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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Around Philadelphia's Italian Market

We headed straight for the Italian Market area in South Philadelphia the day we visited and had lunch at a little local joint called "Mr. Joe's Cafe" on 8th Street. We had read that it was located on the original site of the Termini bakery (now across the street, where we also stopped for some dessert afterwards!) It's a tiny space but seemed very authentic. We spoke Italian with the waitress and felt transported back to Italy with a table of 5 generations of an Italian-American family sharing a meal nearby. I loved the Penne alla Norma and Bob enjoyed his eggplant panino with tomato and mozzarella. I would definitely go back and recommend it if you are in the area. I couldn't find a website but they are located at 1514 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 334-1414. Yummm.

Afterwards we drove through the 9th Street Italian market - it was already closing up for the day so we didn't walk around. It is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the U.S., closed on Mondays. We got a tongue lashing, complete with hand gestures from a bicyclist when we paused a bit too long to get some of these shots. This is an incredibly colorful area with very over-the-top “architectural” styles. It was fun.

Geno's Steaks - started by Joe Vento in 1966, it's a Philadelphia tradition.

Giordano's Produce Market.

Pat's King of Steaks. They were still lined up outside munching away.

Some of the local singing stars born in Philly, like Frankie Avalon (Francis Thomas Avallone), Eddie Fisher, Bobby Rydell (Robert Louis Ridarelli) Al Martino and Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans) are immortalized on a Wharton Street mural along with the fresh cooked crabs, clams and mussels of Anastasi's Seafood restaurant.

Quick grab shot of Cappucelo’s Meats - a cool neon sign with lots of intersting stuff hanging in the window

Trip to Philadelphia 7/18/2008

We spent the day in Philadelphia a few weeks ago when my sister and her daughters came for a visit from Denver, Colorado. Their flight was due to land about 6pm so we decided to drive over earlier in the day and see some of the sights of the city. We wanted to see where the famous outdoor market was, have lunch and maybe spend some time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I did a lot of "drive-by shooting" of some of the scenes since we really only had a few hours to kill. We saw a great exhibit at the museum: Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose on exhibit
through September 1, 2008. According to their website, "This is the first exhibition to travel outside of Asia showcasing the exquisite and historically groundbreaking work of Nandalal Bose, a major artist who has been called "the father of Indian modernism" and one of the "patriarchs of India’s cultural revival." It was truly impressive.

Driving through the city I snapped several shots from the car of Philadelphia’s City Hall, apparently the tallest masonry building in the world. At 10 stories high it was originally designed in the 1800s to be the world's tallest building but according to Wikipedia, by the time it was completed it was already surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower. Its exact height is strangely 547 feet 11-3/4".

Detail of the historic Art Deco-style Market Street National Bank. Built in 1930, it is now The Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City located on the Avenue of the Arts

Philadelphia has a incredible Mural Arts Program, a city-wide initiative to do away with graffiti and address neighborhood blight. It has created over 2700 murals throughout the city that have become a great source of community pride. Professional artists serve as role models and it gives kids a place to channel their energy, promotes self-confidence and fosters life and job skills. Plus, they are just cool to see! We only saw a few but here they are.

In the Italian Market area – Frank Rizzo was Philly’s first Italian-American mayor.

These were also in the Market area


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jack Markell Press Conference at Angelucci's

Jack Markell, Democratic candidate for Governor of Delaware came to Angelucci's Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass Studios and Artists Gallery yesterday for a Press Conference to explain how his plans to harness the economic development potential of Delaware’s arts organizations can help downtown areas thrive. Since this is a subject near and dear to us, when Scott Angelucci called and invited us to attend, we made it our business to go out and hear what he had to say. One of the interesting things he said was that "Arts organizations in Delaware have tremendous economic potential. The arts generate an 8 to 1 return on investment and employ 3,685 full-time workers, making the arts more than the state’s 11th-largest employer. The arts also generate $142.4 million annually in local economic activity and generate $9.4 million a year in revenue for state and local governments." His plan calls for "the creation of arts and entertainment districts in localities throughout Delaware and tax incentives to the artists and organizations choosing to work or live in those areas." To read more about Mr. Markell's thoughts on the arts in Delaware visit his website at http://www.markell.org/press_releases.aspx?pri=64

Scott introduces the Candidate as Sara Gallagher (president of Mispillion Arts League) looks on

Scott Markell talking about the arts in Delaware at Angelucci's

Discussing the Arts (l to r, Dan Bond, Jack Markell, Walt & Sharon Hepford, Rosemary)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

St. Peter's Art Show 5 July 2008, Lewes Delaware

Yesterday was the big show at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in historic downtown Lewes, Delaware. Worried about the weather I didn't sleep much the night before but thankfully the rain did not come. It was overcast and cooler than it was last week and for that we were grateful. Since it was not a great day to hang out at the beach, there was a pretty steady crowd all day. The volunteers from St. Peter's were wonderful, so friendly & helpful -- they showed up when we were unloading the car to help and then came around with a complimentary selection of coffee, muffins and juice. They have been doing this for 42 years at St. Peter's and they really seem to have it down. They offered credit card service for artists who didn't have their own which made it possible for us to sell more than we perhaps would have been able to do without it. We're learning as we go.

We sold more yesterday than we have at each of the other shows so that was great. The morning went by without a single sale and I was starting to get really worried. It was a pretty good sized crowd building but not too many seemed interested in our work. But then after lunch it really picked up and was pretty lively for us the rest of the day. We certainly didn't sell out or anything but it was definitely worth it. One couple who bought an original watercolor even came back later to buy a framed print so that was fun. Bob's cards were popular and even some of my botanical prints and cards sold.

We saw many of our artist friends again and it was fun chatting with them too. We were especially delighted that Bob's sister Theresa and her husband Mike came all the way down from Princeton, New Jersey (a three-hour drive) to support us. The weather cooperated all the way through and we took our time taking down the tent and packing up, enjoying a nice seafood dinner at Fish On! (eating up some of the profits?) in Lewes before heading home. Their grilled tun with steamed bok choy, orange soy glaze and sticky jasmine rice was well cooked, beautifully presented and delicious and the doughy bread they brought to the table was yummy and a good barometer of what was to come.

So that's it for the time being. In two weeks my sister and her girls will be here for about 10 days and we're looking forward to showing them around and having fun together. No more outdoor shows for us for a while. We'll keep you posted. Delaware by Hand has one end of September we'd like to participate in so we'll see. In between, there is a new show up at the Mispillion Art League gallery called "Waterworks" and we have some work there at 127 N.W. Front Street, downtown Milford. Rehoboth Art League's member show will open with a reception on July 18 (we'll be picking my sister up at the airport so will not be able to attend) and my work is on permanent exhibition at Angelucci's.

Here are a few shots from the day. I took these in the early part of the day before the crowds got even heavier and we were too busy to take photos.

Our booth. I had more originals on display and some prints I had not shown before.

Looking towards the Fine Crafts section. On the right is the booth of Carmela Coleman, a potter whose work I admire. I have one of her little berry pots that I love. She is a member of Delaware By Hand, another group we plan to join.

Shoppers and Onlookers on Market Street. It was even more crowded than this later on.

Thanks for checking in with us! Enjoy your Sunday.

4th of July 2008

We had the most dramatic thunder storm on Friday night - we didn't get out to see any local fireworks because it was pouring rain here but Mother Nature put on quite a show outside our windows with bright bolts of lightening followed by tremendous booming thunder. We stayed dry at home, watching the show from D.C. on TV. If you didn't get a chance to catch it – or didn't care to watch all the pre-fireworks entertainment leading up to it – or were out watching in your own town, I found this on You Tube. It's about 10 minutes of your time to watch but it was pretty cool, complete with canons and patriotic music. I love this stuff!

Here's the link to the video if you care to watch:


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

OK, clearly these were not taken in the U.S. on the 4th of July! This was taken in Venice in August of 2006 when we were living in Verona and went to Venice for a festival called "Il Redentore"." This celebration commemorates an event that happened in the middle ages, when the people realized that the plague had ended and they decided to build a church. A festival followed where they erected a temporary bridge suspended on boats across the lagoon from the Dorsoduro neighborhood to Giudecca so that people could easily walk to the beautiful church of the Redentore (Church of the Redeemer) to celebrate Mass. And while there is on the surface, nothing similar about these two events – our 4th of July and the Festival of il Redentore – it can be said that for the colonists the tryanny was over and they were building a bridge to the future by working together to bring about freedom and liberty. Happy Fourth of July everyone. Let Freedom Ring.

The fireworks for the Redentore festival came from barges in the Guidecca Canal, between the island of Guidecca and Dorsoduro. If you look carefully you can see a gondola passing by.

to see more of our Italian adventure, visit our Italy blog at www.livecheapmakeart.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Preparing for St. Peter's Art Show

We have been hard at work trying to get ready for the St. Peter's Art Show on Saturday, July 5, 2008 in downtown Lewes, Delaware. Lewes is one of the prettier towns in lower Delaware. That's pronounced like "Lewis" not "Looos" as we thought at first. It was founded in 1631, where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. You can take a ferry from Lewes to see the lovely Victorian homes at Cape May, New Jersey, in a delightful 90 minute cruise across the Bay as frolicking dolphins and quaint lighthouses pass you by.

This is the 42nd Annual Art Show sponsored by St. Peter's Episcopal Church Women for the benefit of local charities. St. Peter's was founded in 1681, although the Church that exists today along with its stunning stained glass windows dates from the mid to late 1800s. Please visit their site (click on the link for the Art Show above) for all the information you will need to attend. We will be there 9 - 4 rain or shine! The show is located on the streets surrounding the Church: Market, Mulberry, Second and Third Streets. We'll be in booth #86 on Market Street.

Our place looks like a frame shop at the moment with paintings, photographs and prints lining the walls and boxes full of prints and cards and all the supplies needed are strewn about! Here's just a little taste of what it looks like!

These are just a few of the images we will have for sale:

Bob's Photographs

Bob's digital photograph entitled "Carnivale, Acireale" in an 18 x 24 frame is just one of Bob's images from Italy

Bob has been having fun creating a delightful selection of notecards with Keyhole and Mailbox images. This is just one of the images he's playing with.

A few of my watercolors:

"Crumbly Palazzo, Venice" was painted in Verona and is available as a limited edition giclee print in different sizes

The original watercolor entitled "Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Gazebo" was painted en plein air in Ravello and is available framed in a square frame with double mat and limited edition giclees are also available.

In case you are interested in any of these images (or any that you see on the blog – this one or the Italian version www.livecheapmakeart.blogspot.com) please let us know and we'll be happy to quote you prices.

Now it's very late and as we've been at it all day, I guess I'll call it a night.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bronze Statue of Civil War General Unveiled in Milford

General Alfred Thomas Archimedes Torbert was born in Georgetownm, Delaware and lived in Milford from 1866 until his death in 1880 and he was, according to the Milford Chronicle, one of our local papers, Milford's highest ranking military figure. He lead the infantry in the Shenandoah Valley and served in the U.S. Consul General's service from 1869 - 1878. For any civil war buffs who may be reading, he fought on the Union side. When we first heard there was to be a civil war statue erected in our city, we wondered which side it would represent, as Delaware was one of those states where families were divided in their loyalties, some siding with the South, other with the North.

This type of statue was typically erected right after the person's death and it was through the efforts of dedicated local people, in particular Marvin Schelhouse and Dave Kenton who took this idea and ran with it, raising enough money and public support to see their dream become a reality.

We were astounded to learn that $80,000 was raised to commission and build this statue - and in this current economy that was no small task I'm sure. Being more interested in the art aspect of this project than the details of the war, (although I did find an interesting blog by someone who is and here's a link to it if you are too: http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org/about/) we were curious as to what it would look like and who was creating it. We learned that the sculptor is a talented Chinese American painter/sculptor with tons of experience sculpting Civil War heroes. His name is Zefeng Tao and his work is extremely impressive and realistic. He has a studio in Dover, Delaware, (although we had heard that the statue was being "made in China" and that some hoped that wouldn't actually be printed on the finished piece) It is constructed of Bronze and was cast in Beijing, China.

A reception was held on the front lawn of the Milford Museum at 121 South Walnut Street where speeches were given, befitting the occasion along with rifle salutes and Civil War reenactors in full woolen uniforms, followed by light refreshments and hors d'ouerves in the Museum.

I did not attend as I was over at the Mispillion Art League gallery helping hang the current show "Waterways" a collection of fine art based on the theme of water. I was amazed at the many varied interpretations of that concept by our talented members. This current exhibition will remain on display until October when we change it out following our big Fall Gala October 24.

The Unveiling:

The Mayor performed the unveiling of the statue

The final moments of the ceremony

A Rifle Salute by the reenactors

Proud Union Solder reenactor

More images from the unveiling

A very colorful crowd!

It was a very good turnout for a hot and sticky day

Canteen detail of one of the Civil War reenactors on hand for the event

The Committee gave speeches - among them Marvin Schelhouse, committee chairman and Dave Kenton, Milford Museum board chairman both extremely dedicated to this project and Milford's Mayor, Dan Marabello. On hand also were representatives from members of the Torbert Camp of Sons of Union Veterans, Civil War reenactors, the Boy Scouts, local political figures, interested citizens, Civil War buffs and my husband Bob!