Arch Enemy Arts Presents Gerlanda di Francia’s SWEETLY LOST IN BLUE + BEYOND TIDES 3

The artist lineup at Arch Enemy Arts is so fantastic, you might want to put a note in your diary so that you don’t miss out on the exceptional collections being showcased as well as those that are yet to come. If you missed the opening of Calamity Cole‘s CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, Shannon Taylor‘s STAR GARDEN, and Vasilisa Romanenko‘s BOTANICAL DREAMSCAPE, these exhibitions are on view through June 30th – leaving you plenty of time to view them. And if that wasn’t enticing enough, the gallery is gearing up to celebrate Gerlanda di Francia‘s SWEETLY LOST IN BLUE solo alongside the BEYOND TIDES 3 group exhibit on June 21st, with both displays set to continue until August 4th, promising a captivating experience for all you wonderful art enthusiasts out there.

Vasilisa Romanenko

Carving a path of visionary style and symbolic tropes, wander freely through each collection as the individual artists take you on an imaginative journey deep within their creative ideations. Delve into the intricate details of each piece, uncovering hidden meanings and stories that expand your understanding of the their vision.

BEYOND TIDES 3 full lineup // Allison Sommers, Andrea Hooge, Caroline Dewison, Dewi Plass, Doug Boehm, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe, Eric Sonntag, Erica Lyn Schmidt, Erica Peebus, Frank Gonzales, JB Burke, kEda Gomes, Lori Nelson, Lurk Loves You, Marek Osedowski, Maryann Held, Michael Camarra, Miriam Frank, Molly Devlin, Molly Gruninger, Sad Salesman, Sarah Jamison, SV Williams, and Veks Van Hillik.


On view June 21st

Exhibition Dates: June 21 – August 4, 2024

Calamity Cole’s CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, Shannon Taylor’s STAR GARDEN & Vasilisa Romanenko’s BOTANICAL DREAMSCAPE

On view through: June 30, 2024

Arch Enemy Arts

109 Arch Street | Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA | (215) 717-7774

For sales or private viewing appointments, please email info@archenemyarts.com

Regular Gallery Hours:


• Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am – 4pm
• Saturdays & Sundays: 11am – 5pm

Press // Arch Enemy Arts presents SWEETLY LOST IN BLUE by Gerlanda di Francia, a collection of seven new paintings depicting the soft fantasy of a sapphire sea. Using precise lines cross-hatched in acrylic paint, Gerlanda renders sea nymphs and water spirits in her unique illustrative style, creating graceful compositions that capture the currents of her soul. 

“Blue is a color I love; it is related to spirituality, to calmness, to the depth of the sea, to sensitivity and mystery; all of which live in every being. [So for this series] I thought about the sea and the melancholy associated with memories, but also the sweetness that these feelings reside within us…Perhaps my message in this work is not to repress blue moments in the course of life, but to accept them and take them as small parentheses for reflection.” 


Dwelling in the depths of dwindling light, Gerlanda finds quiet, beauty, and comfort with her work. Rhythmic tonal shifts give the feel of rippling water. Pearlescent tears bubble to the surface. And schools of fish and sea stars create a tender sense of camaraderie. The tranquility in these paintings feels like friendship in hard times. Graceful and sincere, they are a beautiful contemplation of the endless ocean, a sweetly serene introspection at sea. 

Gerlanda di Francia is based in Rome, Italy where she studied painting decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts. Deeply inspired by Renaissance art and medieval painting, di Francia intentionally creates a surface texture that is smooth and dry like soft chalk, reminiscent of fresco paintings. SWEETLY LOST IN BLUE is Gerlanda’s third solo feature with Arch Enemy Arts after submitting to our Spotlight Showcase in 2021.



June 21 – August 4, 2024

Press // Arch Enemy Arts presents BEYOND TIDES 3, a group exhibition featuring twenty-four artists, who use their work to explore the vast (and vastly uncharted) reservoir of the sea. Home to an unimaginably diverse array of creatures and organisms, the ocean remains widely unexplored–leaving space for our artists to chart their own course.

From Maryann Held’s otherworldly naturalism in “Leafy Sea Dragon” to Caroline Dewison’s UFOs “Coming in Waves,” BEYOND TIDES III documents alien encounters both real and imagined. Eric Sonntag creates his own mythological narrative, beautifully rendered in relief (“Viper’s Vigil”), and Miriam Frank dreams of friendship with a fjordian whale (“Mon ami le cachalot”). BEYOND TIDES III takes us to places made for dreams. As kEda Gomes puts it describing her piece (“Whale Song”): “It is not down on any map; true places never are” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick).

BEYOND TIDES 3 features work by Allison Sommers, Andrea Hooge, Caroline Dewison, Dewi Plass, Doug Boehm, Eric Sonntag, Erica Lyn Schmidt, Erica Peebus, Frank Gonzales, JB Burke, kEda Gomes, Lori Nelson, Lurk Loves You, Marek Osedowski, Maryann Held, Michael Camarra, Miriam Frank, Molly Devlin, Molly Gruninger, Sad Salesman, Sarah Jamison, SV Williams, and Veks Van Hillik.

Miriam Frank
Lori Nelson


June 7 – June 30, 2024

Press // Arch Enemy Arts present CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, nine mixed media paintings by pop surrealist Calamity Cole, who adorns her intricate watercolor, charcoal, and chalk pastel works with hand-cut glitter, flickering light from flat, matte dreamscapes that wax nostalgic for childlike wonder. 

“In my work, I hope to recreate the imaginative world we experience as children…My worlds are exclusively run by little girls, and I think that’s about taking some control and power back…reclaiming what girlhood means…In [the real] world, there is a lot of damage done to young girls, mentally and spiritually…[but] when I look at [my subjects] I think they exude unapologetic freedom.”

In CIRCUS FANTASTIQUE, a theatrical parade takes place. Reminiscent of the French circus of Degas and Seurat but hidden away in some subterranean forest cavern, unspeakable beasts are tamed by playful pixies. Dimmed lights and echoing drumroll give way to a bizarre bustling menagerie, where tiny, mischievous mademoiselles take to the air, breathing fire and performing sorcery–creating a world that is all their own. 

Calamity Cole lives in Southern California and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Art Institute. She is deeply inspired by children’s books and describes her work as low-brown surrealism illustrations. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she has had long periods of time when she has not been able to make art or use her hands and arms, and she wants “other artists or people newly diagnosed with RA to know that there is hope.” 


Shannon Taylor, STAR GARDEN

June 7 – June 30, 2024

Press // Arch Enemy Arts presents STAR GARDEN by Shannon Taylor, a series of fifteen miniature dioramas and thirty-one teardrop lockets, made from hand-cut watercolor paintings collaged and assembled inside gorgeous antique compacts–tailor-made for those seeking a little celestial intervention. We encourage you to check out the video gallery at the bottom of the page; they capture the exquisite nature of Taylor’s work far better than static images alone.  

“STAR GARDEN is a reference to the idea of stars as ‘wishes’ and how we can plant and care for them in order to see them grow…I would like people to feel a sense of easy joy [from my work]. These pieces are meant to delight and surprise, and to bring a small piece of calm in a world so often fraught and complex.”

Conjuring the simple act of wishing on a star, Taylor sows seeds of wonder with her work. Thousands of miniscule flowers, petals, and blades of grass create enchanted scenes of surreal splendor, each as intricate and dazzling as the next. Vitality and freshness exude from these moon-bathed microcosms. In-hand, they feel as magic-full and precious as the first star in a darkening sky. 

Shannon Taylor obtained an MFA in Illustration from University of the Arts, London, Camberwell after studying at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where she now teaches. Based in the Bay Area, Taylor began showing with Arch Enemy Arts in 2019 after submitting to our Spotlight Showcase. STAR GARDEN is her fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. 

Press // Arch Enemy Arts presents BOTANICAL DREAMSCAPE by Vasilisa Romanenko–eight new, luxurious paintings in acrylic on canvas. Whereas Romanenko’s previous (sold out) collections took viewers to the artist’s native New England home, BOTANICAL DREAMSCAPE is an elegant exploration of the humid canopy at Earth’s equator. 

“I started working on this series in January, when the trees were bare and my garden was devoid of color. I was daydreaming about the vibrant colors and lush foliage of summer, especially that of tropical flora and fauna. This need for brightness in my life led me to create this series. I like to think of it as an escape from reality–a dream of a lush garden teeming with life.”

Bright pops of canary yellow and tangerine burst from Romanenko’s signature scrolling foliage set atop her limitless black backdrop. Wading birds and blossoming flowers are woven into this patterned paradise, like tropical tapestries of life and color. These paintings transport us to a place where we imagine the full fragrance of flowers and the dizzying buzz of insects. The air hangs low as we step outside; wings flutter overhead, and we are immersed in the exotic oasis of the artist’s dream.

Vasilisa Romanenko is based in Connecticut. She attributes much of her artistic education to her upbringing, and she graduated with a degree in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Romanenko’s work quickly became a staple at Arch Enemy Arts after she submitted to our 2020 Spotlight Showcase, and we are ecstatic to be celebrating BOTANICAL DREAMSCAPE, her third solo feature with the gallery.

About the Gallery //

Seeking to fill the need for a centralized hub focused exclusively on new contemporary genres within Philadelphia’s already vibrant art scene, Arch Enemy Arts was founded in 2012 and quickly became Philly’s freshest new venue dedicated to exhibiting emerging and established artists, both local and international. Located in Philadelphia’s Old City District, and with an emphasis on the lowbrow, pop-surrealism, urban, and macabre in a wide range of mediums, Arch Enemy Arts was chosen as Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly”™ Best Art Gallery for its 40th Anniversary issue, voted the “Best Art Gallery in Philadelphia” on Philly HotList in 2013, and in 2012. 

Noah Musher // co-founder & owner
Lawren Alice // co-founder & curator

Arch Enemy Arts Social Media Accounts

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About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.


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