Philly Creative Guide

Guest Columnist

Janel Frey

Proximity Gallery:
A new addition to a neighborhood in transition.
by Janel Frey, 1 Dec 2008

Janel Frey, a native of Jackson, New Jersey, left the roller coaster of a town in 1998 to attend University of the Arts, Philadelphia. There she obtained her BFA with a concentration in Printmaking. Throughout the years Frey has worked as a freelance painter and printmaker for local establishments around the city. Frey opened Proximity Gallery on July 13th 2008, and is currently working on expanding the local arts movement within the Fishtown community. Frey who lives in Fishtown is always working on new collections of paintings in her home/studio that resides next to the gallery.


If you haven't heard Fishtown is going through a neighborhood metamorphasis. Historically Fishtown has been associated with the fundamentals of a tight working class community. The face of a neighborhood outlined by hard labor and "duke it out in the street mentalities" has been transforming into an amalgamation of various peoples. Wherever conversation flows around our great city one can overhear talk of Fishtown's revitalization and emerging art scene. The neighborhood streets are peppered with new art galleries, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and theatre. Fishtown First Friday's are becoming the place to be. People have been flocking from all over to see what the buzz is all about.

Janel Frey | Proximity Gallery

Proximity Gallery's First Friday attendance is evidence of a Fishtown Arts boom. On any given First Friday one can witness long time residents and new Fishtowners commiserating in the neighborhood gallery. It seems as though this love of the arts has a way of unifying the residents.

Proximity, located at the corner of Dauphin and Gaul streets, opened in July 2008, and is a space dedicated to showcasing local established and emerging artists. Proximity's primary goal is to expand the artistic development of the community. Owner's Janel and Peter Frey plan to enrich the community by exhibiting work that reflects, stimulates, and challenges cultural, social and individual values. There is no specific genre, thereby allowing every show to be completely different.

Janel Frey | Proximity Gallery

Anyone who passes through the storefront's beautifully renovated facade can find works of local painters, printmakers, photographers, and sculptors. Proximity also features consignment of jewelry and crafts by local artists. It is a great place to purchase affordable artwork produced by members of the community.

Starting in December, Proximity will be hosting an array of small group workshops. The calendar of events will be posted on the gallery website www.proximityart.com. The Freys are hoping to excite all members of the community, with a special emphasis on the youth.

Janel Frey | Proximity Gallery

If you are the type of person always in search of that "off the beaten track" adventure, then Fishtown's art scene is where you need to be. Along with Proximity Gallery be sure to check out other neighborhood galleries such as Bambi, Highwire, Goldfish, Memphis Flats, Germ Books, Memphis Taproom and Rocket Cat Cafe.

Print Article Brought to you by: Janel Frey | Proximity Gallery

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