WINDOWS: Photography Installation by Amy Ritter

Reviewed by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

An impassive face rests on a table, eyes at once both inquisitive and somber. The directness of the woman’s gaze is alarming in its stark frankness and openness, the body mimicking the pose of a child when feeling lost. The two photographs of the woman with her upper body plaintively hunched over a table creates the narrative of exploration and self-reflection. They are an introduction to the world of “Windows.” It is a world where an artist seeks to discover the meaning of transient physical spaces, and how they’ve shaped the artist as she examines her physical form through self-portraiture and self-reflexive photography.

Windows by Amy Ritter, out May 5th until May 27th at Gravy Studio, features 13 of her photographs and installations, exploring her relationship with her physical self, apropos to mobile homes and their interior landscapes.

This intensely personal collection reflects on the artist’s memories of her own experiences of growing up in a mobile home community. The staging reminds the viewer that while one might leave their home, they are forever intertwined and shaped by the places and landscapes that reared them.

Ritter seeks to transform the gallery space in order to evoke visceral sensations and create immediacy between herself and the viewer. By using Xerox prints, plywood, and cinderblock - the exact materials that make up the homes of her past - Ritter places the viewer in the spaces she seeks to reconcile with.

The viewer is challenged to delve deeper into understanding the artist’s self-reflection and memoryscapes as they navigate the exhibit. As the viewer shapes their opinions and understandings they are prompted to evaluate their own relationships with their memories, and how the places they were raised created who they are today. While coming into contact with the materials of the artist’s past, and photographs of the relationship between a woman and the physical spaces that shaped her - the collection is a refreshing reflection of the places and worlds that raised the artist, presented through the lens of a grown woman’s gaze. 

Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She's the EIC of HOOT Review and a genre editor at Lunch Ticket. You can find out more at

Amy Ritter will be giving an artist talk about the show on 5/27/17 from 1-3 PM. More info


December 4th - January 31st

  • First Friday Opening Reception: December 4, 6-10pm
  • NoLibs Holiday Shopping Spree: December 5th, 11-8pm and December 6th, 11-6pm
  • Book Making Workshop: January 16th, 1-3pm
  • Zine/Print Swap: January 31st, 1-3pm

In collaboration with Empty Stretch and Permanent Drift, Gravy Studio & Gallery presents an interactive show of made-to-order zines, submitted by you, our friends and followers. Curate your own zine by choosing 10 favorites from a pool of 85 submissions. Each zine costs $6, and will be photocopied, and stapled to a screen printed cover--a perfect handmade gift! A selection of online submissions will be printed, framed and displayed in Gravy’s gallery through the end of January.


Top 10 Submissions Above: Kevin Patrick Bond, Joanne Coates, Hellen Gaudence, Mark Havens, Kevin McFarlane, Nathan Pearce, Warren Sebastian, Bruno Silva, Pawel Szvmanski and Kara Vorabutr.  See Permanent Drift website to see all 80 submissions and info on purchasing the zine! 

November First Friday Photos


Lots of new and exciting things happening at Gravy in November.  We moved to a storefront in Northern Liberties!  The new location at 910 N. 2nd Street (directly across the street from North Bowl) doubles our square footage, opens up the possibility for cooperative work environments and studio photography, and provides a more centralized location with better access to public transportation. In addition, we’ve brought in three new partners to help make the gallery and shows better than ever: Ryan Scott, Sarah Puleo, and Harvey Stern.  Thank you to all of you who came to First Friday and our sponsors for the night; Sailor Jerry and Same Same Vietnamese Street Food.

October Event Photos

We had a big month of events during October!  Thank you to our artist of the month Jorj Bauer for all his hard work making tintypes at First Friday and our closing reception.  Special thanks to all who participated in POST Open Studio Tours and the Main Line Arts Center Panorama Photo Festival

Jorj Bauer at work taking tintypes

Jorj Bauer at work taking tintypes

Synesthesia, by Cana Sarnes and nervousRobot

August 7th - August 31st / First Friday Opening Reception: August 7th, 6-10pm

Gravy Studio & Gallery presents "Synesthesia," a vibrant audio/visual collaboration by New York photographer Cana Sarnes and Philadelphia musician and composer, nervousRobot. With “Synesthesia,”Sarnes’ vivid landscape and travel photography is paired with original scores composed for each image.

Each artist’s contribution to the project serves to enrich the work of the other— adding an additional level of sensory-depth and complexity. Sarnes says of her photography, “I am drawn to capturing images that utilize negative space. nervousRobot’s music fills that negative space and brings my photography to life.”

We encourage you to bring your own headphones and smartphoneo get the full experience of the show. This evening will also feature a special musical performance by New Jersey synthpop/darkwave band, TEEEL! Get here early; we’re expecting a packed house.

Cana Sarnes, Artist Statement: My work projects on the plane that exists parallel to the viewer. Clusters of inanimate objects find life and interact with one another in groups imperceptible on their own. As someone who is visually stimulated by music, working with Eric was a natural fit.

Eric Zrinsky (nervousRobot), Artist Statement: I make music for haunted houses, films, and other oddities.

TEEEL, Artist Statement: TEEEL is a electronic music producer/songwriter from New Jersey. Inspired by the 80s new wave movement, TEEEL produces music that ranges from hypnotic vocal synthpop to dreamy newwave and dark electronic rock. TEEEL has performed across the United States and continues to push their sound.

July Install Shots

Install Photos by Albert Yee

Photography by Billy Cress

Frames by Search and Rescue

Wallpaper and found object Installation by Alicia DeLarge

Online Store at

Install Photo by Billy Cress 
Install Photo by Billy Cress 

July Gallery Show

Opening Reception 

Second Friday // July 10, 6-10pm

Featuring work by Billy Cress and Search & Rescue

Gravy Studio & Gallery presents “Brick + Mortar,” a vibrant examination of homes and abandoned spaces, by Philadelphia photographer and explorer, Billy Cress.

Brick + Mortar” features home portraits from an ongoing, collaborative project Cress and fellow Philly photographer Austin Hodges began in 2013. Cress says of these images, “Philadelphia has an abundance of interesting homes illustrative of the spectrum of life here. In the end, home portraits are about people: how they choose to live and how they're forced to live.” By documenting residential homes and abandoned spaces, Cress gives the viewer both sides of Philly’s long lost industrial neighborhoods.

Coach Gaines and Alicia DeLarge from Search & Rescue add their flare to this show with custom frames and curated installations inspired by Cress’ work. S&R bring their distinct style to furniture, clothing, art, and a brand new line of custom frames. By blending antique and industrial elements with a modern sense of design, S&R has created a brand that is distinctly Philly.

Special Thanks to Indie Photo for supplying all the prints for the show. Gravy will also be raffling off a gift certificate from Indie Photo to raise money for future shows!

June First Friday!

Discover the Railyard

Photography by Karl Shouler & winning entries from of our Instagram contest!

First Friday // June 5 // 6-10pm

Photo by Karl Shouler

Photo by Karl Shouler

Gravy Studio & Gallery presents "Discover the Railyard," a collection of urban landscapes that capture the delicate ephemerality of the Reading Viaduct, by Philadelphia photographer and musician, Karl Shouler. 

Shouler’s images create a striking balance of manmade and natural—of progress and decay. Sprawling skyscrapers are framed by green leaves and yellow grasses. Graffitied and rusting structures are made gentle and pastoral by plantlife reclaiming a once vibrant and bustling, but now forgotten space. Shouler says of his work, “I think some of my most successful photographs are a result of always having a camera on me. In an environment like the city where there are interesting moments entering and departing your field of vision literally every second, planning for the unplanned is important.” With "Discover the Railyard," Shouler accomplishes exactly that and provides an honest glimpse into a place that will soon be forever changed. 

Also during the opening, Gravy will reveal the winners of our May photo contest. Fifteen winners, selected by the Gravy curators, will have their images printed to hang alongside Shouler’s work for the month of June.