Category Archives: Artists

Julian Hartwell

Julian Hartwell is a sought-after pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator living and working in Germantown and the surrounding Philly area. Although most rooted in jazz, he is influenced by many genres such as funk, soul, hip-hop, and RnB that all contribute to his distinctive sound.

Career highlights so far include sharing the stage with major names Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, and Jon Faddis at Lincoln Center with the Temple University Jazz Band.  In addition he has appeared  with the latter two musicians on that band’s release from Spring 2015 entitled “Dear Dizzy: A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie.”

Julian’s full skill-set as a composer, arranger, and pianist in his own right are most evident on his band’s all-original debut album “The Julian Hartwell Project,” which released to critical acclaim in October of 2015. He continues to hone his talents as a sideman and leader with The JHP and the Julian Hartwell Trio, as well as explore a more nuanced approach with a growing repertoire of neo-classical compositions for solo piano.

Connection to Germantown: Julian has been living in Germantown for a year+ and has no intentions of leaving anytime soon, continuously inspired by the artistic community he finds here and the connections he makes. He teaches and works often from his home studio and lends his hand to community ventures like the recently founded Pastorious Community Garden, among others.



Twitter handle: jewelz_hartwell

Also see:

Trapeta B. Mayson

Trapeta b. Mayson photo 9

Trapeta B. Mayson is a native of Liberia. Her poetry sheds light on and honors the immigrant experience as well as amplifies the stories of everyday people.  She is widely published and has been awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and Leeway Transformation Award, among others. She is the author of Mocha Melodies and She Was Once Herself. Trapeta has lived in Germantown for over 20 years and is currently the Executive Director of Historic Germantown.


Trapeta b. Mayson with Monnette Sulder photo 2

Trapeta B. Mayson (r) performs with Monnette Sudler


Trapeta b. Mayson with Monnette Sulder photo 3

Trapeta B. Mayson (l) performs with Monnette Sudler


Facebook: TrapetaMayson

Twitter: @TrapetaMayson

Instagram: trapetam

Gina Michaels



My sculpture melds the gestures of humans and the botanical world, embodying the living energy we share. I work in a sandbox. Hands, arms, and feet press into casting sand, imprinting the expressive energy of the body into the mold. I then ladle molten bronze into the sand. I also create monotypes, using plants from my Germantown garden. I exhibit my work nationally in galleries and public spaces.

Connection to Germantown: I have lived and worked in Germantown since 1993.

Gina Michaels
5535 Lena Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144



3.Michaels_Gina_Pointing Palm_2013_bronze4.Michaels_Gina_Shiners_2009_bronze

5.Michaels_Gina_Tara 41_2015_monotype



Tieshka Smith


Photo on 2015-02-28 at 13.17

Tieshka Smith is a Philadelphia-based photographer whose life work has been focused on birthing and sustaining a continuous celebration of the full spectrum of humanity. She envisions a world where all people can enjoy access to a rich quality of life.

Prior to becoming a photographer, Tieshka enjoyed a twenty-year career in the non-profit sector, working as a grant writer and contract manager, program officer, and project manager for a variety of organizations throughout the country.

Her body of work incorporates street/ documentary photography in the tradition of Henri Cartier Bresson, Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, Vivian Meier, and others as well as social media, blogging, collaborative mapping, and interactions with people, organizations and coalitions working on issues affecting urban communities. She is especially interested in exploring and documenting the shared and unsanctioned spaces in which marginalized people interact with one another, spaces that are oftentimes erased by urban renewal and gentrification because they are oftentimes misunderstood or felt/seen as unsafe or threatening.

Tieshka’s goal is to join with others to facilitate dialogue and action around a range of socioeconomic issues that impact urban communities as well as to promote the use of as many tools as possible to challenge the status quo.

•Smith has contributed work to, APIARY Magazine, Certain Circuits Magazine, the Mt. Airy Patch, FIN Magazine as well as numerous blogs and other publications.

•Exhibitions:  Galleries and other community spaces both in Philadelphia and the New York City area, including the Painted Bride Art Center, Destination Frankford Gallery, iMPeRFeCT Gallery, Project Greenville, Next City’s Storefront for Urban Innovation, Eris Temple Arts and Flying Kite Media, via their On the Ground neighborhood initiative.
•A Chicago native, Smith is a graduate of Northwestern University and Keller Graduate School of Management.

Connection to Germantown: Ms. Smith is currently a member of the governance and events committees of the Germantown Artists Roundtable and is a past board member of Germantown United CDC..

Smith blogs at The Other Germantown
Social Media Links:   Twitter/Instagram: @iamtieshkasmith

Suit Jacket.



The clan.


Jim Hamilton

resized Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton, drummer/percussionist, has worked with a wide variety of artists from Judith Jamison (Alvin Ailey) to Tony Braxton. He is a founding member of The Spoken Hand Ensemble and Alo Brasil. He has his own percussion group called “The Rhythm Poets” and plays often with Richard Drueding. They have just released a new c.d. called “Smoke”.

“I’ve been playing my whole life. My musical motivation or style is born of my desire to find a commonality between all music’s of the world. Through my own rhythmic expression I’m attempting to blend this multiplicity of musical dialects into a cohesive whole. I believe there is no “pure’ or singular anything in music. It’s always a mixture of something or the something’s that came before it and, as with language, you can pull the syllables apart and see where those individual parts came from. Most of my own work has this singular interest and focus.

For me, creating in ensembles is very much like playing scrabble. The more letters you have the better chance you have of making up new words that reflect your understanding of the language your speaking. In this sense each individual or ensemble has its own unique “culture” and as such, has the potential to influence its surroundings. Art itself is an expression of who we all are.”

Connection to Germantown: Hamilton has lived on Rittenhouse Street for about 25 years, and has welcomed a plethora of notables to his basement recording studio and teaching space, from steel-drum ensembles to spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker.

Current Projects:
Barakka- Original Turkish Rock
•The Rhythm Poets
•Richard Drueding
•Ensemble Novo…The New Wave Of Brazilian Music
•Atzilut… Arab and Israeli Traditions, Uniting through Music
•Gina Roche… highly original acoustic music with a Brazilian tinge.
•Fabio Fonseca Trio…with saxophonist Tom Moon.
•Jim Hamilton Tim Motzer Duet
Global Illage

baraka group 2-1

Karyn Olivier

Karyn Olivier

Karyn Olivier, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, received her M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her B.A at Dartmouth College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Gwangju and Busan Biennials (Korea), World Festival of Black Arts and Culture (Dakar, Senegal), the Wanas Foundation (Sweden), The Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), The Whitney Museum of Art (NY), MoMA P.S.1 (NY), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Mattress Factory (PA) and SculptureCenter (NY).

She is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, a Creative Capital Foundation grant and a Harpo Foundation grant.

Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Time out New York, The Village Voice, Art in America, Flash Art, Mousse, The Washington Post, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Frieze, among others.

Olivier is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art.

Connection to Germantown: Karyn has lived in Germantown since the fall of 2011 and is a member of her community garden.

Karyn Olivier


Ife Nii Owoo


“READ: A PATHWAY TO HOPE” (2014-2017) 21st Century Libraries: Logan Library 1% for Art Commission, Logan Library Branch 1333 Wagner Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141

Ife Nii Owoo’s artwork. Read: A Pathway for Hope at the Logan Library focuses on the importance of literacy. Words from internationally renowned Philadelphia-based poet Trapeta Mayson are interwoven throughout the imagery. Ms. Nii Owoo’s began her work with conversations with people from Logan’s diverse community: African Americans born here, and immigrants from Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Caribbean, and parts of South America. She used images and colors from patterns culturally significant to community members and drew inspiration from Madiba shirt patterns from South Africa and Mehndi designs from Africa, Middle East, and India.

IMG_9030Ife Nii Owoo studied African Visual Arts at the Institute of African Studies in Accra, Ghana, and lived in London, England and Africa for nine years.  With a powerful vision of African aesthetics Ife Nii Owoo directs the eyes and the emotions of her spectators toward new interpretations of color, design, collage, and mixed media assemblages.

Her works are uniquely beautiful expressions of African American culture.  She assaults the limits of the traditional canvas, going outside its borders to create a mixing of cultures and symbolism. Her works employ painted papers, mono prints, symbols, old family photos, and historical and social images of African American icons, establishing intersections of race, gender identities, and class distinctions in layers of paint, paper, patterns and textures.

Ms. Nii Owoo has received numerous awards, recognitions and grants including the prestigious Leeway Foundation Change Award. In 2010, she was commissioned to create a visual graphic treatment for the slave memorial space at The President’s House Commemorative Memorial Site, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Her works have been featured on jackets and covers of Afrocentric books since the l990’s.

• Certificate in Professional Development, Artist Teacher Institute,    Rutgers University (New Jersey), (2006-2007)
• Candidate MFA African Visual Arts, University of Ghana (Legon,
Ghana) (1978-1979)
• Post Graduate Studies, Graphic Design/Typography, London School of Communications (London, England) (1975-1976)
• BFA, Printmaking (Cum Laude) Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York) (1970-1974 )Sir John Cass School of Art, (London, England)(1972-1973)

Connection to Germantown: Attended Germantown High School; for the past l5 years has been living and working at her studio in the Greene Street Artists Co-op.

Artist / Graphic designer / Consultant
Painting, Collage, Mixed Media
215.848.4499 fax: 215.848.7094

2014-09-26 IfeArtwork_nlee 069                                  Thanksgiving — 2014, Acrylic on collage canvas (24 X 23)

NIIOwoo5_2014                          Aphasia, Kusama’s Rose—-2013 Collage painting on Canvas 16 x 20

Golden— 2013, Collage, mixed media (30” X 40”)

Golden— 2013, Collage, mixed media (30” X 40”)

NiiOwoo1_2014                                  Mulberry Tree: 2012, Mama’s Diamond Collage 11 X12

NiiOwoo11(LR)                          Somali Rose— 2012-13, Assemblage, Hat Box lid and glass beads (15 X15)

IfeNilOwoo in Studio

Ife Nii Owoo in Studio


M. Nzadi Keita

At Brandywine Center, photo by J. Otis Smith

M. Nzadi Keita at Brandywine Center                                           photo by J. Otis Smith

“Loving the printed word, experiencing the world as intensely visual, and realizing how spoken words wield power led me to poetry,  fiction, essays, and journalism. The Black Arts Movement poets entitled me to embrace poetry actively, a goal I have pursued throughout adulthood. Basically, that pursuit involves living attentively, listening, reading, making my own leaps, and teaching, whether in communities or in English, Creative Writing, and Africana Studies at Ursinus College.”

Connection to Germantown:  Born at Germantown Hospital, graduated from Germantown High School, wrote for the Germantown Courier, and have lived here over 30 years.


Contact info:

Cover, Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems Cover, Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass (Whirlwind Press)

Cover, Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass (Whirlwind Press)

Diane Pieri

Diane Vietnam

“My overarching desire is to make art that beautifies life’s experiences. I choose different papers and materials for a myriad of reasons- feel, sound, limpness, color, decorative potential, weight, pattern, ethnic collaboration. At times gold leaf is an important tool because it embodies a timeless and universal elegance. Aesthetically my work is a weave of India, Tibet and Japan, cultures wealthy in meaning, symbol, color and purposeful design and whose need for beauty in everyday life is uncompromised.”

Diane Pieri is a Visual Artist who received a BFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1969. She has had 29 solo exhibitions and been included in 200 national and international group exhibitions since 1969.

Since 2001 Pieri has completed 10 murals working with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.  In addition to completing seven murals in an elementary school in College Station, Texas, she founded the Cooke Museum of Art, modeled after the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at the Jay Cooke Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

Her public art project, Manayunk Stoops: Heart and Home, a series of nine seating elements fabricated in Italian tesserae, was installed along the Manayunk towpath through the Association for Public Art’s groundbreaking program, New Land Marks.

• Recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Grants (1999/1992), two Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts (2001/2011), a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant (1992).
•Fellow at Yaddo (1991) and The MacDowell Colony (1990).
• Artist-in-Residence at Mark diSuvero’s Socrates Sculpture Park where she created a 15 ft. sculpture made of rusted and gold leafed can lids.
•Teaching Artist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 18 years. •Teaching Artist for The Barnes Foundation.
•”I have lived in Germantown for 40 years. My mother was born and raised in Germantown. She went to Fulton Elementary School, Roosevelt Junior High School and Germantown High.  My maternal grandparents had a fruit and vegetable store at 5050 Wayne Avenue until they retired in the50’s”

Represented by the Rosenfeld Gallery, 113 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.
p-18     p-22



p-20-2la-decimajoy  gandhistomb

Terri Lyons

At the Ethical Culture Society

At the Ethical Culture Society

Terri Lyons is a poet, writer, actress and motivational speaker.
Recently she has performed several supporting roles in children’s theater and is now rehearsing for Lisa Hopkin’s production, ‘Sittin In’.

In addition to writing several books, Terri currently MC’s for a variety of events and is the opening attraction for Carol Sims-Nesmith (CSN) Productions in East Falls.

She is  a Philadelphia native and graduate of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Take it from the Top



Performance Garage 5

Parking Day 2014

Parking Day 2014