ArtNOW: Philadelphia Features Four Tyler Artists

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In 2012, the artNOW exhibition began its three-city show series with artNOW: Baltimore. The exhibition continued in 2013 with artNOW: DC, and will end with artNOW: Philadelphia.

The seven person exhibition opened February 7 at the Kohl Gallery at Washington College. Four of the artists invited to artNOW: Philadelphia are familiar faces at Tyler.

Leslie Friedman is a printmaker. Her work consists of a stencil process on mediums like silkscreen. She received her MFA in printmaking from Tyler.

“I can appropriate imagery from pop culture or photographs and combine them to make large scale installations,” Friedman said. “Additionally, printmaking allows me to make multiple identical pieces, so I often play around with that. For example, the pieces I have at Washington include piles of giant Coke Zero cans. Through silkscreen, I am able to make the outside layer quickly and identically, so you get the nod to consumer culture and excess.”

Rubens Ghenov is a painter and a sculptor. He earned his BFA from Tyler in painting.

“The work that’s in the show has been mainly influenced and foddered by a Spaniard poet named Angelico Morandá,” Ghenov said. “There are four paintings and a video of a poem I wrote loosely dedicated to him and my late father. The way I’ve been working for the last four plus years has been a mixture between invented characters, folklore and fiction with painting, sound and some video work that comes from these invented personae.”

Amze Emmons is a multi-disciplinary artist with a background in drawing and printmaking. He teaches at Tyler and is a contributing editor of, an art blog he co-founded.

“For artNOW: Philadelphia I am exhibiting three works on panel that combine a lot of what I like about print and drawing. The panels have a special surface that allows me to work on them with pencils and water-based media, like gouache, and acrylic,” Emmons said. “The paintings are part of a larger body of work that use documentary source material to investigate the architecture of displacement.”

Ryan Kelly is a ceramicist who also creates videos, installations, puppet theater, and prop construction. He is a founding member of Practice Gallery in Philadelphia. Kelly currently teaches at Tyler.

The artists invited to include their work were picked intentionally for their variety of art styles. In order to show all of the work happening in Philadelphia, artists chosen included painters, printmakers, sculptors, performance artists, video artists, and new media artists.

“While there are far too many talented artists in Philadelphia that would have easily done just as good a job, I hope that we represent the city well, and show the region that there is some pretty impactful, thoughtful art being made here,” Friedman said.

The exhibition will end March 7.

“It’s been great to share walls with these artists,” Ghenov said. “Though we all work in Philadelphia, this is the first time I’ve been in a show with these specific people. Benjamin Bellas, the curator, has done a lot of work and I’m honored to have been a part of it.”

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