Winners of Fleisher Art Memorial's prestigious Wind Challenge II finally get to show their artwork

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One of the city's most prestigious juried art exhibitions is now on display at Fleisher Art Memorial in Bella Vista and for the artists chosen to show their work, it's been two years of patiently waiting. Karen Rogers has the story in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.

The exhibition is called Wind Challenge 2 and it's part of an annual series, started in 1978.

"It was thanks to Jerry and Dina Wind. They wanted to support the arts," says Gerard Silva, Director of Exhibitions and Community Outreach at Fleisher Art Memorial.

Fleisher Art Memorial does an open call for regional artists and selects three for each show.

"This time around, I'm working with three amazing women artists," says Silva.

Natalie Kuenzi is one of them.

"The work we're looking at here is called Sky Blanket," says Artist, Natalie Kuenzi.

She recycles plastic bags, crocheting them into what looks like a large-scale painting.

"I see the sky as this wonderful metaphor for dreaming and the imagination," says Kuenzi.

Kuenzi learned to crochet from her mother and grandmother and hopes her work inspires others.

"You know, use the plastic they have under their sinks or whatever," says Kuenzi.

The exhibition also includes the work of Christina P. Day who works with vintage linoleum tiles.

"And then she makes these beautiful, like flower arrangements," says Silva.

The third artist is Evgenia Kim.

"She lived in the Korean diaspora and all her images deal with her upbringing," says Silva.

Fleisher was opened by Samuel Fleisher in 1898, as one of the first community art centers in the nation.

"His parents moved from Germany to start the Fleisher Yarn Company," says Silva.

Fleisher's dream was to make art available to everyone.

"He started like an art school for the kids of the immigrants," says Silva.

A legacy that continues today.

"If you don't have the money, we'll give tuition assistance," says Silva.

The annual Wind exhibition was put on hold because of the pandemic, so the three winning artists have been waiting two years to show their work!

"Like really two years!" says Silva.

The works are on display through March 12th, followed by an exhibition of three different Wind Challenge winners and the Fleisher has an open call out for exhibitors in next year's competition.

"It's such a special place, being able to show your work here is so exciting," says Kuenzi.
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Fleisher Art Memorial | Instagram | Facebook
719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147

Wind Challenge II on display through March 12th, 2022 at Fleisher Dene M. Louchheim Gallery
Call for entries for the next Wind Challenge due by May 1st
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