SEMIOPTICON / by Thomas Buildmore

Don’t miss the Semiopticon: Exploring Semiotics, Sacred Ground & Street Art, an installation by artists Thomas Buildmore & Morgan Thomas of OverKill Studios, Boston, MA, coming to Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery from August 10-September 11, 2009.  Buildmore and Thomas reduced their installations to simple black and white so visitors can examine the significance, style, and beauty of each design.  This will be a fascinating exhibit you won’t want to miss!

What do wall paintings by Capuchin Monks, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and esoteric street art all have in common? They all demonstrate an inherent human instinct to communicate through symbolic expression, no matter the time period, leaving each space and art form sacred and hallowed for the creator and potentially the viewer. Not unlike impermanent graffiti or Buddhist sand paintings SEMIOPTICON aims to alter the connection and perception of the viewer. In an attempt to transform the gallery into a sacred space, visitors to SEMIOPTICON will experience a heightened connection between historical iconography and 21st century corporate imagery.

Buildmore and Thomas reduced their installations to simple black and white so visitors can examine the significance, style and beauty of each design. By treating the gallery as hallowed ground, even during installation, Buildmore and Thomas challenge visitors to view the gallery as sacred.

The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University is pleased to present SEMIOPTICON by Thomas Buildmore and Morgan Thomas. The exhibition will run August 10 - September 11th with gallery hours Monday through Friday, 11 AM - 5 PM. An opening reception for SEMIOPTICON will be held Wednesday, August 12, 6 - 8 PM. Buildmore and Thomas will feature additional works at the after-party located at Triumph Brewing Co., a proud sponsor of the SEMIOPTICON reception. Admission is free and open to the public. The gallery is located in Nesbitt Hall (3215 Market St).


What: “SEMIOPTICON” An Installation by Artists Thomas Buildmore and Morgan Thomas

Where: Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Nesbitt Hall (3215 Market Sts.)

When: August 10 - September 11, 2009

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 11am - 5pm

Artist reception, Wednesday, August 12th 6 - 8pm

After-party, Triumph Brewing Co. August 12th 9pm

Cost: FREE and open to the public

More information: 215-895-2548 or


Thomas Buildmore is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA where he studied film, video, installation and painting. In 2007, he established Overkill Studios and co- curated the “Wall at Central,” an ongoing project in Cambridge, MA. In 2008 he curated and participated in “Paint It Now” at Distillery Gallery in South Boston. He has since exhibited regularly in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. This past year, Buildmore participated in the exhibit “Cut Copy” at T&P Fine Art Gallery in Philadelphia, PA as well as “The Great OutDoors” at ArtBreak Gallery in Williamsburg, NY. Currently, Buildmore is curating “Grew Up a Screw Up” at Distillery Gallery in Boston and is involved with “Mom & POP-ism” in New York City.

Morgan Thomas, co-founder of OverKill Studios, is a graduate of Williams College in MA with majors in Studio Art and Sociology. She has traveled the world to study historical works of art and to learn the techniques and practices of different cultures including five months in Jaipur, India studying under miniature painter Ajay Sharma. Most recently, Thomas has worked out of South Boston, often showing as part of The Distillery Gallery. She has exhibited extensively throughout New England, particularly in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia and with Paint Pens and Purses, a group of female artists working to redefine Boston’s lagging urban scene through artistic alternatives. Marc Caballero from the Boston Herald regards Paint Pens and Purses as “Boston’s most promising urban artists…” Recent shows include “The Great OutDoors” at ArtBreak Gallery in Williamsburg, NY and the upcoming “Mom & POP-ism”, also in New York City.

About the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery

The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery is located adjacent to Nesbit Hall in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University. This unique architectural addition to Nesbitt Hall was designed by the firm of Sandvold/Blanda and was dedicated in 2002. Since its dedication, The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery has been committed to exhibiting the work of local, national, and international contemporary artists and designers. For more information, please see the gallery website at:

About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design:

Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers thirteen

undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. The College empowers students with the knowledge, skills and techniques to succeed in highly competitive creative fields. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and a faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU) stations, the Kal Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.

In January 2009, the Westphal College received the largest philanthropic gift ever recorded at Drexel University, $25 million. The gift is being used for the development and expansion of the college, purchasing a 130,000 sq ft. Robert Venturi Building on Market St. The Venturi building is one of two buildings that will serve as new home for the design programs of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design beginning in fall 2010.  Drexel University is the premier co-op school in the United States and is a top ranked comprehensive university. Allen Sabinson is the dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. For more information about the College, go to: