Diving Board

The Woodmere Annual

The Woodmere Annual is a juried exhibition of contemporary art in Philadelphia, now in its 77th year. Syd Carpenter, this year’s juror, is a sculptor and professor of studio art at Swarthmore College. From over 600 artists who submitted work for consideration, Carpenter selected works by 76 artists whose practices references the land, the transience of the body, and movement through space. In this episode, we talk with Carpenter about her own work on view in the exhibition, and that of Barbara Bullock and Selma Burke. We also discuss themes and ideas with a representative group of artists in the show, including Douglas Herren, James Morton, Sophie Sanders, Cheryl Tracy, and Kukuli Velarde.

Charles Santore: Fifty Years of Art and Storytelling

In this episode, we dive in with illustrator Charles Santore. A South Philadelphia native who became famous for the TV Guide covers he made from 1972 to 1985, Santore worked for the Saturday Evening Post, Time, Life, and other major publications. He made the leap into children’s book illustration in 1985, and to this day is celebrated for the virtuosity of his watercolor technique and unique ability to breathe new life into classic tales, from Aesop’s Fables and Noah’s Ark, to Paul Revere’s Ride to the Wizard of Oz. We explore Santore’s philosophy on art and life, and the social and cultural ideas that continue to drive his creativity.

Part 3: Reclaiming Violet Oakley and Why She Matters Today

In this episode, we’ll connect the importance of Violet and her work to present day artists and scholars including Ursula Rucker and Sylvia Yount, two amazing women that continue Oakley’s legacy of pushing boundaries in new and exciting ways. Philadelphia-based contemporary artist Peter Paone begins this episode reflecting on his connection to Oakley through her life partner, Edith Emerson.

Part 2: Violet’s Vision – Her Murals in the Pennsylvania State Capitol

Dive into Oakley’s vision through her murals at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. Part 2 explores the importance of some of Oakley’s work at arguably her most important commission. You’ll hear about what the murals represent, and you’ll even hear Violet in her own voice telling you what they’re all about.

Part 1: Violet Oakley – The Artist and The Person

Get to know Violet Oakley, the person and the life experiences that helped shape her mission as an artist. Patricia Likos-Ricci, an art historian at Elizabethtown College, who is the lead scholar on Violet Oakley and the Guest Curator of Woodmere’s exhibition, A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance, provides insight into Oakley’s fascinating life.


Diving Board: Preview

In this 3-part pilot series, the story of an important Philadelphia artist and civic leader named Violet Oakley is told through engaging conversations with a variety of today’s artists and art scholars.