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Friday, October 5, 2012

Art in Philadelphia

Eileen Neff - Still Life
Okay, okay, so we have not posted in a while but with many exciting events coming up for Silicon and our artists it's time to get back on it. So, armed with a fancy new phone (well not that new) I am off and blogging.

First Fridays in Philadelphia we normally stay open a little late but with the our serious space constraints the gallery has taken a back seat to the printmaking studio. This First Friday we will be venturing out to three important galleries (to us anyway).

Eileen Neff has, what promises to be, an amazing show at Bridgette Mayer Gallery on Walnut Street, we printed and mounted a bunch of works for the show and they are stunningly beautiful. Can't wait to see it in a gallery setting.

Second on the list is "Fresh Impression" at the Projects Gallery in Northern Liberties, a show in partnership with the Brandywine Workshop
Shirley Steele
I was honored to be a juror for the show along with Raphael Damast, Exhibitions Director, Taller Puertorriqueño; Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints, Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Elizabeth F. Spungen, Executive Director, The Print Center. The show is intended to extend the impact of Full Spectrum at the Philadelphia Museum of Art of selected works from Brandywine. It's a great show and well worth a visit to the Museum.

Finally on our list is Gravy Studio where one of our friends and customers Mark Havens is showing Monster Factory a series of works uniquely printed on gold anodized aluminum sheets, very cool and apparently indestructible! One of Gravy's directors is our own Katie Tackman.

Mark Havens

Posted by Rick

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PAFA and the PMA Here and Now Show

We could not miss Silicon'er Steven Dufala at PAFA as the Dufala Brothers in "Urbanism: Reimagining the Lived Environment".

The drawing pictured here was drawn on the wall and is no more, it was just for the show which is both sad and glorious.

The dumpster coffin will no doubt be harder to dispose of and I am sure that the actual size dumpster will re-emerge somewhere in all it's strange glory.

We also loved the installation by Amy Walsh which I dismissed on first glance and then I could not be drawn away from them. Again many things that you have to see in person, looking at images on a computer screnn just don't do it, but if you want to here's the link

Again Steven was our primary motivation (he also got us the tickets) for going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's reception for Here and Now a show of ten Philadelphia artists - prints, drawings and photographs. What a surprise to see a couple of our prints on the wall from Virgil Marty, including "Bunny Multiplication" a print we made for Philagrafika's Invitational Portfolio way back in 2001 which Virgil "flocked" after printing and one of my perosnal all time favorite prints we made with Cindi Ettinger of CR Ettinger Studio which is a combination digital print and embossment. We made a little film of some of our combination prints for a show that never happened which you can find on youtube at if you are interested.

A really nice touch from the PMA is that they actually credited us and Cindi as the printmakers, which is the second time we have been shocked by a major museum (the first was MOMA) to actually credit us as a printmaker (so maybe digital is not all bad!).

Anyway Here and Now is not to be missed, along with The Dufala Brothers are works by Astrid Bowlby, Vincent Feldman, Daniel Heyman, Isaac Tin Wei Lin, Virgil Marti, Joshua Mosley, Serena Perrone, Hannah Price, and Mia Rosenthal.

Interestingly of the ten artists chosen by the PMA for this show seven of them are Philagrafika Invitational Portfolio artists. If you are interested in collecting art you should really take a close look at past portfolios and I have seen this years work and it's one of the stongest we have done!

Posted by Rick

September First Friday

We closed Silicon early on First Friday so that we would have the opportunity to see some of the work we had printed and some of our friends work but we left Silicon literally buzzing; as a parting gift of art by our own Colleen Rudolf is an installation of rather nasty black rubber flies on our other double doors buzzing around Dominic Episcopo's meat images.  Colleen was off to a residency in Oregon and she left us to care for her flies and concrete pigeons.

Installation of Rubber Flies by Colleen Rudolf appropriately
buzzing around Dominic Episcopo's Meat America 

Close up - Rubber Flies; Colleen Rudolf, Meat America by Dominic Episcopo

Our first stop was at Trust, formerly FUEL where artist Lee Catoro's show The RAW Collection was on display. Trust is a fabulous but difficult space for a single artist because of it's size and grandeur but Lee's work transformed the space amazingly well. A large and thought provoking collection of black and white images seemed to be really well received from what I heard.

Lee Castoro's RAW Collection at Trust in Old City

On from Trust to ex Silicon'er Donna LoGrasso's show of paintings at the Rocket Cafe Hustle Gallery in Fishtown. I haven't seen Donna's work in person for many years and while her work is reminiscent of her ealier style the subject matter is not. Now her son Beau's influence is apparent and clowns and toys have replaced the steaminess of the past with bold energetic images which can't help make you smile and reminisce your own youth. 

Donna LoGrasso at the Rocket Cafe Hustle Gallery in Fishtown
On from Donna's show to Silicon'er Katie Tackman's gallery GRAVY which continues to support local emerging photographers. Outside GRAVY an excellent blues band played which added to the charm of the evening.

Lastly we tried to get to Butch Cordoba's show at Ven and Vada on 2nd Street in Old City but we were too late but his Warhol inspired prints and really worth checking out.

Butch Cordoba at Ven and Vaida

Posted by Rick

Diane Burko at Locks August 20th, 2011

Having a new baby seems to be a relatively easy thing except that everything you do takes several times longer than normal, even the simple act of getting up in the morning; instead of taking 15 - 20 minutes now takes more like an hour and a half.
That's my excuse anyway for not getting to Diane Burko's excellent show at Locks Gallery in Philadelphia sooner than the last day, August 20th.
These photographs echo Diane's better known paintings and are in my opinion her best so far and that's not to diminish her older photographs which are great. It's a shame that they were up at Locks in the summer and not at the more popular spring and fall seasons.
No matter I am sure that Locks would be pleased to show you some of the prints if you were interested and you can check them out on-line at
Of course looking at them on-line does not do them justice, the Internet may be great but looking at tiny images on a computer screen is nothing like the real thing.

Posted by Rick

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shame on the Met

Shame on the Met, last Sunday five of us drove up to New York to see the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We saw that there was a two hour wait and were informed that if we joined we could skip the line. Not a really big deal since we go to the museum at least four times a year anyway; we joined, two individual memberships plus a "donation" for our guests came to the best part of $200.

The we saw the line, OMG as they say, it went on and on, I could not believe it. When we got to the front of the line, yup, you guessed it, there was another line for members. To be fair we only had to wait a few minutes and we were in.

That was the beginning of the worst experience I have ever had in a museum or for that matter a rock concert. The halls were jammed packed, like a Tokyo subway at rush hour, once in you could not move neither forward nor back just bodies packed in like sardines. I am lucky because I am relatively tall and could see the tops of the exhibits but since I was carrying my four week old daughter I decided I would get the hell out (and get buy catalogue. But. . . leaving was not that simple as the crowds were so intense that it took me a good 15 minutes to get out!

While attempting to leave as politely as possible I found myself wondering what would happen if there was any kind of panic, someone fainting or worse, if the Fire Marshall was there it would surely have been closed - a disaster waiting to happen.

Why the museum could not issue timed tickets - like the rest of the museums in the world - is beyond me but then again their membership has doubled as a result of the show (skip the line) in the same period as last year, even at the basic level that's $700,000 of extra income not to mention the 55,000 copies of the catalogue!

Posted by Rick

Monday, July 25, 2011

National Hot Dog Day - Big Success

Despite it being about 200 degrees in the shade outside of Silicon on Saturday tons of people braved the heat either for Scott's gourmet hot dogs or to drop off clothes and sample Rick's rather less special dog's.

Some guests were lucky enough to sample our unique Margaritas using fresh watermelon juice (made by our own Katie Tackman) skillfully blended with limes and 1800 Tequila. As you can see from the picture about we managed to collect a ton of stuff for Cradles to Crayons and many very generous cash donations. Among the donations were a box of new shoes, books, toys, and new and used clothes (some of which came in bags from other old city establishments.

Hawk Krall also sold a lot of hot dogs prints.

Thanks to help of Louis Zimmer, a Cradles to Crayons volunteer, we managed to get a bunch of press with articles appearing in  City Paper, Metro, Weekly Press and nine other places.

The tank of helium was a big hit with a kids that came in (some adults also had too much fun).

There is still time to donate, just visit Cradles to Crayons or drop off during normal hours at Silicon.

Thanks again to all those who took part and donated.

Posted by Rick

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot Diggedy Dog Press Release - this Saturday 23rd.

For information, contact:
Rick De Coyte, Silicon

Old City Business to Offer Food for Good Thoughts
On National Hot Dog Day, Saturday, July 23
OLD CITY, July 15 – Calling it our civic duty, Rick De Coyte is asking local residents to help Philadelphia move to number one among the top hot dog-consuming cities in the United States* by celebrating National Hot Dog Day, Saturday, July 23, from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. , with a free hot dog** and beverage. The event will take place in front of Silicon (, the fine art print studio at 139 N. Third Street, in Old City.
* Philadelphia is currently ranked sixth according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council,
based on total retail sales in the United States, excluding Walmart, for the 2010 calendar year.
Treat’s on him…as long as the diner-in-waiting brings some new or gently used clothes or any of a wide range of goods used by children, from infants through preteens. It will be donated to Cradles to Crayons, the area organization that served more than 25,000 low-income and/or homeless children in the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania region last year.
  • If you don’t bring any clothes or donations, it could mean no free hot dog, but Rick says “not to worry. You’ll be able to buy the best dog in town from "Scott Dogs," a food cart from Scott Schroeder (, chef of the South Philadelphia Taproom, featuring homemade hot dogs and topping, including a chili dog and homemade mustard-relish dog, that will be premiering at the National Hot Dog Day event.
  • In addition to getting a free hot dog for the children’s clothes donation or buying one of Scott Schroeder’s new edible hot dog creations, hot dog prints to purchase and take home will be on display at Silicon. The prints are created by local Illustrator, cartoonist (graphic below)
and food writer Hawk Krall (, who writes and illustrates a "Hot Dog Of The
Week" column for Serious Eats, and wrote and illustrated an article, "America's Best Hot Dogs,"
for Rachel Ray magazine.
De Coyte, Silicon’s proprietor, has enlisted some fellow members of the Old City Business Collective to join him on July 23 by complementing his offer of free eats by taking a 10 percent bite off the sale price of products through July 31.

Bring more than 20 pounds of the children’s clothes items and the 10 percent discount at Silicon will be extended to all purchases through August 31. Bring in the most clothes that day between the event hours of 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. and receive a $100.00 Silicon gift certificate.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce officially designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957; The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council encourages all Americans to join in celebrating this national icon.
About Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons collects new and gently used essential items for children in low-income and homeless situations from birth to age 12 in the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania area. The items are contributed by families, corporations, schools and community partners who conduct local product collections and deliver them to Cradles to Crayons’ West Conshohocken warehouse. Volunteers inspect and sort the donated clothing, shoes, toys, books, and school supplies, and fill orders from social service agencies for individual KidPacks – a week’s worth of everyday essentials for a child. In 2010, more than 15,000 KidPacks, 10,000 backpacks, and 8,000 new coats were provided, free of charge, to needy children.

**While supplies last.
Yeah, Philly Hot Dog
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