The Olympia Project is pleased to collaborate with the graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ seminar, Artist as Curator, and their professor Alexis Granwell, to present (EM)BODY Vol. III. This zine came to fruition as the product of restructuring the course’s syllabus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. (EM)BODY offers a new format for the graduate students to curate, exhibit and connect while in-person exhibitions are impossible due to quarantine.
(EM)BODY presents drawings, collage, personal essays, interviews and digital content that embody resilience and offer glimpses into how creative processes evolve under quarantine. Intimate snapshots of the artists' experiences are shared as they adapt to the COVID-19 crisis, postpone their thesis exhibition, and search for alternative media and means of collaboration.
Though physically isolated, the artists share their work in (EM)BODY as a way to connect console, and convene as a community in this shared experience of the pandemic.
“I want to give up my bearings, slip out of who I am, shed everything, the way a snake
discards old skin.”
― Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
es·cap·ism | \ i-ˈskā-ˌpi-zəm
The habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an es-
cape from reality or routine.
Escapism is a well-traveled road for artists. We have explored other realms and hitchhiked out of reality before. Under quarantine, escapism becomes evermore tempting -- and necessary. The seductive opportunity to get away from the horrors of daily life can be triggered by a news headline (or another zoom session...), so one glance at your art supplies offers immediate relief.
During this time of unprecedented flux, delayed graduations, and virtual alternatives, the graduate students at PAFA respond to the theme of escapism in Volume III: June 2020.
What are you doing to escape? Feeding a sourdough starter? “Medicinal” baking? Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for sixteen hours straight? Another Lord of the Rings marathon?
We each escape in different ways: practicing our art, reading, dreaming, taking online classes with friends, watching films, going for walks, taking deep breaths. A new relationship with time is emerging. As we immerse ourselves in and savor this time, wrought with its own pressures and inherent complexities, we must also acknowledge the privilege and comfort of having it at
Escapism is tempting, seductive, but you can’t stay lost for too long. At a certain point -- hour eighteen of a binge watch, perhaps -- as you return from dissociating and begin to see through your vapid TV show, stretch out your stiff joints, and -- have you been drooling?
C + A
a digital zine
Volume III: June 2020
online content design
social media coordination
JILL ADLER (b. 1996) is a multidisciplinary artist from New York, NY living and working in Philadelphia, PA. She received her BFA in painting, with concentrations in book arts and printmaking, from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2019, and is a candidate to receive her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2021. Her work currently revolves around themes of home, nostalgia, absence, food, and memory.
EV ARNOLD is a first year MFA student at PAFA. They were born and raised in Delaware, and have a BA in Creative Writing, which is much like having a vestigial tail or arm. Their studio practice focuses on creating multimedia stories with fantastical settings and mundane problems such as being pissed off, gay, and living in an imperialist state.
AUTUMN CASEY (b. 1987, West Palm Beach, FL) draws on the ambiguity of personal memory and pop-cultural ephemera, to challenge and question her subjectivity against the world at large. Her practice, which moves from sculpture to collage, as well as video and performance, considers the history of the found object and assemblage - redeploying existing materials or moments in unexpected, idiosyncratic ways.
NEILL CATANGAY (b. 1993) is a Filipino interdisciplinary artist born and raised on Guam. Catangay’s artwork explores the ironic relationships between materials and personal memory to create objects. Along with the influences from popular culture films, these objects explore themes of colonialism, consumerism, the abject and post-humanism.
BERNADETTE COLBURN is a visual artist that grew up in Baltimore, MD, and currently resides in Philadelphia. She just received her Masters of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Before the quarantine, Bernadette was making large steel sculptures that referenced the landscape and the memories we gather from time spent in nature. She is now working exclusively in paper, creating collages and monotypes. A daily walk at a nearby state park continues to inspire her work. In the evenings she makes collaborative works with her husband and son. They have been making drawings and powems. They also create collaged postcards to send to family and friends to lift their spirits during this trying time.
VICTORIA DAVIS is a contemporary feminist artist exploring the uncanny through work that mines identity, domestic space, and the body. Her work is primarily mixed-media assemblage of ceramics, painting, printmaking, collage, and found materials and is focused on the exploration of aesthetics, decay, and the passage of time.
LILY FURNISS (b. 1995, Chicago, IL) is an interdisciplinary artist whose creative practice primarily focuses on class, familial political history, and childhood memory. In her free time, she squacks on her clarinet and compulsively makes playlists she’ll never listen to.
ASHLEY GARNER (TheColorG) is a visual artist who grew up in Martinsburg, PA and currently resides in Philadelphia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Ash works in soft sculpture, site-specific installation and painting. Her work examines visual and physical relationships between art and architecture that exist as a metaphor for connections and bridges between her childhood and adulthood experiences. She uses symbolic soft objects as a physical link between those experiences within a architecture and space.
MARNIE GELFMAN is a NY based artist and educator. She explores intimacy and connections through portraiture, landscapes and still lifes. In quarantine, she has been drawn to the alchemy of color and the power of nature to rejuvenate and restore.
SARA HAVEKOTTE is an artist working and living in Philadelphia, she received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore MD, and her Masters from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia PA. Her practice focuses on textile with a special interest in weaving, quilting and natural dye.
SARENA JOHNSON is a painter living and working in Philadelphia. Her included works are small oil paintings on paper exploring the portrait and experimenting with the implications of color.
SUJI KANNEGANTI (b. 1993) is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in psychology. She is interested in manifesting internal into external experience, sometimes using writing or music as a means to process what will become a lens for approach. She also really likes tea.
KYLE MARGIOTTA spent his youth skateboarding, dreaming of playing his drums for a rock and roll band, and copying comic book covers for art class. Now, he dreams of skateboarding, occasionally strums his guitar, and makes and teaches many things art.
DORI MILLER finds that during the luxury of normal studio time, color captures her attention constantly. Its inherent narrative triggers her work. This could be an archetypal, stereotypical, or personal spark. Red = Mars, violence, or the chosen color of her hair. Mixing color is where she begins. Material collisions evoke much. She accepts accidents along the way and seizes the controls back as the piece demands. Creativity and the unknown is her work. Rain Flower (of Isolation Series) is the work from within isolation without the luxury of such musings.
MORGAN OSBURN creates ceremonies of disembodiment and dissection, remaking and reclaiming the body through assemblage and installation. Her tactile, sculptural installations reflect on the intimate contact exchanged between two bodies. She lives and works in Philadelphia.
CLAUDIA VALENTI (b. 1994, New Haven, CT) is a painter who explores the potential material form of the intangible contents of the American home. Her paintings, drawings and sculptures construct proximate domestic spaces; the folkloric narratives that unfolds within these walls question the social and psychological nature of family, memory, magic, grief, resilience, secrets, and the home as the genesis of identity. Valenti lives and works in Philadelphia.
ESTEN WALKER is a Low-Residency MFA student at PAFA, currently residing in the NC Mountains. In this time of quarantine, her recent work has focused on elements of human angst, and nature’s magnitude. Using landscapes, cityscapes, and the human form as points of departure, she explores poetic forces arising between nature, constructed environments, and the spaces of our human psychology.
TESS WEI is a Philadelphia native who is interested in lingering as an act of resistance in our fast, contemporary moment. Her favorite movie is Harold and Maude.
(EM)Body vol. i
1. to be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to
(an idea, quality, or feeling).
2. to include or contain (something) as a constituent part.
(em)body vol. ii
as a way to describe...
1 a well-balanced, sensible person.
2 the emergency landing of an aircraft in a moment of potential catastrophe.
3 a physical pulverization of raw material into a finer, more precious substance, for the purpose of transforming a state of matter.
4 GO TO YOUR ROOM. YOU’RE GROUNDED.
5 a moment of nostalgia, when punishment determines the parameters of freedom and one’s bedroom door is as powerful a boundary as a locked gate.
6 a stay at home order.