Woodmere exhibition celebrates the art of connection


The Woodmere Art Museum’s Annual Juried Exhibition, now in its 81st year, is back once again to mark the onset of summer with an opening reception on June 3, from noon to 3 p.m. 

This year’s exhibition, which comes with ten prizes totaling more than $2,000, will feature 54 Philadelphia artists whose works comprise a diverse array of mediums. It will be on view in the museum’s main rotunda, the two-story Kuch and del Bueno Balcony Galleries, and will run through Aug. 27.

Tradition dictates that with this exhibition, the Woodmere chooses a local artist to act as curator and juror. This year’s choice is Doug Bucci, an assistant professor and head of the Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM Program at Temple University’s School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia. An accomplished artist as well as an educator, Bucci’s work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Newark Museum, New Jersey; Deutsche Goldschmiedehaus, Hanau, Germany; Design Museo, Helsinki, Finland; and the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. 

His theme is connectivity, the human connections that transcend the arts, and how these connections – particularly in a post-pandemic world – reflect the unique fabric of the city of Philadelphia. The featured works explore how the artists interpret their own emotional being within the context of where they live. They also celebrate the creative connection between different media. Visitors will see everything from polyurethane resin sculptures and electroformed copper to polymer prints and jewelry crafted from bronze.

Bucci said he is inspired by the city life he sees all around him, and sees connections everywhere he looks – from the impressive architecture of its iconic buildings to all the ways that people inhabit its public spaces. 

“We live in a city where medicine and art come together in a unique ecosystem,” he said. “You have Thomas Eakins, this pure connection of medicine and art in his ‘Gross Clinic’ painting, where a great artist depicts a key moment in the growth of medicine. And in Frank Burd’s digital print, ‘The Subway’ [featured in the Woodmere exhibition], you feel like a voyeur watching a lovely moment play out in this close connection between two people in a most inopportune city space – a subway station.”

There’s an unusual connection, also, between Bucci – who has been a diabetic since childhood – and his medical condition. Bucci, who studied jewelry and metal at the University of the Arts before focusing on artistic applications of 3-D technology as a graduate student at the Tyler School of Art, now uses computer-aided technologies to transform medical data and patterns into meaningful, personal, and wearable art. 

This annual exhibition dates back to the early 1940s when the Woodmere Museum was founded – with a mission to promote the art and culture of Philadelphia. Over time, it began inviting area artists to serve as jurists and select artwork around a theme that they choose. Exhibits have been organized around subjects including connections to the land and body, narrative storytelling, and concepts of representation.

The opening reception is free and open to the public. There will also be a gallery talk with Bucci on Saturday, June 10, at 2 p.m. 

Woodmere Art Museum is located at 9201 Germantown Ave. Open Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Information: 215-247-0476; woodmereartmuseum.org.