If you missed “Poopface: Dogs of Philadelphia” the popular kick-off photography exhibition at LoMo’s year-old Wanderlife Gallery, you can wipe that hangdog look off your face. The remount, “Poopface 2,” is happening Friday, January 17th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm with new mutts added to the mix. The show features photos on 35mm film by gallery owner, Beth Dombkowski (aka Beth Ann), of indisposed doggies doing their business on our fair streets. Or, in our fair tree pits, more precisely.
Yep, you heard that right, she captures pups mid-poop. You might even recognize some standouts from the neighborhood. Each photo is accompanied by a doggie bio, too, so you can get to know what makes them tick. (Safe bet, it involves food.)
Wanderlife, on 13th between Wolf and Daly, is the creative baby of Dombkowski, a former LoMo resident, who works in marketing at Rowan University by day and is a photographer, writer, and gallery owner by evening, night, weekend, and any spare hours in between. She’s too busy to own her own dog.
“I don’t sleep,” she tells me one morning in the gallery before she opens for Saturday hours, noon – 5:00. She’s got a vision that begins with the physical gallery, which specializes in original photography, prints and drawings, and also hosts readings. (Done!) Next is artists’ residencies and retreats and then a permanent home abroad for those retreats. Sicily and Torino are strong contenders.
In September of 2020, she’ll be partnering with the Halide Project in Kensington, a non-profit promoting traditional film photography, and Gravy Studio and Gallery in Northern Liberties to create a photo festival in Philadelphia. She really doesn’t sleep.
In April, Dombkowski did a bit of rearranging of the Wanderlife space. The back of the large rowhome has transformed into Zen as Crystals, a crystal shop and integrated bodywork studio for Craniosacral massage therapist and Reiki master, Alisa Schneidman, who tailors massage to each client based on what their body needs. (For appointments: https://www.serenitywritingworks.com/). (Watch this space for more on Schneidman and Zen as Crystals.)
Back in the main gallery, I point out that some of the dogs in the photographs look a little embarrassed. “They actually look that way because they’re vulnerable when they’re pooping, so that expression evolved over time to get their owner to protect them,” she tells me. Perhaps they like the reinforcement Dombkowski brings on their walks, like an observant doggie bodyguard.
The opening of Poopface 2: Poop Harder is January 17th from 6 – 9 pm, Wanderlife: 2231 S. 13th St, Philadelphia, 19148. After party at Southhouse: 2535 S. 13th St.