phillip's and Deborah Raven's shows brought out a large crowd and we were all entertained with rumba drum music by Little Afrika Rumba (see the video below). The show is up for the weekend so don't miss your last chance to see some great work. Scroll down for details.

This doesn't mean that Sage Projects is going to disappear, instead we will be reappearing in a new location. Visit this site for details as they unfold.

Thank you to the thousands of visitors and all of the artists who participated during the eight months on South Street!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

NYT: Galleries have sprung up throughout the country...

A quote from a recent article in the New York Times says "Galleries have sprung up throughout the country, and particularly in London, in spots as varied as shopping mall outlets, a scooter showroom and a video store."

Another story just published again in the New York Times starts with the headline "Luring Artists to Lend Life to Empty Storefronts". Here is an excerpt from the same story.

As the recession drags on and storefronts across New York remain empty, commercial landlords are turning to an unlikely new class of tenants: artists, who in flusher times tend to get pushed out rather than lured in. And the price of entry is not deep pockets, but vivid imaginations and splashy exhibits — anything to lend the darkened buildings a sense of life.

On terms that are cut-rate and usually temporary — a few weeks or months — the artist gets a gallery or studio, and the landlord gets a vibrant attraction that may deter crime and draw the next wave of paying tenants.

“Any sort of activity is better than no activity,” said Jed Walentas, a Brooklyn developer whose company, Two Trees Management, routinely lends space in Dumbo and Downtown Brooklyn for art projects. “As long as it’s short enough and it’s flexible, then there’s no real cost. So the question is who can you find that’s going to make an investment in a space with that level of uncertainty, and often it’s the artist.”read on

The point is that even while the economy improves in some areas, other areas like commercial rental and leasing have yet to feel an upturn. Of course we hope the economy improves for everyone but until it does this is still a great time to bring life to shuttered spaces and give artists an opportunity to bring culture to neighborhoods.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Semblance and Mixed installation

The top two photographs are of work installed in the lower level project space by Deborah Raven.

Below those are some images of how the portraits shot by Heather Raquel Phillips look in the upper level space at Sage Projects. Scroll down for details on the show.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MIXED Bill of Rights - Heather Raquel Phillips

The Mixed Race Bill of Rights shown above (click on the image to enlarge) is displayed on a wall at appoximately 5 x 6 feet so that everyone can get a better sense of this issue. Small tags under each photograph describe the mixture of each subject, for example - 50% Hungarian, 50% Puerto Rican. There are also surveys asking pointed questions of the subjects.

The exhibition runs through Sunday, October 25th with the work of Heather Raquel Phillips on the Upper Level, and Deborah Raven in the Lower Level Project Space. Scroll down for more information on both artist's work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Vibe Opening

Thanks to all the people who came out to enjoy an evening of extraordinary art and music. The video above gives you a taste of the good vibe provided by Little Afrika Rumba. Visit photographer, Heather Raquel Phillips' blog for more video.

As usual we lost count of the visitors to the reception after around 250 people. Besides many of our usual supporters, a lot people from South Street were drawn in by the music downstairs. Upstairs It was fun to see some of the faces of the folks portrayed in Heather's MIXED exhibition standing near their photos. Deborah Raven's images of exotic animals shot in natural history museums provided the perfect backdrop for the musicians.

The show runs through Sunday, October 25th. Come by and see the work Weds-Sun (see the sidebar for our hours).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Q&A: Deborah Raven on Technique

Q. Can you tell us about some of the techniques you're using in the
creation of your work?

A. The images for "Skeletal Remains" were first printed on archival fine art paper. I mounted the images onto board ( lauan) for stability. Then I applied thin layers of encaustic (heated wax) to the images, fusing the wax with a heat gun as I "painted" the layers, adding depth. The wax was slightly tinted with pigment to add rich tonality. The final pieces were put into frames.

All my images in this exhibition were photographed with a special lens, allowing me to have very selective focus. I can vary the amount of "blur" with this lens. When I photograph in the natural history museums, the dioramas are fairly well lit so "lighting" is not really a problem. I never use a flash. When I photograph the skeletons under glass, I get very close to the glass.

I love shooting with this lens because I never want everything in focus. It's how we see. I also like eliminating what I think are unnecessary details ( to the image) and creating a simple elegance instead...a suggestion. For example, I love how abstracted the fish become in the "Liquid Life" series. I mounted the color photographs in this series on Plexiglass which gives an extraordinary luminosity to the pieces.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Phillips/Raven Show Opens Sunday, October 4th

Heather Raquel Phillips: Mixed
Deborah Raven: Semblance
scroll down for more information

October 4 – October 25, 2009
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 11, 6-8pm
Sage Projects 333 South Street, Phila., PA

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The day after the film festival put on by Positive Space, 88 people visited Sage Projects. Not everyday brings in that many people but then again during opening receptions we get a lot more. I think a fair, ballpark number for the people who have come through the doors during the last 6 months would easily be 4,500. Since the gallery is located on South Street there are a fair amount of tourist who drop in, many from New York and Europe, but it seems that the great majority of visitors are from the area and already have an interest in art. All age groups, students, families, artists, art professionals, musicians, you name it, have come in and enjoyed the art being presented.

Sage Projects is open 5 days a week
Wednesday and Thursday 12-6
Friday through Sunday 2-8
see the sidebar for more information

Saturday, September 19, 2009

October at Sage with Phillips/Raven

SAGE PROJECTS is pleased to present an exhibition of works by photographers Heather Raquel Phillips and Deborah Raven. This will be the 7th exhibition at Sage Projects and the first devoted exclusively to photography.

Heather Raquel Phillips (top) explores the complications of racial identity in the photo project entitled Mixed. This exhibition is a portrait series of people who are unique in their composite ancestral backgrounds, while sharing the collective experience of being bi-racial/ multi-ethnic in a so-called “post-racial” America. To view this series of photographs is to encounter Phillips' subjects eye-to-eye. It is an activity that is at times both tender and confrontational, as each person's expression of identity comes across via inescapable gazes.

The photographs by Deborah Raven (above) explore how we look at animals in a show entitled Semblance. The images were photographed in Natural History Museums, at the Midway, aquariums and on farms. The images consider how animals are “subjected and worshiped, bred and sacrificed”. Series depict "tethered" animals at the midway, portraits of taxidermy subjects found in Natural History Museums, skeletal remains as organic still lives, and a series of aquatic “Liquid Life” images.

Download Full Press Release (pdf)

October 4 – October 25, 2009
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 11, 6-8pm
Sage Projects 333 South Street, Phila., PA

The gallery is free and open to the public
Wed and Thurs 12-6pm, Fri, Sat and Sun 2-8pm
Validated parking is available (see sidebar details)
For more information 215-706-0406

Film Festival

Positive Space held their Film Festival last night at Sage Projects. It was well attended and everyone enjoyed films of Andrew Frueh, Bruce James, Noah Grant-Levine, Lindsay Kovnat, Greta Scheing, Kevin Kernan and others. Here is an image from one of those films.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Special Preview for September

This link will bring you to a number of images from the current show featuring Don Kaiser and Vincent Romaniello. Top image from Don't Kaiser's Objects and Storms. Above a photo from Blue Collar by Vincent Romaniello. The show runs until September 27, come out and see it!.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reception for "Kaiser/Romaniello"

Thank you all for coming out to the opening and making it such a nice night. Above are a few of the artists, friends and associates who came to see the show and enjoy the refreshments and conversation.

The show runs through September 27th so if you missed the reception there is still plenty of time to visit. Scroll down for more information.

Thank you too to Nic Coviello for this and the other photos that you took.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Member Paul Behnke in India

Paul Behnke and wife Robin liked their trip to India so much they are already making plans to return. Paul met with an Indian art who demonstrated his technique for traditional minature painting. There's a long tradition of artists making the pilgrimage to India including Francesco Clemente, one of my favorites.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Two events coming up that are not to be missed.

This Sunday the 13th from 6-8pm is the opening reception for Don Kaiser and Vincent Romaniello. Scroll down for more information and images.

Also at Sage Projects on Friday, September 18, starting at 7pm is the Positve Space Film Festival featuring short films and animation. More info here.

Both events are FREE and refreshments will be served.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kaiser/Romaniello show opens today

This installation photo (top) gives just a small slice of the many layers of work that Don Kaiser has created specifically for the Sage Projects space, come out, there is a lot more to see.

Romaniello has also used 2D and 3D pieces for his installation on the upper level including a table displaying maquettes, a deconstruction piece, and a wall sculpture.

Don Kaiser list of works (pdf)
Vincent Romaniello list of works (pdf)

For information on the show you can visit
Philly Art Galleries
Tim McFarlane - Blog
Structure and Imagery - Blog
Artblog maps
Thank you all fro the support!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jon Manteau @ UD Crane

Lines, an exhibition of Regional
University of Delaware Alumni

Sage member, Jon Manteau, will have an 8x8 foot painting and two works on paper on display at the University of Delaware space on the first floor of the Crane building.

Lines, will also feature the work of Donna Czapiga, Francine Fox, Amanda Kamen, Pilar Perez and Stephen Ruszkowski. All explore the sensual and descriptive qualities of line. “Lines”, is the curatorial debut of Anthony Vega, the new director of the UD@Crane Gallery.

Opening: Thursday, September 10, 6-9 pm
exhibition continues thru - October 11
Gallery Hours: Wed - Sun, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1400 North American St.
Philadelphia PA 10122

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nic Coviello Web Launch

Nic Coviello has launched his new website at It is a retrospective of sorts with a range of work made over a number of years that include, prints, paintings, works on aluminum and more. Enjoy.

Image shows "Skins" a pemanent installation at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

London: Empty Shop Fills With Art

Artist, David Foss, pointed me towards the story in the NYTimes that sounds very familiar, artists using vacant stores to exhibit their work. I think we in Philadelphia beat them to it with the help of local and out of state business people who made the Arts on South program possible. Read how they do it in London.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Review for the Road

Libby Rosof of reviewed the Dragnet show, you can read it here. This is a great send off and a reminder that there is still time to see it for yourself. The show closes this coming Sunday at 8pm. Photo by Libby Rosof.

Sage Reaches 77

By my count if you include the upcoming show Sage has shown the work of 77 artists. This is for just 6 months of exhibitions and doesn't include performing artists, guest groups etc.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Film Festival in September


Positive Space will hold their 2nd annual film festival at Sage Projects this year. Featuring short films/animations by Andrew Frueh, Bruce James, Noah Grant-Levine, Lindsay Kovnat, Greta Scheing, Kevin Kernan and more....

Free admission and refreshments will be available.

Sage Projects
333 South Street
Philadelphia PA 19147
or 215-text-art (839-8278)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Sage Review for Dragnet

In Sunday's Inquirer Sage Projects got it's first real review for Dragnet. The writer, Edith Newhall, talked about the show in terms of the exhibition design and the theme, and talked about a number of the works and artists. With 48 artists it is impossible to list or talk about every piece and she used some as examples that backed up her theory of the show. A good review brings out a different perspective than one might have themselves, and I think Ms. Newhall has done that. All the artists associated with Dragnet understand the value of critical writing and are happy to have had their show reviewed. Read the review here.

Others in the media have shown support by mentioning Dragnet or listing the show, use this link or scroll down to see the list. Sorry if we missed anyone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Next Up in September

Lower Level Project Space

Upper Level

Reception Sunday, September 13, 6-8pm
Show dates September 6 -27

Download Press Release (pdf)

Download Press Release (doc)

Gallery is Open and Free to the Public
Weds, Thurs 12-6pm, Fri thru Sun 2-8pm
Validated parking available (check website)

Top, 6 ink drawings on paper, each 8.5 x 11 inches, 2008-09, by Don Kaiser.
Bottom, Wide Load, R-3.0 insulation panel, spray paint, 48 x 96 x 1 inches, 2009, by Vincent Romaniello.

Dragnet continues through August 30.
Come by and see it for yourself.

Monday, August 3, 2009

DRAGNET Artist Reception

Donuts are on us!

First Friday, August 7, is the artist reception for DRAGNET from 6-8pm. Show closes Sunday, August 30, 2009. See the sidebar for hours and parking.

Sage Projects is located at 333 South Street, Philadelphia, across from the TLA.

Read about it on Artblog and Citypaper.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dragnet Installation Teasers

Come see the show, there is much more to see.