June 16, 2016 |
I always assumed the vibrantly printed array of wrap skirts, maxi dresses, and kufis sold at African street fairs like last weekend's Odunde Festival were inspired by fabrics and silhouettes indigenous to the continent. Turns out I was only half right. The styles - iros (wraparound skirts), geles (head wraps), and bubas (loose-fitting blouses) - are native to central and west African countries. But ankara, the striking wax-coated cotton fabric from which the clothing is often fashioned, traces its heritage to the Netherlands.
May 8, 2016
Ally Through July 31 at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch St. Performances of "Rope Dance," "Paper Dance," and "The Courtesan and the Crone" on selected dates only. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission: Free. (All tickets for "Rope Dance" claimed.) Information: 215-561-8888 or fabricworkshopandmuseum.org
May 8, 2016 |
There is one joyous moment in the Fabric Workshop and Museum's current exhibition, "Ally," and it is about someone else's joy. It is a video, projected on a very large screen, showing the face of dancer-choreographer Anna Halprin as she watches a performance of Rope Dance, a work she created for this exhibition, in collaboration with sculptor Janine Antoni and choreographer Stephen Petronio. Halprin, who is 95, has a deeply lined face, and as she reacts to the dance, you can see where every wrinkle came from - some to express surprise, others to show concern, curiosity, amusement, elation, pride, and a flow of other emotions.
April 13, 2016 |
A portion of Marion Boulton "Kippy" Stroud's art collection, including four Georgia O'Keeffe paintings, will be sold at auction in the coming months to help fund the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the contemporary art institution Stroud founded in 1977. Stroud, who died in August, was the seemingly indefatigable force behind the Fabric Workshop, directing operations, formulating artistic plans, and helping secure funding for its ambitious exhibitions and programs. Over the decades, artists have been invited to spend time there creating everything from ties to massive installations; they have participated in collaborative projects; and they have been enticed, Stroud once said, "to explore, to take liberties.
April 2, 2016 |
Philadelphia universities already deep into research on smart fabrics and wearable technology will earn a major boost from the Department of Defense on Friday that could jump-start the next big things in "smart wear" for health, security, communications, energy, and fashion. Holding court Friday morning at MIT, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is announcing $75 million in funding for the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a nonprofit billed as "a revolutionary fibers and textiles manufacturing innovation institute.
January 22, 2016 |
Susan Lubowsky Talbott, who retired in December after eight years as head of the venerable Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., has agreed to take the reins of Philadelphia's Fabric Workshop and Museum for at least the next year. She will guide the contemporary art institution during "our current transition," said president Katherine Sokolnikoff, and facilitate two large projects in the spring and fall. The Fabric Workshop (FWM) was stunned in August by the death of its founder and director, Marion "Kippy" Boulton Stroud, 76, who took her own life.
January 18, 2016
Cellphone wallet cases let you carry some credit cards or IDs in integrated slots, while, ideally, providing impact protection for the phone. But what if you love those super-tough cases you've come to trust - few of which include storage space? Just stick on a Sinjimoru Sinji Pouch, and you're good to go. Slightly larger than a credit card, the kangarooesque pouch is made of a bounce-back elastic fabric attached to a hard sueded backing that sticks to the back of your phone case (or the phone itself)
November 21, 2015 |
The name of a Fabric Row mainstay, faded on its storefront window, is hidden behind a red banner that blares: "Retirement Sale Everything 1/2 Off. " Marmelstein's, in business since 1919, started with an immigrant's door-to-door needle-and-thread sales from his knapsack. After 96 years, its last day is Saturday. Shoppers now roam South Fourth Street for the designer boutique, the hair salon, the bike shop, and the artisan studio that have reshaped a neighborhood once defined by textiles.
November 9, 2015 |
Philadelphia's venerable Print Center is celebrating its centennial anniversary through December with exhibitions, events, programs, and projects on its own premises and elsewhere (it has partnered with more than 40 organizations in Philadelphia and beyond), all of which are listed on its website and in a guidebook available at the Print Center. The best place to start is the Print Center itself. On the first floor, "Highlights in History" documents the center's activities from its beginnings as a club to its current status as a nonprofit organization with an international voice in printmaking and photography.
September 28, 2015 |
On first impression, David Noonan's silk-screened linen collages mounted on wooden supports project an aura of formality and stillness on the crisp white walls of UArts' Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery. A closer look reveals something else altogether: These icily elegant, tidily constructed works are embodiments of taboo avant-garde performances, brimming with erotic overtones. For many of these works, Noonan appropriated archival photographic images of Japanese Butoh dancers, which he then cropped and enlarged and silk-screened onto glued-together patches of linen and jute.