The Delaware River Waterfront Corp is pleased to welcome the first cohort of artists into Cherry Street Pier. These artists will be using the spaces full time to create, educate, host, and show visitors to the pier how the creative process works. They will also be exhibiting and selling their work in the studio spaces or in one of the many exhibition and market areas around the pier.
James B. Abbott
James B. Abbott arrived in Philadelphia in 1981 and began photographing the Ben Franklin Bridge and surrounding neighborhoods along the Delaware River, and over a 25-year period produced three additional and different bodies of work on the Ben Franklin Bridge and its neighborhood. He also went on to other long-term urban and landscape projects in Berlin, the Cape Cod National Seashore, Florence, and Venice. A graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, Abbott has received numerous grants, awards, residencies, and commissions while maintaining a freelance photography practice. After five years of teaching in Certaldo, Italy, he has recently refocused his image-making to Philadelphia and the riverfront, and his studio at Cherry Street Pier places him in its epicenter. He will again seek to create photographs that are densely layered, idiosyncratic, personal visual interpretations that inform collective memory through investigating dichotomies and juxtapositions of old and new, iconic and mundane, enduring and changing.
India Abbott is an emerging artist in moving imagery. Her work aims to weave unusual kinesthetic dynamics with analog sensibilities, and she has experience collaborating with dancers and incorporating projections into live performance work. Abbott believes the most meaningful work emerges from collaborations, especially when boundaries of mediums are blurred, and she is passionate about experimental 16mm filmmaking, animation, and art education. At Cherry Street Pier, she intends to make zines, hand color, edit her experimental 16mm film, and explore new projects with those around her. Previously, Abbott worked primarily in black and white, and she is excited to explore the use of color in such a lively making habitat.
Carla J. Fisher
After 25 years in the financial services industry, Carla J. Fisher is now a full-time fiber artist. Working in free-motion machine embroidery, she seeks a visceral response of surprise and delight when a viewer realizes the sculpture they are seeing is simply thread. It’s a reminder and the confirmation that one little strand—or person—truly can do seemingly impossible things when challenged to do so. Fisher’s work has been exhibited in five countries and throughout the United States, and she was recently named one of the Top International Artists to Watch by Art Tour International Magazine. Her goal in her pier studio practice is to draw upon the natural inspiration of the water and the unique beauty of Philadelphia to expand the messages of renewal, revival, and the importance of art in a community with reaches far beyond the boundaries of Philadelphia.
Cultural Productions, Exhibit Design, Community Outreach
Led by Victoria Prizzia, Habithèque Inc. is a storytelling and innovation studio based in Philadelphia. For more than 15 years, Habithèque has connected organizations, firms, and artists to create dynamic spaces for education and cultural + community engagement at the water’s edge to increase public engagement with the natural world. Their work is interdisciplinary to its core—linking technology, public art, narrative, and science in the process of crafting curious, immersive, unexpected, and enticing experiences and exhibits for learning. The Cherry Street Pier studio will serve as many venues in one: a meeting space for brainstorming, problem-solving, forging partnerships, and iterating sketches; a workshop for creating and prototyping the material interfaces of Habithèque’s exhibits with school groups and the public; an office for research and discussion on the environmental and social issues that their projects explore; a miniature ever-evolving gallery of some of Habithèque’s work and artist collaborations; and an experimental area for new methods of interactive public engagement.
Installation, New Media
Sue Huang is an artist working at the intersections of new media, installation, and social practice. Her first project at Cherry Street Pier will be a new work that considers networks and spatial displacements through a study of clouds and ice cream. Her solo and collaborative works have been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Rhizome at the New Museum, Ars Electronica, the Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine, and A.P.E Gallery in Northampton, among others. She holds an MFA in Design Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a graduate of Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. Huang is a co-founder of the media arts collaborative Knifeandfork and an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Design at the University of Connecticut.
Works on Paper, Photography, Installation
Felise Luchansky is a visual artist who works in photography, collage, and installation. She received the Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship for Works on Paper, and has had solo exhibits at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts and the Mezzanine Gallery. Her award-winning work had been shown in numerous juried exhibits throughout the region and is held in various private collections. Luchansky co-curated “The White Cube Cube,” a small-scale exhibition, which traveled to Great Britain, and the “Arterial Motives” exhibition at Street Road Artists’ Space in Pennsylvania. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Rutgers.
Ed Marion is a painter living and working in Philadelphia. The focus of his work at Cherry Street Pier will be painting portraits of Philadelphians, to culminate in a book of portraits to be published at the end of his residency. Marion believes that his talent to paint is a gift from outside of himself, and his favorite part about making art is being the first to witness the work as it comes to fruition. His studio will also display his original paintings—colorful pineapples, bright sunflowers, and vibrant cityscape paintings.
Contemporary Classical Music
Orchestra 2001 is a collective of adventurous, virtuoso performers dedicated to the music of our time. The ensemble strives to be an international leader in connecting diverse audiences with the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries, engaging new listeners through exhilarating concerts, innovative artistic collaborations, and enriching community partnerships. They have presented programs with 1 to 80 performers at the Kimmel Center, Barnes Foundation, World Cafe, The Fillmore, and multiple other indoor and outdoor venues. As recipient of four NEA touring grants, Orchestra 2001 has performed for diverse audiences in rural Appalachia, the Southwest’s Navajo Nation, and is preparing for an upcoming tour to historically black colleges in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. They have also toured internationally through Asia, Europe, Cuba, and the Middle East. At Cherry Street Pier, Orchestra 2001 will present informal concerts, educational activities, and a “Composer At Work” window, featuring the work of local composers and performers.
Sharif Pendleton is a University of the Arts-educated multimedia artist enamored of product design. He has made a career developing interactive learning and designing handmade housewares and accessories under his Masters of None label. Having had success with his initial small business, Pendleton will soon relaunch as PLAID LLC or Philadelphia Laser And Industrial Design. Inspired by travel, pop culture, and the challenges of using design to solve problems, Pendleton will use PLAID to continue to explore the intersection of traditional object-making and modern manufacturing. Launching PLAID at Cherry Street Pier allows Pendleton to demystify the design process by offering an original line of products and customized design services influenced by the diverse cross-section of visitors to the pier.
Sculpture, Painting, African American Dolls
Acori Honzo is a sculptor, painter, and doll artist. His art influences range from Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Basquiat to comic book artist like Alex Ross and Jim Lee, and his artwork often refers to pop and mass culture. He tries to increase the dynamic between the audience by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations. With a conceptual approach, he considers a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, involving the viewer in a manner that is sometimes physical, and believes in the idea of function following form in his work. Cherry Street Pier provides him the opportunity to evolve and collaborate with other artists, interact with the public by letting them see his process, and hold unique workshops promoting imagination and creativity.
Theatre, Arts Service
Founded in 2012, Theatre Philadelphia is dedicated to bringing together and celebrating Philadelphia's diverse and growing theatre community. They are committed to leading efforts that grow audiences and promote the public's participation in theatre throughout the region, nurturing local theatre artists, fostering the creation of extraordinary work, and forging stronger connections between their art and audiences. Theatre Philadelphia's programs include the annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philly Theatre Week, the Theatre Philadelphia Industry Card, and additional programs that build audience awareness and growth. At Cherry Street Pier, Theatre Philadelphia will host public events showcasing theatrical artists and organizations from the region, host professional development events and industry mixers, and act as a hub for audiences to learn what's happening on area stages.
Tiny Room for Elephants
Tiny Room For Elephants is a network of creatives that host an annual multi-disciplinary micro festival that fuses art and music with one goal in mind: to create, document, and share culture. Over the past four years, Tiny Room for Elephants has evolved from solely celebrating visual artists and musicians annually. It's morphed into part artists collective (providing opportunities for collaboration across multiple disciplines), part agency (acting as a pipeline between brands/organizations to undiscovered talent) and part creative consultant (offering advice to artists on the business of being creative). The Cherry Street Pier Studio will help actualize a long-time dream for Tiny Room for Elephants, by acting as a hub for its network of artists/musicians to collaborate, create, and showcase new works; produce content for artists, by artists; and further explore ways to build the creative economy via workshops.
Flygirrl x Artists First, Inc.
Stacey Wilson is an artist, graphic designer, promoter, and event planner known for her acrylic and ink works of comic book/graffiti-esque art on wood, canvas, and sneakers, which has been both televised and published. She has produced and promoted thousands of events over the past 18 years, including Tastytreats (which had been the longest running party in Philadelphia, hosted weekly for 13 years), and has worked with Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Questlove, and many more. Wilson has been recognized by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism + Marketing Corporation as a Creative Ambassador of Philadelphia and also teaches classes in graphic design, event production, and art. She is the founder of Flygirrl, a place where art, design, music, and groundbreaking promotions come together with consistency and style.
Melody Forrester is a practicing attorney and the CEO and founder of Artists First, Inc., a Philadelphia-based artist management and media consulting company. Forrester has more than 17 years of litigation experience with major law firms and is skilled in the management and representation of recording artists, musicians, music producers, screenwriters, film and television producers, actors, poets, visual artists, and professional athletes. Artists First was born out of a perceived need to protect artists from their own industry. Too often, artists and their interests are the last consideration in entertainment and media ventures. Artists First aims to elevate the artist to his or her rightful place as the first necessary element of success in the entertainment industry.
A Philadelphia-based poet, educator, and curator, Yolanda Wisher focuses on genealogy, urban life, and public art. She is a published author, Pew Fellow, and Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence who was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals. She was the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary. She plans to use her pier studio to expand her poetic practice beyond the page with workshops, jam sessions, and multidisciplinary collaborations. When she’s not at Cherry Street Pier, you can find her performing a unique blend of poetry and song with her band, The Afroeaters.