With a number of pioneering art spaces, Philadelphia is a hotspot for contemporary art. Featuring a wide range of unique, eclectic galleries alongside more traditional venues, the city is home to forward-thinking art destinations that challenge traditional media and aesthetics. These ten galleries make art accessible to everyone, supporting Philadelphia’s booming arts community and ensuring there really is something for everyone.
Wexler Gallery is an interdisciplinary venue featuring works that merge the worlds of design, fine art, decorative art and craft. The gallery opened its doors in 2000 showing innovative functional and non-functional pieces that are distinguished by their quality and ability to challenge traditional boundaries between disciplines. Works presented at Wexler Gallery are often unique, one-off productions but they are brought together by an underlying commitment to craftsmanship. Wexler Gallery represents some of the most skilled craftsmen of the day from celebrated masters to emerging talents working in design, mixed media, ceramics, painting, photography, print and glass. Represented artists and craftsmen of note include Andy Paiko, Jefferson Hayman and internationally renowned master glassmaker William Morris.
Wexler Gallery, 201 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 923 7030
The walls of this unusual Philadelphian gallery are adorned with inspirational art that is an unobtrusive celebration of the human body as a canvas. Nurturing, promoting and celebrating the fine art aspect of body painting, Gallery ML was established in 2010 and is one of only two galleries in the world that is dedicated to this art form. The gallery and the works on show are unlike any other. Submitted by body painters from around the globe including Lawren Alice, Leroy Roper, Lisa Berczel and Lucy Broulliard, these imaginative, original representations of body art imagery have found a home in a respectable gallery setting, challenging the common misconceptions of cheap, over-sexualized imagery associated with the medium.
AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Philadelphia was founded in 1981 by a group of local designers. Now an integral part of this ever-growing national organisation, their gallery, SPACE, provides an exhibition program and series of lectures throughout the year by national and regional talents, aiming to stimulate interest and understanding of graphic design and visual communication. With a wide mix of independent and collaborative events and exhibitions throughout the year such as the Summer Interactive Workshop series and Open Studio Tours, SPACE is fully engaged with the local Pennsylvania community. The organisation has also provided a Mentoring program since 2010.
Paradigm Gallery‘s on-site and citywide off-site exhibitions focus on the promotion of emerging Philadelphia-based artists. The gallery and studio provide a transformable space for both visual and performance artists, and deliver strong and individualized support. Paradigm Gallery is ever-changing as resident artists are allowed to make the space their own in order to suit their needs. Through annual and bi-weekly events and regular exhibitions such as the community arts benefit and exhibition, the gallery welcomes a wide audience, aiming to make art accessible to the whole community. Paradigm Gallery also collaborates with HAHA Magazine to deliver an artist-to-community program, bringing artists and interactive arts projects from around the globe to Philadelphia.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio, 746 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 267 266 0073
Snyderman-Works was originally formed of two parts: The Works Gallery, founded in 1965 and Snyderman Gallery which opened in 1983. Both galleries developed into leading national galleries in the field of contemporary studio crafts, The Works focusing on ceramic, jewelry and fiber arts whilst Snyderman Gallery focused on studio furniture and sculptural glass. Each gallery gained independent national recognition for exhibitions throughout the 1980s featuring significant works by Ettore Sottsass and Robert Venturi. The pair joined forces in 1992 in Downtown Philadelphia and has since branched out to other mediums such as painting, print, photography and sculpture. Alongside an extensive program of solo and group exhibitions by renowned international artists including Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Harvey Littleton, Tom Patti and Toots Zynsky, Snyderman-Works has initiated a number of collaborative projects with represented artists to create site-specific installation. ThegGallery is also an active member within the Philadelphia arts community.
Snyderman-Works Gallery, 303 Cherry St, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 238 9576