May 2014

Treasures from Korea

Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

Stephen Starr Events has helped the Philadelphia Museum of Art make Korean culture even more personal for visitors to the major exhibition Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty. Chef Gerald Drummond created a special menu inspired by the exhibition for a pop-up Korean restaurant at Granite Hill, and a Chef’s Table filled with Korean staples like Kimchi and Beef Bulgogi available at the Museum for the duration of the exhibition. Marja Vongerichten, host of the PBS show Kimchi Chronicles, taught a class on how to prepare dishes like Soy-Garlic Chicken and Kimchi Fried Rice from her Korean heritage. Both the curator of the exhibition and the chefs agree that you don’t need a deep knowledge of Korean history to enjoy the works on display, and certainly not to enjoy the food.

Expressed in Metal

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Using his welding, metallurgy, and jewelry design skills, designer-craftsman Paul Evans (1931-1987) established a reputation as a creative designer of unique sculpted metal furniture. Constantly experimenting with new materials, technologies, and designs, his shop operated much like an industrial laboratory, and his highly innovative experimental approaches to metal have attracted an international following, especially over the past decade.

This first comprehensive survey of Paul Evans’s work will document Evans’s role in the midcentury American studio furniture movement, his approach to furniture as sculpture and abstract composition, and his unremitting new approaches to metal. Opening at the Michener March 1st thru June 1, 2014, Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism will be comprised of some sixty-five works, spanning the artist’s entire career with choice examples of Evans’s early metalwork and jewelry, collaborative pieces made by Evans and Phillip Lloyd Powell during the fifties when they shared a studio, as well as a comprehensive selection of Evans’s studio work representing his sculpted steel; verdigris copper; copper, bronze and pewter; argenté sculpted bronze, and cityscape techniques. The show will also include examples of Evans’s sculpture as well as a selection of work he produced for Directional Furniture Company.

Art of Life visits The Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, PA and talks with several people about why this is a “Must-See” exhibit. We speak with Dorsey Reading, Evans’ former shop manager, and first actual employee. Reading shares what it was like working so closely with Evans and why he has remained one of the biggest fans of his work. David Rago, of Rago Arts & Auction Center talks about the rise in value of Paul Evans’ pieces, and Constance Kimmerle, Michener Curator of Collections, fills in the details about his life and work.

Bucky and the Fringe

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

“The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” is an ungainly, unlikely and inaccurate title for a creative work that is actually not a song at all, but is, in fact, what director Sam Green calls a “live documentary”. Green is an Academy-award nominated documentary filmmaker (WEATHER UNDERGROUND) who travels with this work to different cities across the US, changing it slightly each time he screens it to take advantage of any connection the screening city might have with R. Buckminster Fuller. “Bucky” (to his friends and in this piece) is the inventor of the geodesic dome – think the Epcot Center dome – in addition to countless other advances in technology as well as in the way we think about the planet. RBF coined the term “spaceship earth” and his views about how we were squandering this planet’s resources in the 1960’s, seem prescient to issues we are just now confronting. While many may see Bucky as a crackpot, author Mimi Sheller (Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity) tells us of the advances RBF was able to make in many different disciplines. While director Green delivers the live narration for “Love song”, YO LA TENGO provides an all instrumental soundtrack. Indie rock stalwarts, YLT founding member Ira Kaplan tells FRIDAY ARTS that 2014 is their 30th year.

Not only does Green find fertile material to include in the “Love song” performance of April 4, 2014 (RBF lived here in the 60’s and 70’s) but he found a receptive audience and presenting organization. The building that houses the new Fringe Arts (formerly the Philadelphia Fringe Festival) is in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Philadelphia side, and Nick Stuccio has been the director of this organization through its many iterations and many “live arts” presentations. We talk with Nick (just voted one of the 75 most influential people in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine) and find out how he was able to bring the building and R. Buckminster Fuller together for an unforgettable live performance.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal