Katz Mural in Eraser-hood Philadelphia!
“One Human’s Trash is Another’s Treasure”, Summer 2012
Silk-screen printed decoupage mural with Mural Arts, Waring School Students, and Candy Depew
On a crisp winter day in Chinatown, hours before a blizzard shut down
the city for several days, a white van pulled up onto the sidewalk simultaneously threw open its side door. Out was tossed a striped cat
that hit the ground running.
Another mini tiger was set on the ground, this one fear stricken, did not
move even when the van slammed its door shut only to peel-out down
the street, never to return. My friends, coincidentally walking down the
same sidewalk only feet from the van, saw all this transpire and
picked up the terrified newly discarded kitty.
These cats were brother and sister, only a little over one year old where tossed out on the street to fend for themselves. Luckily for the terrified one, and for me, she was only in that state momentarily, although it is not known what happened to her brother.
I came to meet this cat later that same evening, with my first thought being “why would someone throw away such a good cat?” I just couldn’t understand it. I took her in temporarily, but grew very fond of her. She was so cute, very shy, with perfect ears and no apparent behavioral issues. The answer was revealed a few weeks later at the vet’s office, after finding an identification chip implant and contacting the owner associated with said chip. The story of her abandonment came to be known.
“I came home one day and found the entire contents of my house gone, my children gone, my wife gone, my pets gone, and my car missing. In less than 8 hours there was absolutely nothing left of my family.”
Since October 2011, KATZ! (the kitty in the mural) has raised funds for homeless animals and children through the sale of her prints at art auction fundraisers with organizations as SPCA and The National Adoption Center. Screen printed fabric dolls have been created and given to those that need a bit of a pick me up: children in the hospital, elderly in hospice, assisting special needs individuals with therapeutic mediations, and single persons needing companionship but are not permitted to have a pet. She has been creating comfort for hundreds of people with her story. This mural will be only a couple of blocks from where she was abandoned. As she crouches in the leaves, with insects and other plant life, peering out of the foliage with her glowing eyes, always looking out for her brother and all animals without homes/missing their families.
Students of Waring school, with their art teacher, drew images of insects, flowers and the sun. Candy, a master sprinter that has taught nearly 2,500 people the art of screen-printing, showed the students how to print their designs in bright hues on colored papers. Multiples of each design were printed then cut out of the paper and arranged into a landscape image. The individual parts come together to create a whole image, just like individuals of a community, and will be then be decoupaged onto the wall. Decoupage is the art of decorating object’s surfaces (in this case the wall) by gluing paper cut outs onto it. The final arrangement of printed paper cutouts are ‘sealed’ with a surface varnish until the ‘stuck on’ appearance disappears, with the result appearing like a painting or inlay work. Originally this technique was used in the 18th century and was known as ‘japanning’. I believe this will be the first mural of its kind.
Thank you for the opportunity to share the power of this work with you. We are looking very forward to seeing it installed.
Drawing inspiration from the
H.O.M.E. Page Cafe and exploration
of communal spaces, "Street Cafe" is a collaborative site-specific installation by multi-media artist Leroy Johnson & visual designer
Candy Depew. Captivatingly intricate
sculptural street-scapes by
Mr. Johnson conjure free flowing
wall murals of patterned symbolic imagery culled by Candy from the Library's Print and Pictures collection.
Exhibition runs into the Spring
@ The Philadelphia Free Library, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia
"Cat Walk" Fashion Show
Meow! A public park central promenade became a fashion show runway
for a moment. Resplendent of models adorned in one-of-a-kind
garments full of bright hues, contrasting beautifully with that fall day's
over cast sky. Perfectly painted into the likeness of tigers and kitty
cats, models strutted their stuff: evening wear, leggings, capes, dresses and hoodies. Purring and hissing while unfurling the piece de resistance,
a 30 yard patch worked skirt, the kitties turned the park into a mini
outdoor paparazzi photo shoot for a quarter of an hour.
Putting-Out! Practices in Cottage Industry and Urban Guilding, Solo exhibition, The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 2010
Fashion show at Keihl’s, 2010
Tattoo House, silk-screened exterior of 3 Philadelphia Row Homes. AIA award winner. 2010
The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
May 27 to August 12, 2010
Pass the Dutchie
Pass the Dutchie" is a cultural initiative created primarily to introduce the work of incredible artists from the Netherlands to Philadelphia. By facilitating presentations of cutting-edge Dutch artists & designers, this on-going project aims to highlight the remarkably supportive and progressive cultural climate of the Netherlands as a "global model" for sound artistic growth that emphasizes the power of a strong creative economy. Su Tomesen's awesome solo four panel video installation, "40,000 Feet", was the inaugural exhibition of the Crane's "ICE" series, with EROTOMANIA, held at the CandyCoated Center, shared the work of over 35 international artists, mostly hailing from the Netherlands.
an International Display of Erotica
the candycoated center
March 30-May 22, 2010
A stellar group exhibition of over forty consummate Artist's and Designers hailing from more than eight countries share their most private expressions with you for "EROTOMANIA; an International Display of Erotica". There are many different kinds of maniacs. Egomaniacs love themselves, pyromaniacs love fire, but perhaps the most interesting are those obsessed with love itself. Erotomania is the extraordinary condition where the fantasy of being in love can drive people to extremes. This special collection of ceramics, prints, sculpture, drawings, and text/writings that investigates contemporary and historical depictions of obsessive love is hosted by the candycoated center in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.*
Erotomania, first referred to as "erotic self-referent delusions" (1623), is the extraordinary condition in which the virtual fantasy of being in love can drive people to real extremes. Originally likened to an illness caused by unrequited love, the perceived notion of this condition has evolved over centuries. The present clinical understanding of erotomania is that the affected (subject) holds a delusional belief that another (object) is secretly in love with him and communicates their love in subtle and intricate ways; the most interesting, in terms of this exhibition, is the arrangement of household objects. The theme of "objects d'art" fulfilling needs of an erotic nature has a history in art, most prevalently featured over a century ago with the decorative Art Nouveau movement where erotic subjugation came to "denote the modern".
Mild cases of Erotomania often border on common relationship scenarios, which begs the question, "What triggers the leap from passion and admiration to complete obsession and the excessive pursuit of love?"
Each artistic talent was discovered at these progressive residency programs; the International Studio & Curatorial Program NYC , John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry, the Clay Studio , the London Consortium , and the European Ceramic Work Center.
* Due to the nature of the exhibition it is not recommended for children or those with existing heart conditions.
Artists & Designers:
Leroy Johnson (USA)
David Cushway (UK)
David East (USA)
Marc Th. Van der Voorn (NL)
Chris Davidson (USA)
Nikolai Renke (Denmark)
Matt Suib (USA)
Nadia Hironaka (Canada)
Julie York (Canada)
Su Tomesen (NL)
Sinisa Kukec (Canada)
Emilio Chapela (MEX)
Richard Hricko (USA)
William Eadon (USA)
Dylan Graham (NL)
Jesse Potts (USA)
Mortiz Ebinger (NL)
Daan Ooms (NL)
Gilbert Van Drunen (NL)
Timea Tihanyi (Hungary)
Boris Van Berkum (NL)
Sophie Heawood (UK)
David Posey (USA)
Jeff Guido (USA)
Heeseung Lee (USA)
Nami Yamamoto (Japan)
Garrick Gott (USA)
Harry Koopman (NL)
Clemence Van Lunen (FR)
Dave Rickard (NZ)
Julie Pointras Santos (USA/SP)
Ajila Steinvag (NL)
Etta Safve (Switzerland)
Ingrid Pasmans (NL)
NCECA Invitational, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
(National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts)
The Welcome House
with Eugenie Perret, curated by Marianne Bernstein
LOVE Park, Philadelphia USA
European Ceramic Work Center, Netherlands
project solo presentation at EKWC
Presentation September 2009
housing project, solo exhibition, The Design Center at Philadelphia University, Goldie-Paley House, Philadelphia, PA, 2009
Dark to Light
dark to light, solo presentation of work conceived during residency at International Studio and Curatorial Program, Icebox Projects Space, Philadelphia, PA 2008
Tourist Visa, group show, International Studio and Curatorial Program, NYC 2007
Falling Cow Gallery 2006
Between Worlds, solo installation at The Physicks House Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Curio, Minima Showroom, Philadelphia, PA
Curioscape- a curious landscape, Installation, Philadelphia International Airport
Death Rider Chopper Lake Jump
Death Rider Chopper Lake Jump, organized event and filming at Java Island, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2005
Never-Neverland; New Work Exploring a Sugar Coated Reality, final presentation at European Ceramic Work Centre, Netherlands 2005
Climbing Mountains, the clay studio 2003
Minimalonialism, Philadelphia Re-vis-it-ed, Minima, Philadelphia, PA
Sunrise...Sunset, permanent exhibition in residency of Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA 2006
Petals from the Same Flower
in collaboration with Martha MacDonald for Bang! Contemporary Artists Collide with Collections, curated by Janet Kaplan and Bill Adair, The Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA 2001