New Germantown art gallery embodies the spirit of Ubuntu | lifestyle


Ubuntu. If you look up the word, you will find a variety of meanings; “Humanity”, “I am because we are”, “Humanity towards others”, “common humanity”. The word expresses a South African proverb that we are all universally connected and connected by humanity and sharing. A fitting name for an art gallery opening in Historic Germantown that aims to bring people together and allow the community to travel the world through the visual arts.

The Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery recently opened its doors on September 5th and is located at 5423 Germantown Ave in Philadelphia. Owner and curator Steven CW Taylor has traveled extensively and has toured 18 different countries. A systems engineer by profession, he remembers going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for free on Sundays as a kid.

“It has cultivated me and made me aware that these things exist. I used to like the large tapestry carpets. It gave me an appreciation for different types of architecture. The way I looked at buildings. The way I see things, ”he said.

This opened Taylor’s mind to the world outside of his Germantown neighborhood, and he toured the world and took photos with his Sony camera.

What started as an interim job has developed into something that he is now giving back to his community – in the spirit of Ubuntu.

Taylor wondered, “How can I help my community get better access to the arts because, in my opinion, you have access to art cultures. It enables you to see something in a different light. See your whole life in a different light. “

His goal is to give the people in whom he grew up and still lives the opportunity to see the world – through his lens. The gallery includes his original photos of various people, landscapes and animals. Taylor hopes this will inspire his community to see the world and appreciate the fine arts.

“One of the reasons I recorded it in Germantown was so that people could gain new experiences. You can come and go to Africa through the gallery. You can go to a national park. Hopefully you can expand to ask a new question, “said Taylor.

As Philadelphia’s first and only fine art photography gallery, Ubuntu is one of a kind. The gallery’s collection includes 21 pieces and each individual piece is one in a hundred.

When asked about the difference between the arts and the fine arts, Taylor replied, “If you ask 30 people, you might get 15 different answers. Visual arts can appear in a wide variety of media. What I break it down on is how long it will last in its pristine condition. Therefore, if properly cared for, my prints are guaranteed for over 150 years. That’s because it’s on archivable paper with archivable ink. It is made to last a certain time. “

Taylor has been around the world 6 times – Greece, Switzerland, Iceland, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Mexico, Spain, Rome and South Africa. He’s going to take that to Germantown. All Taylor photographs are available in limited editions and in a variety of sizes.

“When shopping, I have two different options. I only sell the paper, which allows me to keep the price down, but there is also what I call acrylic, which is essentially a piece of paper mounted on acrylic that is high quality, scratch resistant, UV resistant , anti-glare and all those things, ”he said.

The art ranges from $ 150 to $ 7,000. Admission to the gallery is free and is only open by appointment from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from Monday to Wednesday.

Taylor concludes, “I want my neighborhood to make something really beautiful possible. All of my ancestry is in Germantown and I think of my mother and grandmother as Kings of Germantown. I want the stories that run through this historic place, one of the most historic places in the country that is 80% black, and I want us to be recognized as such. I want our stories to be told. “