Leo Sewell CraftNOW Studio Tour on Nov. 10, 2019
Posted on June 16, 2019 by Common Consensus
Celebrated Philadelphia Dumpster Diver Leo Sewell has made figurative sculptures from the city’s discards for over 40 years, fashioning pieces ranging from a life-size house cat to the Please Touch Museum’s beloved 40-foot Statue of Liberty arm and torch.
Leo’s introduction to the joys of junk came early, when he explored a dump near his childhood home. By the late 1980s, he was living every artist’s dream: Supporting himself full-time with his art, and turning out witty interpretations of everything from people and animals, to grandfather clocks and sideboards.
His work now resides in museum, corporate, and individual collections around the world.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit Leo’s envy-inducing studio, an 1870s former carriage house in Philadelphia’s Powelton Village section, no advance registration is required.
The Leo Sewell studio tour is one of almost two dozen events organized by CraftNOW Philadelphia and hosted by area museums, galleries and fine craft organizations. Celebrating the city’s innovative craft culture, the November events coincide with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s storied craft show. Visit the CraftNOW Philadelphia website to learn more.
Dumpster Diver Taji Nahl featured in 3rd year version of WE Culture Photo
Check out Taji Nahl, front and center in WE Culture, Charles “Uncool Chuck” Lloyd’s homage to the iconic Harlem Renaissance photo of jazz musicians taken by Art Kane, which features Philadelphia artists of different media.
‘Unexpected’ Diver Homes featured on the Unexpected Philadelphia website
Posted on June 23, 2015 by Common Consensus
When it comes to fun and creative reuse, the Dumpster Divers apply the same wildly imaginative eye to their homes that they do to their art.
On Unexpected Philadelphia, a new website and blog, Diver couple Dave Christopher and Kate Mellina lead you on a truly ‘unexpected’ tour of fabulous Diver homes. And, yes, it’s enough to send you rifling through your own stash for inspiration.
Kate and Dave will be adding more great Diver homes in the coming months, along with exclusive interviews with their owners. They’ll also share photos and stories about the unique people and places they’ve encountered on the streets of South Philadelphia – all with a Diver’s eye for fun.
We encourage you to check them out at unexpectedphila.com!
The 2015 Woodmere Art Museum Annual Exhibit announcement featured a work, “Dogs!” by Dumpster Diver, Jim Ulrich.
Alchemy by Richard Bank
Posted on March 12, 2015 by Common Consensus
License plates wait humbly for transfiguration in the vice.
Doll limbs, salvaged glass, broken chairs prepare to speak.
Speak then and now; art, beauty, meaning. Art speaks truth from flea market rejects, trash day finds and disguarded junk.
Bottle caps and broken china speak of ancient selves, their iconic memories revealed by the artist’s hand.
Rusted tools, crushed cans, magazine covers prepare to speak. The new self, the diver voice recites the message.
It speaks both then and now through the detritus of history. It speaks now for then. The alchemy of Dumpster Diver art.
Classic neon signs from the collection of Len Davidson are on display in the Center for Architecture gallery and AIA Bookstore
Free Neon Slide Show Talks by Dumpster Diver Len Davidson
Davidson collects and restores classic neon signs, and about 10 of his 100 piece collection are on display in the Center for Architecture gallery and AIA Bookstore. Since 1979 he has also operated a neon design business in Philadelphia.
Len’s interest in neon was planted by growing up in Philadelphia in the ’50s, while gazing in childhood wonder at such iconic signs as the Levis Hot Dog, Sun Ray Drugs’ animated mortar and pestle, and the Boot and Saddle. His interest bloomed in the mid-’70s when he started a bar/restaurant with a neon ceiling while teaching sociology at University of Florida in Gainesville.
The talks combine insider insights on neon signs, technology, and history with stunning images of classic neon pieces. All talks are held in the Center for Architecture’s gallery/auditorium, and run from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
85 Years of Neon Signs: Walking Tours with Dumpster Diver Len Davidson
Highlights include a mint condition 1936 neon on porcelain-enamel Pittsburgh Paints sign at the Center, animated signs, neon inside and outside the Reading Terminal Market, signs of Chinatown, and the revolving Hard Rock Cafe sign.
Glowing in the Dark, Film & Talk with Dumpster Diver Len DavidsonArguably the best film on neon ever produced, and little seen in the US, Glowing in the Dark [watch the trailer on YouTube] captures the energy and vitality of neon.
Neon was first patented in 1923 by Georges Claude, a Parisian who sold over 9 million dollars in territorial licenses in the following six years. The glow of neon lights had swept across North America by the 1950’s.
Set against a backdrop of spectacular footage of Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, Glowing in the Dark is an illuminating exploration into the vibrant history and contemporary use of neon.
The movement, power, and raw exuberance of neon is revealed through a fascinating demonstration of how neon is made, a montage of notable neon installations, and commentary from a colorful array of enthusiasts including:
- John Atkin, a heritage advocate, graphic designer, and leading expert on the history of neon in Vancouver. In 1986, Atkin’s enthusiasm for neon led him to graph the entire city of Vancouver, pinpointing the location of each neon sign.
- Alan Hess, an architect, critic, and author of Viva Las Vegas, who leads viewers on a tour of a graveyard for neon signs.
- Lili Lakich, a neon sculptor, instructor, and founder of the Neon Museum of Art in Las Angeles. She has created some stunning neon pieces and restored some of the great signs of L.A.’s yesteryear.
- Bill Warren, an entrepreneur who was responsible for erecting some of Vancouver’s biggest, brightest and most controversial signs. His most contentious neon creation was a 40-foot-high woman clothed in a bikini.
- Members of the band 54-40 talk about how they saved and restored Vancouver’s Smiling Buddha Cabaret sign.
The 45 minute film will start at 7 pm followed by a discussion led by neon historian, author, and preservationist, Len Davidson.
Joel Spivak lecture at The Little Shul, in Philadelphia
Posted on March 30, 2014 by Common Consensus
April 6th, 2014. Noon – 3 PM
Congregation Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel
2015 South. 4th St
Philaladelphia, PA 19148
Interview with Burnell Yow! at Spattergasm.com
Posted on March 22, 2014 by Common Consensus
Burnell Yow!There was a great interview (no longer available, unfortunately) by photographer Justice Howard, of Dumpster Diver Burnell Yow! over at Spattergasm.com.
FiberNext at Delaware Art Museum
Posted on March 19, 2014 by Common Consensus
Visit my blog for more articles like this: http://www.susanrichardsartist.blogspot.com/
This startling sculpture radiates a powerful presence. I was immediately drawn to it as soon as we entered the Contemporary gallery at the Delaware Art Museum last Thursday. Then I read the wall plaque about it. It is called Cauda Equina, by Keith Bently (b. 1973). “The artist drew on Victorian funeral rites to create a memorial to the thousands of horses killed each year in rendering plants. Made over a 12-year period, the sculpture incorporates approximately 1.4 million strands of hand-knotted horsehair collected from more than 250 slaughtered horses that function as a mourning veil.”
I later looked at his website and saw that he has done other work using horse hair, this one using a tire as well:
The irony is that my friend and I were there to see FiberNext, an outstanding exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum, co-curated by Carol Cole, one of our Dumpster Diver Divas. Cole’s work is also in the exhibit, as well as work by Ellen Sall, another Dumpster Diver Diva, along with ten other regional fiber artists. Photography was not allowed in the FiberNext gallery, but Ellen Sall’s compelling piece is on the museum’s website:
It is called Where is normal anyway? and includes vintage fabric scraps, embroidery floss, gel pens, plastic veggie bags, and seed beads. (2012, 13 x 13 1/2 inches). Seen in person, it glows like a jewel, and draws the eye into its myriad details until one has entered an alternate world.
Seeing FiberNext sensitized me to the tremendous range of what can be considered fiber-based materials. As the exhibit’s write-up says, “Fiber art typically refers to works of art that incorporate fabric or yarn and favors aesthetic value over utility. Broadening the boundaries of this medium, the artists featured in FiberNext have branched out to incorporate an eclectic array of materials and techniques, including metal, digital embroidery, plastic, paper, clay, photography, wood, and recycled materials. Their works encompass a range of color, texture, and materials, and concepts such as community, gender, and upcycling.”
Sally Willowbee at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore
Posted on March 15, 2014 by Common Consensus
Join Dumpster Diver and Outsider Artist Sally Willowbee at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore as she shares her travels seeking out found artists on the back roads of New Jersey and her own passion for work with recycled materials.
Sally is a self-taught furniture/cabinet/carpenter maker. She writes and designs books, many about artists who work with recycled materials and grassroots art environments. Her own story connects different parts of her life: politics, spirituality, concern for the environment, feminism, an interest in culture and class, creativity, and humor.
3:00 pm on Saturday, March 22
551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Twenty Years of Making Art From Cast Off Materials in Philadelphia Lecture at PAA
November 3, 2011
Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 South 18th Sreet, Philadelphia PA
PAA welcomes artist Joel Spivak and colleagues from the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers.
In keeping with the themes of PAA’s fall exhibition The Miss Rockaway Armada, members of the Dumpster Divers will talk about their nearly twenty year history making art from cast off materials in Philadelphia.
Eva Preston ` Philly Fashion Week 2011
Posted on December 15, 2013 by Common Consensus
Eva Preston ` Philly Fashion Week 2011
One of a Kind !!!
These boots are made for Fashion!
Posted on December 15, 2013 by Common ConsensusEva Preston in Alteref Couture Magizine Mens Classic cowboy shoes
Haute Handbag Magazine
Recycled Handbag made of Pam Grier’s Movie Prints ads
one of a kind handbags The Invasion of “Frida Kahio “ One of a Kind Handbag Aanya318 Handbags
Betty and Veronica Handbag
Classic travel case 50’s Classic Comic Books
Made from Classic Movie Magazines from 1918
Aanya318 Handbags Model Mariel Leon
Album Cover~Traveling Case 50’s and a “Jimi Hendrix ” Vest
Jimi and the Rolling Stones 1977 Back of Jacket ….Philly Fashion Week
Eva Preston/A’Vance318mens~Classic Shoes
Men Silk Shoes
Eva Preston/A’Vance318men’s~Wedding Shoes
Eva Preston/A’vance318mens~James Brown
James Brown case
Say it Load!
Special Appearance of the Dumpster Divers at The Fringe
September 9, 2010
Posted on September 9, 2010 by Common Consensus
The Performance Garage
1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
A red carpet happening and fashion show before The Dirty Dozen performance, Friday September 9th at 7 pm
FOUND OBJECT ART 2, author Tina Skinner is published
Dumpster Divers Harry Anderson, Ellen Benson, Neil Benson, Randall Cleaver, Carol Cole, Linda Lou Horn, Ann Keech, John Lindsay, Ellen Sall and Leo Sewell all had their work incluuded in this book.
Neil Benson was invited to share his thoughts in the books interduction. He wrote about the early days of the Dumpster Diver.
Harry Anderson pg.s 11 -13
Ellen Benson pg.s 27 - 29
Neil Benson pg.s 30 -32
Randall Cleaver pg.s 51 -52
Carol Cole pg.s 56 -57
Linda Lou Horn pg.s 100 - 103
Ann Keech pg.s 110 - 112
John Lindsay pg.s 135 -137
Ellen Sall pg.s 188 - 190
Leo Sewell pg.s 196 -198
Dumpster Divers Harry Anderson, Neil Benson & Leo Sewell's work was included in FOUND OBJECT ART
Author, Dorothy Spencer
Spencer was also the curator of RECYCLE, REUSE, RECREATE which traveled in eight African countries under the auspices of the U.S.I.A. in 1995 & 96 and included the work of Anderson.
Harry Anderson pg.s 22 - 24
Neil Benson pg.s 38 - 40
Leo Sewell pg.s 199 - 201
Len Davidson's book VINTAGE NEON is published
Dumpster Diver co-founder and neon designer Lenny Davidson included over 350 images of vintage neon signs!
I. George Bilyk
Linda Lou Horn
John Jonik (cartoons)
John Jonik (blog)
Leslie Stuart Matthews