Commonweal Gallery Highlights Local Artists | Philadelphia Caller

Philadelphia, PA - The arts scene in Philadelphia continues to grow with the opening of Commonweal. The gallery will feature emerging and mid-career Philadelphia artists and designers from across the city's creative communities.

Philadelphia's Newest Art Gallery Is Set To Open October 1

Commonweal's inaugural program artists were chosen because their work focuses on social and cultural themes important to our city and its residents while remaining engaged with evolving national and global conversations. The designers have engaged their material expertise to create an array of unique functional objects whose quality and thoughtfulness are intended to enrich their user's daily experience through their use. The results of featured designers form a capsule collection of things exclusive to the gallery.

Glenn Farrell Kellum and Warith Taha will be the first artists whose work will be featured at the gallery. Both engage themes of race, the body, and materiality to explore how the construction of memory and identity are interdependent on one another.

When asked about what sources he draws upon for his work, Kellum reflects, "Neighbors, family and friends shared stories, in one form or the other, that connected me being a negro, a black person, an African American, to a community of feeling - of energies - and I reflect on those moments."

Gallerist Alex Conner decided to open Commonweal in his adopted hometown (he grew up over the river in Southern New Jersey) after years of being involved as a curator, educator, critic, writer, and collector in Philadelphia's art community. The Director of Philly Stewards, a volunteer organization dedicated to centralizing information about the Philadelphia arts community, recognized the need for a commercial space that gathered the rich and diverse talents of emerging and mid-career creative voices from throughout Philadelphia and brought them into the conversation in a centrally located environment.

Located at 1607 Latimer Street, Commonweal will host nine two-person exhibitions throughout its first year to attract tourists, locals, and art enthusiasts throughout the area and seeks to engage audiences of all ages. Not only is Commonweal a commercial gallery, but Conner hopes to make it a space to explore meaning-making through art as well. Two Saturdays a month, exhibiting artists will facilitate intimate hands-on (and mask-on) workshops for young art enthusiasts, making for an interactive and collaborative experience. The gallery will also offer a series of intimate evening programs intended to broaden an understanding of how and why exhibited artists engage with the world to create their work.

Commonweal will open up on October 1, 2021. Deciding to open up Commonweal was an easy decision for Conner. He is eager to give artists a space to exhibit their work in the heart of the city.

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