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Petits Fours: Lilliputian show of Miniatures (Review)


Hidden City PhiladelphiaThe Other Woman Art Collective is a ladies art collective of four emerging Philadelphia-area artists.  The artists—Aubrie Costello, Laura Graham, Darla Jackson, and Laura McKinley—work in different media using common themes and sensibilities to tie the art together, enriching the viewer’s experience of each individual work.  Petits Fours: A Show of Miniatures, their most recent exhibition at Arcardia Boutique featured pocket-and pint sized art.

The four members of the Other Woman Art Collective present joint shows but work independently.  The theme for Petits Fours: A Show of Miniatures was to adapt their art-making process to produce small works on a topic chosen by each artist.  The theme draws together the topics and presents one united show from the Collective.

Aubrie Costello created a miniature world of theatrics, where patrons head for their seats, the stage is set, and performers await cues (see photographs).  In this tiny world, patrons, actors, and stage hands all become part of the art viewer’s scene, driving home the point that we are all both actors and objects.

Laura Graham’s work, Identity Exercise, exposed photographs on japoned tin plates through the wet plate process.  The various photographs explore different facets of Graham’s personality and image.  Indeed, some of the photographs do not seem to depict Graham’s physical body (we can’t be sure if the photograph of the bear is an alter ego or is Graham in a bear head).  Like we so often wonder who we are, we contemplate Graham’s photos and wonder which is closest to Graham’s true identity.

Darla Jackson created a miniature house with rooms where animals have intruded.  Unsure of what to do with their new territory, the animals in the scenario seem determined to understand what sets them apart from humans.  The effect is somewhat eerie as the small house draws the viewer to lean closer, almost placing us in the same room with the rat, chicken, and snake interlopers.

Inspired by the novel, Sister Carrie, Laura McKinley cast off recurring memories and troubling thoughts in the tradition of bottling wishes.  Laura created pen and ink drawings the size of postage stamps and encapsulated them in tiny glass bottles.  McKinley hopes to contain and release these memories and thoughts, just as we throw a message in a bottle into the ocean.

Each of the four vignettes clearly conveyed the individual artist’s theme and ideas.  Although the artists work separately, their theme successfully united their individual works.  The Other Woman Art Collective is quickly becoming known for successful group exhibits of arresting individual pieces.

Petits Fours ran from April 5 through May 31 at Arcadia Boutique in Northern Liberties.  Learn about future Other Woman Art Collective Shows at www.theotherwomancollective.com or www.myspace.com/forladies.  Petit Fours was the second Other Woman Art Collective exhibit hosted at Arcadia Boutique.  Given the success of the first two shows, expect more to follow.  Arcadia Boutique is located at 819 North Second Street, Philadelphia, PA and on the web at http://www.arcadiaboutique.com/

What you need to know:

Other Woman Art Collective

www.theotherwomancollective.com or www.myspace.com/forladies.

Arcadia Boutique

819 North Second Street, Philadelphia, PA,


(215) 667-8099