The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) is holding its annual Philadelphia Open Studios Tour (POST) throughout October. For the first two weeks of the month, visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at the work of nearly 300 artists, with stops located in four different quadrants of the city: Northwest, Northeast, West, and South Philly.
CFEVA began in 1983 and took over POST in the early 2000’s. As a hub for art enthusiasts, POST strives to showcase the talents of artists in both public and private spaces across the city.
Inside a loft studio space within a converted warehouse off Grays Avenue in West Philadelphia, two artists, Mary Henderson (pictured above) and Phillip Adams, displayed their artwork for the public as part of the tour. The themes of Henderson’s paintings depict people of various social classes engaging in everyday activities as a tool to provoke thoughts on privilege. Meanwhile, Adams’s work focuses on relationships with the elements. Both discussed the impacts that art can have on an audience.
“It makes a huge difference to actually go out and see what people are doing and see the commitment that they’re making to their practices,” Henderson said. “You go and look at a huge undertaking, and it’s hard to dismiss art as a hobby.”
Phillip Adams, an artist with over 14 years of professional experience, said he uses aspects of the environment to shape his work
“Art is a source of inspiration, it’s a source of getting to question, and just, be wrapped up in beauty, and just, a moment of awe,” he said. “The baseline is being challenged in a lot of the ways that you kind of see the world.”
Julia Fox, community programming coordinator for the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, said locals can take more time to explore the art world and connect with regional artists.
“The key is to keep your eyes open, and to experience things that you haven’t experience before,” she said. “The more the exposure the artist has to diversity of people, the more they can learn better and communicate.”
POST wrapped up its studio tours on Oct. 14, but for more information, visit the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour website.