Friday, October 4, 2013

LIVE BLOGGING of Philadelphia Open Studios Press Trip

I'm spending a jam-packed wknd exploring Philly's art scene--behind the scenes--on a tour of the hot spots, including amazing restaurants, galleries, and artist studios.
All updates will post RIGHT HERE. Stay tuned!

 9:04 am Today (Saturday)
Staying at Le Meridien, a swanky hotel in the Art Museum district, located directly across from the Love Park. It was once a YMCA, which really turns me on since the condo that I'm renting now in Bayonne was once a YMCA in the 70's. I really dig it. I highly recommend eating at their dining room, Muse.

 On a MuralArtsProgram tour. Philly has the most murals in the WORLD! Over 3,800 murals. I'm becoming a great fan of muralist, Paul Santileri. Check out a great mural of his on SpringGarden and 2nd. And one of his in Olde City. MuralArts tours are totally custom: book a Latino Mural Tour, an African-American Mural Tour, or a American History tour. I hear the Mural Mile Walking Tour, which is actually 2 miles long, is the bomb. :) Paul lives right in Philly in Northern Liberties.

Ken Twitchell is the world-renown artist of this spectacular mural of Dr. Jay done on parachute fabric and gelled to the wall in the 1990s. Words can't express its beauty. Go see it on Clay and Ridge St.

 Hanging in Rittenhouse Square. The weekend market of fresh food and floral vendors is popping. Even a wine tasting going on...much too early for me, I'll stick to my green tea. :)

 Very cool to go to The Center for Emerging Artists I am on their mailing list so I know how amazing this organization is and the support it provides artists jn all stages. We were blessed to have the Director, Ann Peltz, give us a guided abbreviated tour of POST.

 Visited the studio of Printmaker/Mixed Media Artist Rebecca Gilbert. We chatted about juggling all of her teaching gigs, her art work and family life in the pursuit of happiness. It's always nice to know that I am connected to a community of creatives who are all also struggling to create balance but doing so beautifully and on their osn terms. Learn more about Rebecca at

Noon: Dropped into Fleischer Art Memorial, a gem in art community.
Peeked into a Cambodian dance class happening in the temple. In the gallery, I was very much impressed with the work of Kay Healy. She does screenprinting of everyday objects and creates these flat pillows, for lack of a better description, that embody home. It's one of those things you'd have to see to believe. She is the recipient of Fleisher's Wind Challenge Award.

 Lunch with the press crew at Farmicia. 

 Yummy organic dishes, I do recommend the Crabmeat and Apple Salad. The Bloody Mary tastes like a liquid shrimp cocktail,  which is great! :)

After lunch we visited a few more artist studios and right as we pulled up to our last stop, 915 SpringGarden, which is a 5 story bdlg full of artist studios, I dipped off on my own to visit The Center for Art in Wood. I missed this visit last night so I wanted to back track. Wood is one of my fave new mediums.

 All of the wood art above were creatived by artists in residence and are for sale and on exhibit until 10/12/13. There is a wonderful gift shop and a permanent colllection there as well.
4:00pm I made my way back to 915 SpringGarden to view the works of some of the many, many artists who are housed there. My favorite by far: Wild Chairy Studio!


We quickly scanned the bounty of greenery behind the Art Museum and had a tour of the Ben Franklin Parkway for the journalist from Complex Magazine who had never been to Philly. Below is a shot of me behind the museum along the Skuykill River.

Heading out to Le Virtu (  for dinner, I'm all refreshed and ready for an amazing meal for an eclectic group of fun folks. The night did not disappoint. Le Virtu was absolutely fantastic. Between the 8 of us, chicken, seafood, rabbit and fennel was ordered and everyone agreed that the food was tremendously satisfying. We dined on the outdoor patio and recieved a visit fromthe co-owner who was kind enough to give us the details on the beautiful mural of Italy behind us. The service, wine selection and ambiance were all top notch. Kudos Le Virtu!
The risottto with shrimp was cooked to perfection with just a little kick. Delicious! The restaurant is situated on Passyunk, a street with a lively nightlife.

Philadelphia's POST is tremendous and virtually impossible to see and document in a day but I hope that through this blog post you get an understanding that Philly's art scene is one of the best in the world. There's no need to look any further to experience a great food, accommodations, and world class art and design.
S/O to the amazing folks at, special thanks to Cara, Veronica, Lynda, and Jenea for making this such a memorable trip.

I Love Philly! xoxo


  1. Sounds like a good time. Have fun exploring my hometown. Keeping a lookout for the updates.

  2. Have fun in my city!

  3. Philly loves you back, Meca. Thanks so much for live blogging your gorgeous, delicious, interesting, art-filled visit.

  4. You can find Rebecca Gilbert's portfolio website here: