Marriage of Music and Art

Emerging artist Julia Stratton is exhibiting a series of bronze sculptures inspired by the piano music of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin in Philadelphia.

Audio recordings are incorporated into the exhibition, allowing the viewer to experience the title music in the context of the work. Having traveled to Scriabin’s homeland on an Independence Foundation Fellowship, Stratton infuses her work with Russian motifs. Several of her sculptures take on the onion-domed form of medieval churches. The Siberian forest, wolves, lost soldiers, trained bears and religious icons inhabit the constructed bronze worlds of Scriabin Music Boxes.

Also on exhibit are photographs for a large-scale performance piece, Music Box, which will potentially be installed in the atrium of Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. Originating from Stratton’s memory of sitting beneath her mother’s piano as a child, Music Box will be a 25-foot cube with scrim sides and a grand piano on top, inside of which an audience of 88 sits beneath the piano while surrounded by video projections inspired by the music of Scriabin.

Scriabin is an appropriate composer for a visual and musical collaboration because he had synesthesia: the ability to see specific color in relation to specific notes. Using the imagery from her bronze sculptures and Scriabin’s color-to-note assignment, Stratton plans to create video projections in colors determined by the key signature of the corresponding music.

Scriabin Music Boxes is on display at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, 237 South 18 St., Suite 3 A, Philadelphia, Sept. 3 to 24, with the opening reception and a free concert Sept. 10. Gallery hours Mon.- Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 13, 1 – 4 p.m., and Sept. 23, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Astral Pianist Koji Attwood will perform a selection of Scriabin’s compositions in a free concert preceding the artist reception at Jacobs Music; to reserve a seat call (215) 735-6999 or email


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