Gallery in the Garden

Gallery in the Garden, coming into its 9th year this year, has become a "laboratory" in some ways, not only for me and how I continue to develop the physical landscape as I envision it, and how it is used each year for the show -- but a place for artists to freely experiment with a new body of work, new materials, a new direction. It has become a place for dancers, poets, performers along with visual artists to create a magical experience.

Visited by garden groups, including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Delaware Valley Pond Society, Hardy Plant Society, and Delaware Valley College show that art and nature really are simpatico.

These are just a sampling of some of the wonderful invitations that in collaboration with artist Debra Rosenblum have been created to capture the spirit of Gallery in the Garden. Using the images by artists and/or references to the artwork has been the constant theme that has guided the design effort for each year's invitation -- always a reminder that these endeavors are true collaborations from the very beginning.

Gallery in the Garden 2005 once again featured the work of many amazing artists. Isabella had her first photography credit -- the invitation was inspired by the image that she captured of the fish in the pond. Along with the fish, the reflection of the trees and sky above was the bonus. Once again Deb manipulated the image so it was viewed as a tapestry. Or is it a painting?

Photography by Susan Benarcik

(from top to bottom)
Glass vessels by Will Dexter,
Ceramic sculpture by Rain Harris,
Wood-fired vessel by Willi Singleton.

Labels: ,

Sticks and Stones: the making of a sculpture garden

Photography by Debra Rosenblum

In 2004, a generous and impassioned art collector and supporter of the arts, commissioned me to collaborate with her on a most ambitious private endeavor -- to create a sculpture garden/event on her beautiful woodland property in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. With complete curatorial freedom, I was indulged by being "provided" with a wonderful landscape and fabulous architecturally designed home to install sculpture and site specific installations. With Gallery in the Garden and then Sticks and Stones, visitors were able to experience contemporary work in a residential context where the environment(s) differed so dramatically -- contemporary home versus primitive stone farmhouse, a large woodland space versus an intimate garden setting. In 2005 over 900 visitors experienced the magical event!

Photography by e bond

Detail: Excerpted from "Limbo" Debra Werblud

A Second Nature

It occured to me that several of the artists that I'd worked with over the years either used Nature's materials for their work, or were directly influenced by Nature. The March 2006 show at Crafts for Living in the East Falls section of Philadelphia showcased the diverse sculptural work and paintings that created a second nature. I was pleased and honored to host a group from the Garden Writers Association who were in town for the always spectacular Philadelphia Flower Show.

Labels: , ,


CuAgAu: elemental

The 2006 St. Mary's benefit at bahdeebahdu was more than we could have ever imagined. Our first auction of the bunch (of the last 3 annual benefit events) yielded over $15,000! This year's theme was Copper, Silver, Gold... that meant that artists donated work that included any of these metals, were made with, or otherwise. All auction items started at an opening bid of $100, and some quickly rose to the hundreds and more. With 3 lots, and lots for everyone, the St. Mary's benefit party has again established itself in the community as a blast of a party offering great work for an important cause. And besides, it's always great to see Patsy Ratchet and the "girls" .

Labels: ,


So we discovered that when you do something good, you want to do it again. The 2ndSt. Mary's benefit was the sale of artist made "vests" -- wearable or not wearable. Once again, designer, sculptors, photographers, painters were invited to donate a "vest." All vests were sold for $200 each. Another grand blast raising lots of money for this wonderful Philadelphia based organization helping families effected with HIV/AIDS.

Labels: ,

Pulp Fiction

The title "Pulp Fiction" conjures so many ideas. The movie of course comes to mind, the old fragile comic book like publications come to mind too. As for this , it was all about work made from wood or paper. Emerging and recognized artists from New York to California participated in this great show co curated with Leslie Matthews and hosted by RJ Thornburg and Warren Muller, bahdeebahdu.


Charmed and Embraced

Charmed and Embraced was the first of the wonderfully rewarding benefit show/sales that I co-curated with Leslie Matthews, and bahdeebahdu's RJ Thornburg and Warren Muller to benefit St Mary's Respite Center for families and children whose lives are effected by HIV/AIDS. We'd invited some 150 artists to donate a piece in the likeness of a "charm" or a bracelet. Designers, photographers, sculptors, and painters created a unique piece that was required to fit in a 6 inch square plexiglass box and sold for $150. Attended by some 400 people, kicking off the holiday season the spirit of giving was in full force. Oh yes, even Patsy Ratchet came out of retirement for this one!

Labels: ,


Along with Leslie Matthews, my co-curator, and bahdeebahdu studio/gallery partners RJ Thornburg and Warren Muller, we organized a group show of artists who interpreted the "head" or portrait. An amazing show with a broad range of materials -- glass, wire, found objects, live plant material and metal to name a few. This December 2003 show was the beginning of a great string of shows at bahdeebahdu and more importantly wonderful friendships and collaborations.


CBS 3 "Eye on Philadelphia"

CBS 3's TV anchor, Beverly Williams for Eye on Philadelphia televised a tour of "Sticks and Stones: the making of a sculpture garden" June 2004 -- the private 2.5 acre woodland garden that played host to a sculpture garden/event filled with the work of some 25 artists. You can watch it online.


"Their Secret Garden" Philadelphia Inquirer

magazine cover

In a wonderful article "Their Secret Garden", by Judy West from the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, the spirit of the house and garden are captured. I won't forget the day -- Judy brought her adorable 4 year old son who in truth arrived as a city kid who became enchanted by the hummingbird moths that Isabella showed him. At the end of the day a few spottings of salamanders, birds and frogs turned a city kid into an enamored country boy.