Monday, December 15, 2003

Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum 

Over the weekend, a few of us went out to West Philly, where the Tiberinos opened their house to friends for Christmas. The Powelton Village home has recently been morphed into the Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum, where she lived until her death in 1992. Much of her work is on exhibit, along with voluminous works by her husband Joe, and sons Raphael & Gabriel.

The Tiberino compound is a must-see for anyone who makes it to Philadelphia in the Springtime. Relation between art & life is as seamless as I've seen. The sculpture garden is laden with artwork from wall to ground to studio to chapel. A member of the family gives tours of the houses/studios that comprise the museum.

At openings/gatherings on Hamilton St. throughout the years, there was a likelihood you'd run into sculptor Phil Sumpter on a jaunt from Puerto Rico, or painter/sculptor/poet Jerome Robinson. Maybe you'd see the poet Chris Stroffolino, or mosaic artist Mike Smash. You may have met Salvador Gonzalez Escalona, a Cuban Santeria muralist who collaborated with Joe in the garden. It was possible to meet any of these folks, but never as a hard-boiled network session. It was always a byproduct of generosity & celebration. Cheers to the Tiberino clan, family & friends. Visit them in 2004.

Frank Sherlock

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