Arms and armor collector Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch will hammer away your questions about swords and suits of armor as he takes you on a tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's vast medieval art collection. (Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC)
[With so much happening on Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene, we want to make Uwishunu, in conjunction with sister site With Art Philadelphia, your one-stop-shop for all that’s happening with local art. Every month, we gather our top art picks, featuring exhibits and events at both smaller, alternative galleries and art spaces, as well as at the city’s major art institutions. Be sure to check them out for yourself.]
While you may be ringing in the new year with fireworks and sparkling champagne, January has some even brighter eye candy in store.
Below, uncork our picks for January’s best art happenings around the city:
• Inner Codes and Interiors at 3rd Street Gallery: Opening January 2, 3rd Street Gallery, 58 N. 2nd Street. Treat yourself to two shows with just one trip to 3rd Street Gallery. With Inner Codes, Jacqueline Unanue explores language and the subconscious with spontaneous calligraphy. In Interiors, the painted worlds of Constance Culpepper explore connections between the heart and home. Her dollhouse panoramas splash the viewer with enough color to send Dorothy back to Oz.
• Locals Only at AIGA Philadelphia SPACE: Opening January 4, AIGA Philadelphia SPACE, 72 N. 2nd Street. On winter nights, the light from a bar sign acts as a beacon of warmth and comfort to the wandering city traveler. A new show at AIGA calls to barflies everywhere with the bar sign-inspired designs of local artists working in the medium of neon.
• Sake and the Collection at The Barnes Foundation: January 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m., The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, $40, members $30. Tired of drinking wine with your works of art? Instructor — and Philly 101 star — John Gatti will pair masterworks from the Barnes with sumptuous sake flavors.
• Conversational Discussions at The Center for Art in Wood: January 5, 2-3 p.m., at The Center for Art in Wood, 141 N. 3rd Street. Curator Gail M. Brown discusses the ongoing exhibition at The Center for Art in Wood, YOUR PERSONAL HANG-UPS. Find the whimsical in wood as contemporary artists twist the shapes and colors of ordinary household objects. The show, ongoing through February 2, is a dreamscape furnished with forms that blur the line between commodity and creature.
• Revising History, Cross Pollination and Holding at The Print Center: Opening January 11, The Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street. Artist Jennifer Greenburg puts a Pleasantville-style spin on vintage photography by placing self-portraits into found negatives. The walls will be abuzz with beehive-inspired wallpaper by Talia Greene, while Anne Massoni literally draws the connection between found images and her own creations with a thin line.
• Cold Steel, Warm Knights at Philadelphia Museum of Art: January 11, 5:30 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, free after admission. It’s time to take your love of medieval lore beyond the Game of Thrones. Arms and armor collector Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch will hammer away your questions about swords and suits of armor as he takes you on a tour of the museum’s collection.
• Focus 2012 at LGTripp Gallery: Closing January 12, LGTripp Gallery, 47-49 N. 2nd Street. This month offers your last chance to see the annual abstract photography show at LGTripp. Seven artists construct worlds new worlds with the click of a camera, as they play with light and reality as skillfully as a league of superheroes.
• Creature Capers at The Clay Studio: January 12, 10 a.m.-noon, The Clay Studio, 137-139 N. 2nd Street, $17.50, $15 members.. Take family fun beyond finger painting with classes at The Clay Studio. At the Creature Capers workshop, children ages 4 and up will to turn the age-old pastime of playing in the mud as they unleash their imaginations in creatures of clay.
Check out the rest of our With Art Top Picks, below.
• Strategic Ambiguity at La Salle University Art Museum: Public reception January 16, 5-7 p.m., La Salle University Art Museum, 19th Street and Olney Avenue. The Philly Tweed Ride may be over, but don’t pack your smoking pipes away just yet. An exhibition at La Salle through March 1 highlights Symbolist prints from artists of the early 19th and late 20th centuries. Feast with harpies and riddle with sphinxes as faculty members take you on a time-traveler’s journey where art is a crossroads to literature, science, and the human experience.
• Grand Opening Party at NextFab Studio: January 17, 6-9 p.m., at NextFabStudio, 2025 Washington Avenue, $15. The wait is over. Collaborative space NextFab Studio is celebrating its reopening this month at a former iron workshop. The bigger space offers more than just workbenches and the latest tools — an onsite creperie café invades the olfactory with fresh-roasted coffee.
• Art After Dark: “Activate” at PAFA: January 17, 6-9 p.m., PAFA, 118-128 N, $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Broad Street. The upcoming Art After Dark party is a girls’ night out. In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Female Gaze, party over cocktails and a reunion performance of all-artist musical group DisBand. Activate your evening with screenings, a scavenger hunt and more.
• Mad Max at the Penn Museum: January 23, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, pay-what-you-want. Two men enter… one man leaves, but don’t let them stop you from entering Thunderdome at the Penn Museum. The final screening of the Penn Museum’s Apocalypse Film Series brings you the third installment from the Mad Max trilogy, complete with snacks and a cash bar.