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Friends & Neighbors Invitational

  • 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program 4007 Chestnut Street, 19104 (map)

8th Annual Invitational Exhibition
March 8-29, 2019

Friends and Neighbors was created by 40th Street Artists-in-Residence several years ago as a way to invite other artists - friends and neighbors - to exhibit in our gallery. Each AIR resident is encouraged to invite two guest artists; often, guests are emerging and/or self-taught. This exhibit always provides the AIR community with the crucial opportunity to see new work, network, celebrate local artists, and support one another.

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday March 8, 6-9pm; with light
refreshments and casual conversation with guest artists and AIR residents

CLOSING RECEPTION: Friday March 29, 6-9pm
refreshments + conversation

This exhibit is also on view by appointment. Please email to set up a time to visit the gallery.

Priscilla Bell (invited by Patricia Thomas)
Amy June Breesman (invited by Katie Kaplan)
Violet Cutler (invited by Katie Kaplan)
Anthony Folks (invited by Inga Kimberly Brown)
Juan Gomez (invited by Inga Kimberly Brown)
Sarah Heyward (invited by Patricia Thomas)
Naima Merella (invited by Candy Gonzalez)
Eric Rivera (invited by Keisha Whatley)
Symone Salib (invited by Candy Gonzalez)
Tisha Taylor (invited by Keisha Whatley)



AMY JUNE BREESMAN is a mixed-race Native American multimedia activist, artist and craftswoman, working primarily in photography, fine woodworking and most recently textiles. Growing up just outside of Washington, D.C., she received a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design before relocating to Philadelphia nearly 5 years ago. Here she continues to strive for intersectionality of her work and politics, and bringing to light some underrepresented issues in Native America.

VIOLET CUTLER is a visual artist drawn to the intersection of geometry and human forms/experiences. she believes that there is divinity within mathematical and geometrical structures and her work tries to portray the almost stupefying experience of glimpsing that divinity through an imperfect human lens.

ANTHONY FOLKS: As an artist and educator, my practice is both ethnographical and anthropological, intersecting between archiving, collecting, documentation and making. My work responds to what I am researching or what surrounds me. I consider myself a material culture maker – meaning the work is produced from a cultural influence rather than a creative influence. Working with materials that have a universal presence, such as paper derived from corrugated cardboard, has led to a conversation of meaning and making. Through that process, the conversation has expanded to textiles, clothing and other adornments. In my 2016 graduate thesis, I discussed the influence of material culture, art and adornment, on men’s fashion. Expanding the ideas I explored while during graduate school, I continue to look at the body as a material culture object, refashioning my own body with western and nonwestern clothing. Using archival and visual research, my aim is to establish a link between fashion and social freedom within the creative sphere.

JUAN GOMEZ: Narrative and Non-Narrative
The Narrative depiction of copying an image, from reference sources: Photo, Life and or art to create a story personalized by me; is its outcome. This way of working applies to my portraiture series I’ve created over the last 40 years, of my art practice. In most of my art you will see the obvious bends of the constructed design which defies traditional training to add my personal signature of the story conveyed in each image. I use graphite pencils from soft too hard leads, formalizing a story for the narrative result.
The Non- Narrative, is creating art from the phycological impulse where my heart beats into the markings of the paper encountered, etching my soul in every mark made. Using graphite pencils, acrylic pigments and other materials to push each creation to life. The Non- narrative is in all my narrative works lurking in the background, showing it’s form to the unsuspecting viewer. The overall form and formless-ness are joined and separated in my art as you will see.
Abstraction of impulse and a traditional portrait altered have similar traits...they both exist in an environment related to all life experiences.
A general view of my art and thought motive: Juan Gomez

SARAH HEYWARD is an artist and educator currently living in Philadelphia. Sarah was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, California where she lived until she graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in French and a BFA in Painting. During her studies at SSU Sarah spent two years abroad living in France where she learned French and gained an appreciation of different cultures through her experience as a foreign student.
In 2015, Sarah moved to the East Coast to pursue an MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Since graduating in 2017, Sarah has been committed to educating others through art by teaching various subjects to a diverse range of students at many institutions. Currently, Sarah teaches at The Delaware County Community College in Media, Widener University in Chester, Temple University in Philadelphia, and with Mural Arts at the Tacony Lab.

NAIMA MERELLA is a Philadelphia based artist. She earned a BFA in photography at the University of the Arts. Her constant curiosity, and love of variety inspired her to explore many different mediums, including painting, photography, printmaking and woodworking. As a result her art has taken many different forms. Naima believes that since everything in life is constantly changing, so should we and so should our practices. Naima finds her passion in teaching and building community. What drew her to stay in Philly was the people. She loves sharing what she has learned with others and encouraging others to find their own way, whether it be through visual arts or healing arts.

ERIC RIVERA: Eric Rivera's artistic background is firmly rooted in the City of Philadelphia. He attended The High School for Creative & Performing Arts as a visual arts major. He also participated in Taller Puertorriqueño’s art program. As a young adult his education and career path landed him in New York where he attended Pratt Institute & The Fashion Institute of Technology, as an Advertising & Design major. Eric Rivera went on to become the Art Director/ Senior Graphic Designer for many well-known clothing brands.
Eric Rivera has participated in numerous group art exhibitions throughout Philadelphia, thanks in part to The Philly Art Collective, and Urban Art Gallery. He’s also exhibited his work during Art Basel, Miami, thanks in part to Seagrams Gin, and Wiseguy USA. Eric Rivera also gives back to the community by teaching art to grade school children from grades 5-8, with a concentration on Pop-Art Design, and Art Therapy.

SYMONE SALIB is a painter and street artist highlighting the voices others through portraits.

TISHA TAYLOR is a contemporary realist painter who lives and works in Delaware County. A native of West Philadelphia, her realistic depictions of the human figure, human emotions, city landscapes and love of the outdoors pay homage to her city. When asked about what inspires her, she states “We all deal with stress all the time and I want you to look at my art and feel happy or calm. I want you to step into my world and enjoy the journey”.
Tisha is a storyteller through her art. As a child Tisha received prizes for her innate talent. From a young age she has believed, “You can create anything once you see it in your mind.” She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and a minor in Fine Arts from Moore College of Art and Design. She also attended the High School for Creative and Performing arts and took summer courses at University of the Arts.
Tisha has completed thousands of commissioned pieces over the years. She started Taylored Faces and Balloons, LLC, a party entertainment company, in 2017. Known throughout the city for her vibrant, and creative and fun faces, she enjoys creating beautiful face painting designs, complex balloon twisting characters and creating commissioned art pieces for her clients.

Earlier Event: March 8
4 Queer Voices
Later Event: March 8