Exhibitions

The Carolyn and Howard Alber Gallery at Allens Lane Art Center shows work by local artists and community partners.

Photography Without Borders: Emerging Artists Exhibit on the Wissahickon Park

May 17 – June 3, 2024
Opening Reception: May 17, 6-8 PM

 

Celebrate Photography Without Borders students with an end-of-the-year showcase featuring a new gallery of work on the Wissahickon Park. Prints are available for sale and will go directly towards supporting their youth photographers.

SPRING ART MARKET

May 9 – May 11, 2024
12-6 pm

 

Mark your calendars, and come out to shop for beautiful pottery, sculpture, jewelry, painting, photographs, and more. All artwork is created by our students and teaching artists, and proceeds from the sales go directly to supporting the artists and Allens Lane Art Center.

TÉT ANSANM: An Exhibition by Naomieh Jovin and Gerardine Aldamar

April 5 – May 3, 2024
Opening Reception: April 5, 5-7 pm

 

This two-person exhibition explores the decade-long relationship between artists Gerardine Aldamar and Naomieh Jovin, highlighting the parallels and active dialogue within their works. The title of the exhibition Tét Ansanm, meaning heads together, is a saying Jovin heard from her relatives after the untimely passing of both of her parents at a young age. It meant that she and her siblings needed to rely on each other to make it through the grief and the absence of their parents.

Aldamar and Jovin met at Moore College of Art in their first year as photography majors where they learned and grew as artists forging a relationship based on creative dialogue and friendship. The two have continued their conversation throughout the last decade, staying connected and close. Through their work, Aldamar and Jovin explore the trauma and grief found in losing loved ones, as well as their experiences growing up as first-generation Haitian Americans.

Both artists are archivists of family photographs, transforming these collections with mastery into artworks honoring and elevating ancestral inheritance. At the same time, they create important narratives about loss and erasure of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant voices. Although different in approach, the erasures of faces and bodies in each of their visual languages is a symbolic nod to absence, both the absence in death and the absence of not being seen across generations. 

Jovin’s ongoing series Gwo Famn is inspired by her late mother, who was a force of nature and whose strength and resilience reverberate throughout. The images of her relatives in Haiti, her late mother, her late father’s untouched toolbox, and procession at her grandmother’s funeral, are juxtaposed with images of Jovin’s close friends in the nude, and oscillate between past and present, seen and unseen, togetherness and aloness, the traumatic and the ecstatic. The body in Jovin’s work contains multitudes, holding space for a range of emotions, memories, and healing.

Aldamar’s most recent body of work, Fanmi, delves into her experiences of losing three close relatives, her mother and her two aunts, and the non-traditional family dynamic that emerged in the aftermath. Using family photographs of high sentimental value to her, she merges the sublime and the mundane. In an image of her cousin, who became a mother figure after her own mother’s passing, she collages textures of the sunset, replacing the space of the room and the body with its golden hue. A parallel is drawn between our deep connection to our families and our loved ones, and the ethereal beauty of the sky or the sunset.

The artists’ use of photographic collage has subtle variations, and each employs her own method to build multilayered narratives and tell intricate stories about family histories and lived experiences. These complex personal narratives are given form in Jovin’s and Aldamar’s photographs and are translated into universally resonant expressions of grief and resilience. 

Throughline: Ron Bryant Retrospective

March 18 – March 29
Opening Reception: March 22nd, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

 

Join us in celebrating the work of an artist Ron Bryant. In his first solo exhibition at age 85, Bryant’s work expresses a life of passion and obsession with sculptural forms that emerge from the artist’s active imagination and keen sense of humor. The work was created in Ron’s later years when he began to attend art classes in the 1990s and learn about ceramics, stone carving, and paper-mâché. Ron has been visually impaired for most of his life, and his art is created through the sense of touch and with the help of volunteers at various institutions throughout Philadelphia, including the Vision Thru Art Program at Allens Lane Art Center.

Ron Bryant was born in Philadelphia and spent his youth in and out of foster homes in a variety of neighborhoods. He tended to run away when foster parents became too protective of him due to his visual impairment. Despite his deteriorating eyesight, freedom of movement was always a priority. He even recalls taking a round-trip freight train ride to New York as a young teenager. By age 17, he had lost use of his right eye.

While living with a foster family in Mt. Airy, Ron attended Bok Technical High School in South Philadelphia where he studied restaurant practice. After graduating in 1956, Ron worked as a chef in restaurants, catering companies, and private clubs throughout the city and suburbs for 38 years.

After Ron had lost his sight completely, he ran a commissary at Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry through a state program for the blind. When Byberry closed in 1990, Ron began using his creative energies for art. He took classes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In the late 1990s, he joined Vision Thru Art at Allens Lane Art Center.

Ron also participates in art classes at the Philadelphia Senior Center at Broad and Lombard and at Face to Face in Germantown. He regularly visits the Center in the Park at Vernon Park to join other seniors in singing, exercise, and Bible study. On March 27, 2024, Ron will celebrate his 85th birthday.

 

 

 

Kahuña Fragments

February 16 – March 15
Opening Reception: Friday, February 16, 5 – 7 pm

 

With great craftsmanship and astute design, Carlos Gil explores the intersection of painting, photography, and sculpture. All his work is rooted in photographic representations of nature, a tradition that harkens back to the very beginnings of photography with Talbot’s and Atkins’ photograms of botanical specimens.  But the world that Gil constructs is far more layered, both technically and conceptually. Gil utilizes several techniques to modify his original photographs, including collage, assemblage, and digital media to synthesize an idea that explores the process as much as the subject matter. “Photography is not simply a representation of reality; photography is a technique that offers many possibilities for experimentation.”

As much as process explorations and experimentations are the concerns in this body of work, the subject matter remains of high importance to the artist. “We have forgotten the essential, nature, the forest, its breath, its noises, its spaces, their details.” – writes Carlos in his artist statement. His deep compassion and empathy for the natural environment emanate from his work and allow us to relate to the subject in a new and nuanced way. “I simultaneously capture the beauty of the natural environment, the contours threatened by climate change, and the rampant man-made destruction. Working this way, I can transform my images into new spaces in order to submerge the viewer into a world of visual sensations, different and unknown to them.”

EBAN YOUTH

January 12 – February 12
Opening Reception and Poetry Reading: January 12, 7 – 9 pm

 

In partnership with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, we are honored to present, Eban Youth, the Rebeccah Milena Maia Blum Curatorial Fellowship Exhibition, curated by the 2023 RMMB Fellow, Sabriaya Shipley. Please join us for the opening reception and poetry reading on January 12th, 2024, 7-9 pm.

The exhibition will display a collection of photographs, poetry, poetry in performance, poetic ethnography, and digital media captured with and through a continuing intergenerational conversation between curator Sabriaya Shipley, a Black queer nonbinary poet, educator, and community ethnographer, a host of their students, their communities, and fellow teaching artists who dare to join in highlighting the perspective of today’s BIPOC youth through ethnography that invites communities to be apart of the questioning, the analysis, and the results—the entire curating process.

In their curatorial statement, Sabriaya writes – “The West African Adinkra symbol, Eban, symbolizes love, safety, and security. The intention of community art-based work with our young Black, brown, and indigenous students within the community is not simply to generate radical art or cultivate brave art spaces but to look into how we can document and, more so, archive artistic works within BIPOC communities for generations to come. Also, to support a continued connection between diasporic culture and creative expression. Our Black, brown, and indigenous students deserve teaching artists, performers, and storytellers to guide them into becoming artists.

Featuring five years of my community youth work and documentation, Eban Youth calls the viewer to strip the invalidating language, stereotypes, tokenism, and fetishization of the image of marginalized youth through various mediums of capturing the Black, brown, and Indigenous youth experience. Eban Youth calls for re-articulating the Black, brown, and Indigenous childhood, considering the generational traumas and strengths being passed down and the outlining of intersectionality that exists within shared experiences.”

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Sabriaya is a Philadelphia-based queer, Black, and nonbinary poet, educator, and community ethnographer. Named a 2019 A+ Educator by Philadelphia Family Magazine and a 2021 Black Lives Matter Philly Educator /Fellow, Sabriaya holds a BA in Theatre from Temple University and a MA in Social Justice and Community Organizing from Prescott College. Sabriaya has collaborated utilizing ethnographic tools as an educator, artist, and artistic advisor with community-based organizations such as Power Street Theatre, the Painted Bride Art Center, the Colored Girls Museum, Mural Arts Philadelphia, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, New Voice for Reproductive Justice, Residency 11:11 in London, Girls Rock Philly, and Tree House Books. A recipient of the 2021-2022 Philadelphia Foundation and Forman Art’s Initiative Art Works grant and the Rosine 2.0 Past Visions/ Future Archives Micro-Grant, Sabriaya is determined to cultivate performance art and archival spaces centered around the expressive freedom of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Both her art and teachings focus on the decolonization of space and the increased inclusion of diasporic artistic practices.

History

In 2007, the gallery at Allens Lane Art Center was named after the late Carolyn Fiedler-Alber by her loving husband, Howard Alber. Mrs. Alber was a graduate of the Tyler School of Art and had taught in both the Philadelphia and New Jersey public school systems. She was chair of Volunteers at the Quadrangle and a member of Friends of Artists Equity. She also devoted much of her time helping people with disabilities and was involved in several AIDS organizations.

In 2012, Howard Alber passed away at the age of 101. Understanding just how important Howard was to the center, the name of the gallery was changed to honor them both. Howard was an accomplished artist and when he passed, the center put on a memorial retrospective of his works.

Both Carolyn and Howard both had an affinity for Allens Lane Art Center and were very supportive of the Center’s mission of making the arts as accessible as possible to the community. Their passion for art and life spoke volumes about the type of people they were.

Call for Artists and Curators

ALAC is looking for exhibition proposals for satellite gallery at Settlement Music School in Germantown.

Would you like to exhibit with us, or do you have an exhibition idea? Please email us at info@allenslane.org with details and some images of key works, or link to your website.

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Mount Airy, Philadelphia

Since 1953