Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NADA Art Fair Reminiscence

Entrance of NADA.
A few weeks ago, located at Pier 39 of Basketball City, was the fifth annual hosting of New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). The eclectic art fair showcased paintings, drawings, sculpture, video, and installations from all over the world. This four day affair brought in an unique array of possibilities to art lovers, artists, and collectors, an opportunity to witness the new, the upcoming, the contemporary landscapes.

Hamish, a painter who uses bright colors, whimsical narrative, and handwritten text in his paintings couldn't make it.
Thierry Goldberg displayed a Tschabalala Self solo presentation. Self's large scale fragmented pieces on stitched textile with intricate drawing and painting homages, contained bold colors and patterns tied together.

Samson Projects presented a heavy arsenal of African, Latino, and Asian descendant artists specializing in conceptual inventive spaces, humanly existence of marginalized bodies and marginalized body narratives, and bringing certain iconographic images to light.

"Untitled," Henry Taylor, acrylic on cardboard.
Top left is: "Hands in," Tala Madani, oil on canvas, 2005 and "Upon Arrival," Toyin Ojih Odutola, charcoal on board, 2015. Bottom: "Hush Our Silence (from Exit Art)," Carrie Mae Weems, chromogenic print, 2003.
"Bull Wall," Ted Gray, photographic print and found antique frame, 2014.
"Mama Goma, Gemena, DR Congo," Deana Lawson, inkjet print mounted on Sintra, 2014.
"ReneeMonsterSoul Culture," Renee Cox, digital print matted and framed, 2015.
"Chance," Whitfield Lovell, iris print with hand collaged playing cards, 2002.
"Nina #2," Rico Gatson, photograph and colored pencil on paper, 2015.
Close up.
"Black Lives Matter," William Villalongo, acrylic, paper, and velvet on wood flocking, 2015.
"Notes from Tervuren," Radcliffe Bailey, gouache, collage, and ink on sheet music, 2013.
"Untitled (Afro Pick 3 Peace)," Rashid Johnson, spray paint on paper, 2003.
Lyles & King featured Mira Schor's oil on linen language paintings.
Lincoln Center shared a small crop of artists including Lorna Simpson.
Lorna Simpson.
Philadelphia's own project based gallery Marginal Utility curated an eye opening fascination spectacle. A rocky like rectangular structure framed an Ashley Wick animation, a subtly noted painting by Gahee Park featured mixed patterns and awkward sensuality watched by a cat, and a rustic designed Scott Kip sculpture spinning round and round on its kinetic energy.

Dave Carrow's object collection sculpture from Marginal Utility's space.
Close up of jars filled with varied objects such as buttons and marbles.
Abigail DeVille's plaster head adorned with pink and black hair rollers and an 80's palette rainbow above on canvas.
Along the trail, other discoveries peeked interests.

These teeth jutted out of this olive green, strangely rendered mouth in a provocative context. With jagged and smooth edges, vital negative gaps between, and bits of brown and green slightly marring the whiteness, this glossy sheen sculpture was quite riveting.
Specific colors, specific patterns, specific shapes whispered to soul.
This masked profile portrait drawing on torn notebook paper 
NADA's "Best In Show" honors went to Oklahoma native Summer Wheat. She is a cutting edge painter who applies acrylic on the canvas and pushes it through the other side to invent compressed texture. Three dimensional effect then transforms the painting into a mirror of fiber optic art, bringing sculptural quality. It's similar also to a textile rug, but with a hard plastic touch that contradicts the visually compelling optic illusion.

"Birds in Trees," acrylic on aluminum mesh, 2016.
Top: "Two Branches," "Banana Fingers," and "Hand." Bottom center: "Grooming." All acrylic on aluminum mesh, 2016.
Overall, the NADA experience encompassed the art world, filling wide six basketball court space into a effervescent bubble of tall, white, folding cubicle walls. Each individual gallery gave a glimpse of works new and old, a taste of resonating history and post-modernism contemporary. There wasn't some earth shattering prophecy about art's glorious future or its impending dooms and failures.
Yet the air seemed fresh and static simultaneously, letting suspense dance hauntingly around curious passersby. And that concludes tasty, delicious art buffet-- the tantalizing bites to hold close one's own perception of this grand affair on Pier 39.

Monday, May 30, 2016

"Donuts/Doughnuts! Croissants! And Fruits!" Oh My Party

The scene of our special party held Friday on the 11th floor of PAFA's Hamilton Building. Doughnuts from Federal and vegan treasures from Dottie's Donuts and The Tasty, and fresh strawberries and juicy red grapes.
There's no better excuse to have sweets and treats affair like a kind going away get together. Amazing PAFA artists-- some who are staying in Philadelphia whereas others will move away-- built a solid community together. To commemorate our experiences, this irresistible menu included sugary fried goods and plentiful fruits.
We discussed PAFA, future plans after PAFA, veganism/vegetarianism and other random topics.
Still, sadly and with bittersweet feeling comes the final week of the 115th Annual Student Exhibition, the last week to sharing wall space together.
This is not simply an effort to have people run down to PAFA to see paintings, drawings, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and everything else. This is a request for an audience to see major pieces of beautiful, hard working tenacity from friends and colleagues that have earned great respect and admiration.
Here are the selected ASE highlights and below are treasures from the party.

The Tasty is Philadelphia's brand spanking new vegan diner that just opened. I have yet to try the breakfast and lunch platters, but their gorgeous vegan croissants were posted on their Facebook and Instagram pages, enticing my French fused craving. Flavors are chocolate and almond. Several friends preferred the almond over the chocolate. The chocolate is thick and clotted, very sweet. I could, however, understand the penchant for almond.....
Dottie's Donuts' flavors included Apple Cider with Maple Scone Crumble, Apple Fritter, Chocolate Cookie Crumble, Vanilla Coconut, Elderberry, and Vanilla Glazed. They were definitely surprised that these babies are dairy and egg free.
Fellow MFA peers Seth, Kate, and Tovah.
The last almond croissant.
Crisp, lightly flaked, semi-sweet and golden on the outside, a slight salty nutty flavor on the inside-- a winning combination!
Showing it off-- deliciously scrumptious from start to finish.
Group shot: Megan (Certificate) with us-- Seth, Kate, Tovah, and me. Plus the treats! Thanks Justine (BFA/Certificate certified) for the picture. A very huge congratulations to all of the graduates. I will miss them all.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Amping Up Tofurkey's Spinach Pesto Sausage

It's hot outside and everyone knows what that means-- family/friend barbecues and cook out celebrations!
Humid packing inflamed sun is blazing like a disco ball, having been housed behind puffed gray clouds of seemingly infinite rain. Spring looks to have been skipped and temperatures are already rising to summery proportion. 
Now before enjoying ice cream cones and iced coffee dessert drinks, I must suggest incredible Tofurky Artisan Sausages as the condiment sopping bun stuffer. Whole Foods Market is having a little sale on the vegan grill out fixes. I hadn't tried out any flavor beyond Tofurky's Italian Sausage.
Alongside temptation of testing out something new, saving a bit of dough is always attractive. Plus eye snatching, retro colored package labels proved to be quite seductive.  
Pan seared with olive oil, sides of Spinach Pesto Sausage is receptible to efficient browning, that nice caramel hued char. Compared to the Italian Sausage version, Spinach Pesto has a more refined bite, a less sweet noted consistency. Both have believable texture leaving one wanting another. Juicy, plump sausages are also wonderful when spotlighted with other tasty vegan favorites.

Dressed up with fried mushrooms and onions, and melted Field Roast Chao Cheese on a Pretzilla Sausage Bun, cherry tomatoes and sliver of basil on the side, pan seared Spinach Pesto Sausage felt right at delicious home.
Mouthwatering food art.
Kevita Master Brew Tart Cherry Kombucha balanced the meal-- a more grown up sophisticated palette than the hot dogs and soda of yesterday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Brunch-y Visit to Miss Rachel's Pantry

With my "Happy Graduation" gift card, I took last Sunday day off and strolled towards Chadwick Street, excited to finally try Miss Rachel's Pantry. A popular booth at Philly Vegfest, Miss Rachel always sold out of goods quickly. The first year, in her crowd pleasing demo, she concocted an impressive looking filet from pan searing seedless watermelon.

 The interior has a rustic flair-- a vintage meets modest pin up girl decor and home sweet home charm. Plus the flavorful aromas from the nearby kitchen were most welcoming, a delight to nostrils and hungry appetite.
Miss Rachel's menu selection was infinite. There were knishes, jarred cheeses, cheese wedges, unique sandwiches, potato soup, mouthwatering desserts, and other yummy veganized items. The grilled cheese definitely sounds like a winner around here. Plus the behind-the-counter lady was pleasantly affable. She couldn't grant a true recommendation-- for everything was divine and worth tasting!
 I ordered two broccoli and cheddar filled danishes and orange juice and indulged on the delicious meal right on the clean farmhouse table, centering the cozy environment of the restaurant.
Crisp, flaky exterior (mimicking that buttery crisp so well) with a savory, creamy interior of familiar favorites was a perfect balanced heaven. Two delightful danishes were simply not enough, teasing in all actuality, but one had to leave room for gargantuan dessert.
A large whipped chocolate on chocolate cake slice was an unexpected pleasure for brunch hour.
Fancy side view. I wound up eating half of this cake on the spot. The moist texture packed in incredible richness was truly worth the slow, methodical devouring. It was so romantic that my heart skipped beats in the midst of enjoyment. I don't get to eat chocolate cake often and this terrific slab of goodness treated me just right.
I took pecan topped sticky buns to go in this beautiful warm pink box. Along the way home, reminiscing on the meal,  I couldn't wait to come back. There is an irresistible quality to the homey, comforting place that Miss Rachel provides. The food is amazing, affordable, and easily addictive. I can't wait to be back and bring friends along the return.