Central Voice Gets “Warholized”

From left: James Warhola, Madalen Warhola, Ray Costello, Debra Miller honoring the 25th anniversary of James' and Madalen's uncle Andy Warhol.

Feb. 22, 1987 Andy Warhol died. Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia’s oldest artist association paid tribute last month on the 25th anniversary of his death with a multi-media exhibition by 36 member artists, a memorial catalogue, and a panel discussion exploring the impact and influence of Andy Warhol. Fleisher Art Memorial also participated in the event partially sponsored by a grant from Campbell’s Soup Company, and a donation from Matt and Brenda Lyons.

“Warholized: 15 Minutes and 25 Years,” a panel discussion filled the facility to capacity with an appearance by artists James and Madalen Warhola (Andy’s nephew and niece), and moderated by Art Historian and noted Warhol scholar Dr. Debra Miller.

Da Vinci Art Alliance is a non-profit artists’ organization located in South Philadelphia. The organization was founded in 1931 to serve the needs of professional artists and artisans in the Delaware Valley. Da Vinci currently has over 150 members and is supported through membership dues, gallery rentals, sales commissions, grants, and donations. It holds exhibitions of members’ and non-members’ artwork as well as special events, workshops, performances, poetry readings, and lectures, and publishes a quarterly newsletter for its members.

Miller currently teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, and at Hussian School of Art, Philadelphia, where she serves as Chair of the General Education Department. She was named a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council for 2008-09 and 2010-11, lecturing throughout the state on Andy Warhol. With grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kress Foundation, and American Philosophical Society, she authored the fully illustrated catalogue Artists of the Warhol Circle Then and Now, an exhibition she curated, and which traveled the world for seven years), the first monograph on Factory photographer Billy Name (Billy Name: Stills from the Warhol Films), and contributions to Gerard Malanga, Screen Tests Portraits Nudes 1964-1996. She is a staff writer for http://www.STAGEpartners.org (based in Wilmington, DE), a contributing writer for http://www.theartblog.org (Philadelphia), and the Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice.

For James Warhola a large influence during his childhood was his artistic family, especially his famous uncle, Pop artist Andy Warhol. From an early age of watching his uncle illustrate shoes, James wanted to be an illustrator. He established himself as a highly sought after talent, illustrating over 300 book covers for the most popular writers of the day. Two celebrated covers are Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and William Gibson’s first cyperpunk classic, Neuromancer. In 1980, the editors at Mad Magazine commissioned him for their paperbacks. He’s been a regular contributor of the magazine ever since. His autobiographical story, Uncle Andy’s, been featured nationally on NPR’s Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air. James Warhola splits his time between the Hudson Valley of New York and Baltimore, Maryland. He presently teaches courses on painting techniques for illustrators, oil painting, and water-base painting for the Illustration Department of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

As the niece of Andy Warhol, Madalen Warhola was born into a virtual dynasty of artists. Along with the inspiration from her famous uncle and his Pop Art silkscreening process, Madalen now runs the family silkscreening business, Warhola Designs. She was also trained in the folk art of their ancestral Slovakia by her grandmother Julia (Andy’s mother). The detailed, painstaking technique of creating “pysanki” (eggs decorated with encaustic) stirs Madalen’s fond memories of her childhood, the ethnic heritage of her family, and loving times spent with her late uncle and grandmother. She created and maintains the Warhola family website at http://www.warhola.com, and, along with other relatives, is developing the Warhola Family Museum in the house where Andy grew up in Pittsburgh.

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One Response to “Central Voice Gets “Warholized””

  1. Emina Beho Says:

    This is a good article about Warholized in Da Vinci Art Alliance. I am proud to be participant of exhibition and panel discussion. Thanks for all to prepare this veri important event.

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