Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Getting Creative with Ephemera

Concetta Barbera, Street Trade (2013). Ink on paper.

Ephemera!, a mini exhibition showing original work inspired by Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home, will be on view at the Library Company through December 2013. Curators Concetta Barbera, who is Curatorial Assistant and Digitization Specialist at the Library Company, and long-time collaborator Christian Patchell invited nine artists and fellow members of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society (PCS) to re-imagine 19th-century trade cards, envelopes, sketchbooks, labels, comic valentines, and much more.

Kyle Margiotta, Profile Portrait (2013).  Chalk on paper.

The curators enjoy showcasing the creativity generated by collaboration across the traditional genre boundaries. In preparation for the exhibition they hosted two events for the participating artists. The first, held in mid-April at the Library Company, was an evening spent drawing with examples from the collections. Many of the artists had never been to the Library Company before and discovered an untapped resource in the eclectic ephemera collections. For a second event, Ms. Barbera, inspired by the silhouettes exhibited in the main gallery, photographed the artists in profile to assist in creating new silhouettes for souvenir trade cards.

Chris Patchell, Patch's Sketchbook (2013).  Mixed media.

The Philadelphia Cartoonist Society, established in 1997, is a group of cartoonists who live and work in Philadelphia and includes thirty active artists among its nearly 100 members. The PCS supports creative collaboration and networking among its members and focuses on charitable work with children and local non-profits. For more information about the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society, its members, and their work go to

Ephemera! features artwork by Jeff Kilpatrick, Tim Durning, Christine Larsen, Andrew Hoffmann, Kyle Margiotta, Eamon Dougherty, Melissa Lomax, Christian Patchell, and Concetta Barbera. The exhibition will be on display concurrently with Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home, and was produced in collaboration with the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

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