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Melinda Steffy - Ruination Day

  • Tiger Strikes Asteroid 1400 North American Street, 19122 (map)

repetition, nuance, & catastrophe 
March 14–April 27, 2019

Thursday, March 14, 6-9pm
Thursday, April 11, 6-9pm

featuring Bethlehem & Sad Patrick
Sunday, April 14, 3pm



Ruination Day is approaching

Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia is pleased to welcome Melinda Steffy Ruination Day. Steffy operates in a complex conceptual space, where music and color and geometric forms and lyrics and story-telling and history all intersect. Melinda Steffy was Invited to the gallery by TSAPhilly member Terri Saulin.


April 14: Lincoln was shot. The Titanic hit the iceberg. The Black Sunday dust storm devastated the Midwest. Three major events in American history occurred on the same date, and each are documented in folk and blues songs. Melinda Steffy’s “Ruination Day” series takes four of these songs and re-constructs them as grid-based color patterns. Her geometric abstraction removes the specific contexts of the songs and reveals the architecture of oral history: repetition, nuance, and catastrophe.

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 3:00pm Melinda will give a reading of her “Ruination Day Manifesto,” joined by duo Bethlehem and Sad Patrick who will perform the four songs: “Booth Killed Lincoln,” a 19th-century folk ballad; “God Moves on the Water” by Blind Willie Johnson; “The Great Dust Storm” by Woody Guthrie; and “Ruination Day, Part II” by Gillian Welch.


Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy re-interprets music as color patterns, exploring ideas of translation, information/data, and how music weaves throughout human experience. In 2017, she was commissioned by Eastern Mennonite University (VA) to create 100 paintings based on a Mennonite hymn in honor of their Centennial, and by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church (PA) to create a series of works based on Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Melinda’s work was selected for Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY’s 2017-2018 Flat File program, and her artwork has been exhibited at Crane Arts (Philadelphia), The Art Gallery at City Hall (Philadelphia), 20*20 House (PA), Rowan University (NJ), and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival (VA), among many others. She is an artist member of InLiquid and a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia fellow, and she was a prize-winner in the 29th annual Faber Birren Color Award Show (CT). Also an accomplished musician, she currently serves as executive director for Philadelphia music education nonprofit LiveConnections and sings with the Chestnut Street Singers. Melinda received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from The University of the Arts and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University.

Later Event: March 14
20/92 Video Festival