International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover



      Back to Directory Search

Gina Michaels

5535 Lena St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144, U.S.A.
View Map

Phone: 215.713.0505

More Information

Click image to enlarge.

Gina Michaels’s Hand Plants juxtapose human and botanical forms in unexpected, but somehow natural, relationships. Challenging categories and preconceptions, a hand is a leaf, or the earth itself. Fingers are flower petals that invite close inspection, but might also poke the viewer in the eye. Hand Plants can be read as lovingly cultivated hybrids, or as random and disturbing mutations.

Rather than using bronze to replicate forms created in another material, Michaels uses it directly, combining the ancient tradition of cast bronze with the contemporary open forms of fabricated metal sculpture. In a spirit of meditation and play, of non-verbal experience, Michaels presses her hands, arms, legs and feet into casting sand, imprinting the expressive energy of the body directly in the mold. She also draws in the sand, recording the speed and arc of various movements. She then ladles molten bronze directly into the hollows created by the body. The immediacy of the flowing metal, and the happy accidents that occur in the process, are an integral part of the work.

Gina Michaels lives and works in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in numerous solo, group and public art exhibitions in New York City, Philadelphia, and nationally.

Selected Solo Exhibitions


2015 Bower, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2014 Spirit Space, Spring Hill Design, Chadds Ford PA. Collaboration with Michael E. Lane, LA

2013 Out of Hand, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2012 Hybrids, Community Arts Center Sculpture Center, Wallingford PA    

2012 Contemplations, Cosmopolitan Club, Philadelphia PA

2011 Improvisational Botany, Briar Bush Nature Center, Abington PA

2010 Contemplating Nature, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster PA, curated by Judith Johnson

2009 Pouring Out My Heart (in bronze), Keystone Center for Arts & Culture, Lancaster PA

2005 Genesis, Projects Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2004 Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, Gratz College, Melrose Park PA

2002 Hand Plants & Impressions, Paula Barr Chelsea, New York NY

1999 Impressions, Ceres Gallery, New York NY

1996 I Never Heard of Such a Thing, Ceres Gallery, New York NY

1993 Small Bronzes, Ceres Gallery, New York NY


 Selected Group Exhibitions


2018 Vibrant Affects, Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia PA, curated by Mat Tomezsko for Revolvd

2018 International Variety, James Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2017 Metal AD: Strategies in Foundry, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA

2016 Branching Out, Lieberman Gallery of Allen’s Lane Art Center, Philadelphia PA

2015 Buddhism in Contemporary Art, LaSalle University Art Museum, Philadelphia PA

2015 Reflections, Engagement Studios, Philadelphia PA, curated by Mat Tomezko

2015 All That’s Jazz, Art Gallery at City Hall, Philadelphia PA, juried by Richard J. Watson

2014 Artist Council Exhibition, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs CA, juried by Donna MacMillian

2014 On the Ground:Four Corners Art Exhibition, The Painted Bride, Philadelphia PA

2014 Ceres At 30, Ceres Gallery, New York NY

2014 Paper Work, Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, NJ, curated by Elise Mannella and Gabriel Romeu

2013 A Fine Line, Bucks County Community College, Newton PA, curated by Joan Manapac

2012 Art is Ageless, New Courtland and Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia PA

2012 There’s Something About Germantown, Imperfect Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2009 In Your Dreams, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia PA

2007 Parallel Worlds, Paula Barr Chelsea, New York NY, curated by Myriam Rotzetter

2006 Metals and More, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia PA, juried by Charles Burwell

2005 Art Miami, Miami FL, represented by Hyder Gallery, Philadelphia PA

2004 From the Studio, CFEVA, Philadelphia PA, juried by Katherine Ware, Phila. Museum of Art

2003 Palm Desert Art Works, outdoor exhibition, Palm Desert CA, curated by John Nagus

2002 Crossing the Line, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia PA, juried by Paul Hubbard

2000 Philadelphia…2000, outdoor exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA

1999 Ceres at Fifteen, Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn NY

1998 A Sense of Self, Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia PA

1998 Philadelphia Sculptors, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton NJ

1997 Art and Faith, Wagman Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA

1996 Closed & Open Form, NY Studio School, New York NY, juried by Michael Brenson

1994 Figuratively Speaking, Hurlbutt Gallery, Greenwich CT

1992 Ceres on Broadway, Ceres Gallery, New York NY

1989 On the Move, Metropolitan Transit Authority, New York NY


Awards and Honors


2011 New Courtland Artist Fellowship, Philadelphia, PA

2008 Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA

2005-6 Artist in Residence, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Philadelphia, PA

2005 Finalist, Southeastern PA Transit Authority gate project

2004 Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT


Selected Bibliography


Lauren Lipton, “Positively Philadelphia: Young Artists Transforming Local Neighborhoods,” CBS Philly, February 23, 2015

Alaina Mabaso, “Northwest Philadelphia Art Studios…,” WHYY/Newsworks, October 18, 2013

Michael Gaudini and Bianca Brown, “An Artist with a Heart of Bronze,” Philadelphia Neighborhoods, December 23, 2011

Nancy Ballou, “Gina Michaels: Creating Airy Collage-like Bronze Sculptures,” Copper in the Arts, Issue # 52, August 2011

Pouring Out my Heart (in bronze), exhibition catalog, Keystone Art and Culture Center, Lancaster PA, Essay by Jenny Jaskey, 2009

Leigh Zaleski, “Philly Artists Open Their Doors,” Philadelphia Daily News,October 19, 2007

Francesca Donlan, “Sculptural Beauty,” The Desert Sun, February 2, 2003

Edward J. Sozanski, “Outdoor Artwork Aims for a Natural Fit,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 22, 2002

Roberta Fallon, “Sticks and Stones,” Philadelphia Weekly, July 10, 2002

Burton Wasserman, “Art in the Environment,” Art Matters, September, 2002

Renee Lucas Wayne, “The Art of Womanhood,” Philadelphia Daily News, November 16, 1998


Education and Training


1993 MFA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA

1976-8 New York Studio School, New York NY

1976 BA, Art & Art History, Oberlin College, Oberlin OH

1975 Apprenticeship with sculptor Joel Shapiro, New York NY