Three artists dish on Philly’s art scene

At the Makers Mixer event last night(see our recap of the night here), Billy Penn caught up with some of these “makers” to ask them about the art community in Philadelphia and what draws new artists in.

IMAG0049
Name: Beth Beverly

Art/craft: Taxidermy

How long she’s lived in Philly: 20 years

One thing that came about because of her job: I’ve eaten coyote, racoon and skunk. The skunk was the tastiest — it tasted like pulled pork.

How is the art scene in Philly?

I think the art scene in Philly has gotten stellar. It’s gotten so much better. There’s always been a scene but I think the public in general is  more open to public art and performance art, whereas before there was definitely a lot more mental walls up.

Are you seeing more new young artists?

I kind of live in an artist’s bubble so I would say yes.

IMAG0050
Name: Alex Stadler

Art/craft: Children’s books illustrator and writer, textile designer and art shop owner, among other things.

How long he’s lived in Philly: 21 years

How is the art scene in Philly?

There’s an extraordinary arts community and design community in Philadelphia. I think what we lack in [the city] are buyers for the things that we make.

Are you seeing more new young artists?

Yes. More and more, and the sort of overall tone of the city is changing as people realize what an extraordinary place this is and they move here from all over the country as they realize there is space and time to work out who you are as an artist or designer. I’m seeing more young people from other parts of the country and I’m seeing more people stay here.

Why Philly?

Philadelphia was for me a really wonderful combination of a metropolis with arts and extraordinary museums and city life and the ability to walk everywhere. It was an urban life that I always wanted, having grown up outside New York City, and there was always a cozy quality and nicer quality of life here than I was seeing in most East Coast cities. And I didn’t have to fight.

IMAG0055
Name: Emily Carris

Art/craft: Owner of Art Department — gallery + workshop space

How long she’s lived in Philly: 2 years

How is the art scene in Philly?

I love it.  It is open, people are really willing to help out. they’ve been so kind and so welcoming to us. I think there’s a lot of relaly cool and interesting things happenign and I think because people have the space to breathe a little bit. They can make new and incendiary and interesting artwork that’s harder to do in other cities that are more expensive to live in i.e. New York.

Why did you come to Philly?

I wanted to start my shop — the women who I started my shop with, she lived in Philly for 10 years, and it just seemed like a good place to go.

×