Visionary Voices – An Exhibition of Portraits

An exhibition of Portrait Works at Philadelphia’s Magic Garden.

I visited Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens Visionary Voices Exhibition, and I’ve been unable to shake its lingering impact. Not that I would want to. 

An explosion of color and emotion, the selected artwork is quintessentially Philadelphian. It is in-your-face, direct, and imbued with passion.

It is difficult to believe that the four featured artists (Chloe Fimiano, Anthony Coleman, Susan Wallack, and Jaither West) are entirely self-taught, but perhaps that’s why their work is so distinctive and so powerful. Surely, that is why it’s so visionary. 

Chloe Fimiano’s art features a multitude of women of all shapes and sizes in scenes that span the gamut from the every day to the imaginary. Anthony Coleman combines character and caricature that is inspired by 1970’s and 80’s cartoons. Jaither West blends celebrity and commonality, interweaving everyday life experiences with B-boy culture and the occasional celebrity cameo. And last, but certainly not least, creative dynamo and visionary Susan Wallack creates story-like, narrative pieces that propel viewers into the great unknown that is themselves. 

Susan Wallack “FIGHT BACK – (KWAN YIN #10)”
Found papers and images, acrylic on canvas, 20×24

Once again, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens has managed to curate an exhibition that conveys the spirit and substance of Philadelphia. The artists’ work takes us on a journey from the personal to the political, the ancient to the contemporary, the individual to the collective.

If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. The exhibition is indoors and wheelchair-accessible. It opened on November 15 and will run until February 23, 2020. Access is included in the price of admission: 

Jaither West “Lindbergh Blvd.” – Oil on canvas, 40×30

$10 for adults
$8 for Students with ID, Military & Seniors
$5 for ages 6-12
FREE for children 5 and under
$2 for ACCESS cardholders

For more information, visit here

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