Arch Enemy Arts
Why did director Patrick Shillenn choose to showcase painter Gabe Tiberino in his gallery's first official show? "He's the most Philadelphia," says Shillenn. More specifically, he's also a member of the beloved Tiberino family, who host the best freak show in the city and are more West Philly than bikes and veganism combined. The artwork of their late matriarch is showcased in the area's Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum alongside a dizzying array of sculptures, bizarre murals and other family oddities. Even the title of Tiberino's show, " West Looking East," is a nod to his home base. Many of his paintings celebrate life in Philly, from electric moments like Black Thought performing, to everyday experiences like riding the subway. Through May 25, opening Fri., May 4, 5 p.m., free, 109 Arch St., 215-717-7774, facebook.com/archenemyarts.
Ryan Wilson Kelly's 10-minute performance piece is going to be on repeat. For three hours straight. "It's going to be very meditative," says curator Jordan Rockford. "Or possibly homicidal." This dichotomy fits well with his Sleep of Reason show, which focuses on the solitude and fear of failure that creative people must endure in order to produce great works. The performance is a recreation of the lonesome, sick final days of celebrated 19th-century paleontologist and Philadelphian Edward Drinker Cope. Kelly also transformed the gallery space into an exaggerated version of the paleontologist's study, a place of messes, fossils and fever dreams. Opening Fri., May 4, 6 p.m., performances May 5, 13 and 19, 319 N. 11th St., second floor, napoleonnapoleon.com.
After more than 30 years, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts is finally getting a home. (Previously, the group of 700-some visual-art geeks met at a church and members' homes.) With an official space, member Paul Haupt hopes that more people outside the organization will attend its lectures, exhibits and workshops. "It's kind of a for-the-people, by-the-people mentality," he says. The show " Collection: Selections from the 2010 AIGA Philadelphia Design Awards " features poster art, fine art and everything in between by more than 20 regional artists. Opening Fri., May 4, 5:30 p.m., 72 N. Second St., aigaphilly.org.
SPACE and Arch Enemy Arts aren't the only brand-new galleries in town: Kensington studio/gallery FJORD is also hosting an inaugural show. "Considering the Provisional" features eight New York and Philly artists, instigating "a dialogue around the potential uses and meanings of the provisional in contemporary picture making," says FJORD co-founder Lindsay Chandler. Through May 27, opening Fri., May 4, 6 p.m., 2419 Frankford Ave., 603-313-4616.