Category Archives: Visual Artists

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.


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


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.
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p-20-2la-decimajoy  gandhistomb

Carole Loeffler

carole loefflerAs a young child I remember spending lazy summer afternoons lounging on the grass of our ample suburban lawn staring at the sky through the filtered frame of the tallest trees and their wavering limbs. I want to instill moments of quiet, peace, joy, awe, wonderment and nostalgia in the viewer.

•Resident of Germantown since June of 2012
•Runs the Gray Gallery – a space for emerging artists situated in an historic home in Germantown

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Carole Loeffler

Carole Loeffler, aggregate threads (of connection), 2014, 91”x 54”x49”, branch, balloons, ribbon, string, felt

Carole Loeffler, aggregate threads (of connection), 2014, 91”x 54”x49”, branch, balloons, ribbon, string, felt

Carole Loeffler, daydreaming, 2013, 73”x56”x25”, school chair, felt, ribbon

Carole Loeffler, daydreaming, 2013, 73”x56”x25”, school chair, felt, ribbon

Carole Loeffler, palpable threads, 2014, 99’ long x 2-3” x branches 21” & 24” length, fabric, wood, ribbon, glitter glue

   Carole Loeffler, palpable threads, 2014, 99’ long x 2-3” x branches 21” & 24” length, fabric, wood, ribbon, glitter glue

Carole Loeffler, sneaking scarlet, 2013, 59”x10.5”x5”, sneakers, felt, jersey fabric, glue, poly fill

Carole Loeffler, sneaking scarlet, 2013, 59”x10.5”x5”, sneakers, felt, jersey fabric, glue, poly fill

Carole Loeffler, grasp, clinch, clasp, embrace, 2014, 23”x20”x22”, foam, felt, glue, fabric, polyfill, ribbon

    Carole Loeffler, grasp, clinch, clasp, embrace, 2014, 23”x20”x22”, foam, felt, glue, fabric, polyfill, ribbon

Carole Loeffler, flourishing fuchsia flood, 2014, 61"x56"x14", foam, wood, fabric, felt, ribbon, glue

Carole Loeffler, flourishing fuchsia flood, 2014, 61″x56″x14″, foam, wood, fabric, felt, ribbon, glue

Allison Wooley

Photo on 2-4-13 at 5.27 PM #2

My artwork lately tends to be mindful and has a deeper meaning than ever before. After experiencing a great loss several years ago, I have used my creative side to heal. The artwork reflects that and tries to share important memories I am holding onto. My last art gallery show at the Plastic Club, I sold block printed works to raise money for Pre-Eclampsia and it was a very successful show. I look forward to continue fundraising through art gallery sales for this cause in memory of my daughter Soleil.

Also, I love to make everyday things to wear like handbags, jewelry and summery tops, so I do dabble in fashion design and illustration. I have my own local label called wooleybear wear and used to sell my designs to consignment shops. Lastly I often fuse my love of painting with my love of textiles as well, by sewing and weaving onto painted canvas.

My connection to Germantown began about seven years ago when I began teaching Art at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice.   I moved out here about four years ago from West Philadelphia.


Allison Wooley, Female Study,2012, ink on paper

Allison Wooley, Female Study,2012, ink on paper

Allison Wooley, Lake Erie Tree, 2013, mixed media

Allison Wooley, Lake Erie Tree, 2013, mixed media

Allison Wooley, Fashion Illustration Studies, 2013, color pencil

Allison Wooley, Fashion Illustration Studies, 2013, color pencil

Allsion Wooley, How About the Funk?, 2014,marker

Allsion Wooley, How About the Funk?, 2014,marker


Deborah Curtiss

Deborah Curtiss

Deborah Curtiss

Deborah Curtiss, having painted and exhibited since 1960, approaches painting as a composer and an explorer to discover visual metaphors for the complexities of life. While referencing recognizable forms and situations, she evokes inner and other realities of being human that reflect upon our time and place on earth. She is a founding member & resident of Greene Street Artists Cooperative, the location of her studio for daily creative activity.
Deborah Curtiss
Greene Street Artists
5225 Greene Street #15
Philadelphia PA 19144-2927

• Lived and worked in Germantown since 1985: Alden Park until 1992, Greene Street Artists thereafter.
• Studied at Antioch College, Yale University School of Art, and University of the Arts.
• Taught at Philadelphia Museum of Art, PCA, Drexel U, Temple U, Wallingford Community Arts Center, UArts.
• Currently focused on writing her ARTobiography.

Gary Reed


Gary Reed

I see photography as the eye that doesn’t blink, that doesn’t judge, but is an enhanced eye that can view the world on another plane of existence. I look, not for what is beautiful, but what is honest.

Minor White was once quoted as saying: “No matter how slow the film, the spirit will wait for the photographer.”