[Rachel examines a deeply moving group exhibition focusing on the lives, dreams, and stories of prisoners in penal facilities all over the U.S. –the artblog editors] You begin with tangible material–concrete, chain-link, cement. Then move through the imaginary, faux-photo backdrops, dreams, desires. All the while, you are immersed in the physical and mental world of contemporary prison life, viewing both reality and reality hoped for. Prison Obscura, on view at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery through March 7th, is not only comprised of great art–but poignant narratives that deserve witness. Curated by Pete Brook, the exhibition presents a critical look at ... More » »
(Rachel visits a block party and finds inspiration in the community activities and spirit. –the artblog editors) Pearl Street resembles anything but its name. Dark, narrow, and lined with dumpsters and loading docks, it feels claustrophobic and uninviting. Most Philadelphians probably experience the street as a tiny artery in the neighborhood’s navigation system, a shortcut to and fro, or, for the community’s homeless, a potential space to sleep. Along the street’s four blocks stretching from 10th to Broad Streets in the North Chinatown neighborhood, are cultural organizations, tech offices, Catholic grade schools, and auto repair shops. Luxury apartments are moving in. ... More » »
Sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend a person or persons, for reasons unknown, painted over the Dox Thrash Tribute mural at 2442 Cecil Be Moore Ave, obliterating the image in one outrageous stroke of vandalism. The Mural Arts Program, which commissioned the mural, learned of the defacement on Monday when the owner of the building on which the mural was painted phoned it in. He was as shocked as the Mural Arts staffers. “It’s official vandalism,” said Thora Jacobson, Design Review Director at MAP, adding that it seemed obvious it was a professional job. The mural spanned the side of a ... More » »
“The most important thing art can do is create a conversation between people in a room.” Martha Rosler’s quote would appear to be an inspiration for artist Ashley Hunt and his talk at Temple Contemporary on September 10. The gallery was packed with professors, students, and art enthusiasts ready to engage in the discussion. “Questions of Art, Participation, and Social Engagement” was a conversation between Ashley Hunt, Philip Glahn, Associate Professor of Critical Studies and Aesthetics at Tyler and the audience. Glahn posed questions and led the discussion. The evening was planned as a discussion in four parts, but with ... More » »
As people pass 1515 6th Street in South Philadelphia, on the exterior wall of the building they will see drawings of two large empty circles embraced by falling leaves and rhythmic swirls. Inside the two circles is mostly white space — primed wall — ready to be filled with painted panels that touch on issues of immigration. “Aquí y Allá” (“Here and There”), which chronicles stories of immigration told by teens in Mexico and in Philadelphia, was organized by mural artist and Philadelphia native Michelle Ortiz (who has worked with the city’s Mural Arts Program). For over a year and ... More » »
News Fleisher Art Memorial @ the White House Student Zulmarie Nazario, 16, attended a ceremony on November 2 at the White House where she received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of the Fleisher Art Memorial. The prestigious award is for Fleisher’s work to develop learning and life skills in young people through the arts and creative experience. Nazario is one of many students who participate in Fleisher’s after school program in which a number of activities help young people explore their artistic and creative abilities.
News Lucien Freud dies at 88 Painter Lucian Freud – grandson of Sigmund Freud – died on July 20 in London at age 88. Copious commentary everywhere for this master portraitist and figure painter. The Washington Post obituary is is a good overview of the artist’s story.
I got this heart-thumping bit of news from Mural Arts, which is capitalizing on the Steve Powers’ Love Letter murals for Valentine’s Day, and being a sap, I had to share. The thumper is that SEPTA, that’s right, SEPTA, is sponsoring a contest entitled Did You Find Love on SEPTA? Riders can submit their love stories of how SEPTA trains, buses or trolleys led them to love. Submissions go to firstname.lastname@example.org from now to Feb. 1, 2010.
Last time I saw Annette Monnier (at Little Berlin’s BYOTY last weekend), she said she was going to take the West Philly el tour of ex-graffiti artist Steve Powers’ A Love Letter for You series of murals for the Mural Arts Program. I said I was going to do that too, but she got it done, and what a job she did! Here’s what she had to say.
I ran into Dread Scott in New York, which is how I learned that he’d done a work for Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program. Dread Scott and Mural Arts? Scott describes himself as making revolutionary art to propel history forward.