May 10 – June 07, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, May 10th, 6:00 – 8:00pm
University City Arts League
4226 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The University City Arts League (UCAL) is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Chanthaphone Rajavong. The exhibition, organized by UCAL Gallery Committee member and artist Vicente Ortiz Cortez, will be on view from May 10th through June 7th at 4226 Spruce Street. An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 10th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.
Chanthaphone Rajavong is a Philadelphia based artist using ancient weaving techniques from Laos, his native country, to create sculptures out of salvaged components from electronics such as radios, computers, and transformers. His studio practice serves healing purposes. After spending seven years of his childhood with his family in a refugee camp in Thailand, Rajavong moved to the United States, where art making helped him adjust to his new environment. His assemblages have a distinctive aesthetic, influenced by Western culture and his cultural heritage.
In a way that mirrors his lived experience, he gives discarded materials a new life, an opportunity to reenter a world that once abandoned them. To this effect, current global events echo throughout his work, which is concerned with the Anthropocene, the fragility of the planet, and humanity. As he puts it, FUTURE/SUSTAINABLE “is an urgent plea for the healing of our planet.”
Rajavong attended the Community College of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and Moore College of Art. He has had solo exhibitions in Brazil and Pennsylvania. Some of the exhibition venues where he has shown include Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, PA; The Beach Museum in Alagoas, Brazil; Salon des Amis in Malvern, PA; Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia, PA; Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA; the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, PA; and Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been reviewed numerous times and is part of several public and private collections.
Vicente Ortiz Cortez is a Mexican artist based in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a BFA from the Pennsylvania State University, and also attended Studio Arts College International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. His work, which examines sexuality and identity, has been shown at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum in Gyeonggi, South Korea; Extra Art Gallery in Cairo, Egypt; the Palazzo dei Cartelloni in Florence, Italy; and at Bortolami Gallery, in New York, NY among others. He is a recipient of the 2019 Highly Commended Award from Red Line Art Works, a non-profit arts organization based in Bath, United Kingdom.
The University City Arts League is a non-profit arts center that has been committed to the West Philadelphia neighborhood it resides in since 1965. The Gallery at UCAL exhibits emerging and established artists to inspire, educate, and engage the West Philadelphia community in the visual arts. The gallery provides a contemporary exhibition space for regional artists and is a cultural gathering place and active participant in the Philadelphia arts network. The Gallery at UCAL is opened weekdays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and by appointment.
Please contact Annette Monnier, Executive Director by e-mailing with questions or press inquiries.
Photo: Left: QUANTUM, 2018, metal, gems, glass, and plastic, 26” x 3.5” x 34” Right: RED CELLS, 2011, metal, transformer parts, gems, glass, and plastic, 24″ diameter x 4.5″ Photo by Link Harper