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Congratulations, 13 Knight Foundation grantees including Taller Puertorriqueño, BlackStar Film, CultureWorks, Congratulations Bridgette Mayer for The Art Cure, Plus UArts Dean Mark Campbell on Brown Boxes, and Diane Burko, Randall Sellers and Opportunities!

Congratulations and opportunities abound in today's News Post! - Artblog Editor



A brief chat with University of the Arts Dean of Art, Media & Design, Mark Campbell, about the Brown Box Project

You’re probably familiar with bus wrappings, those advertisements printed on plastic then seemingly shrink-wrapped to the exterior of SEPTA buses. With the same materials and techniques — but with a totally different aim — neighborhood beautification, not advertising — the UArts Brown Box project has shrink-wrapped 30+ utility boxes in the Washington Square West neighborhood in a project that is three-years old and has been heartily embraced by the Neighborhood Association and the neighbors, some of whom have even contributed to the cost of the project. Brown Box 2016 was a competition for University of the Arts students to get real world experience working with fabricators and bringing art into the public realm.

Brown Box project
Brown box being wrapped in the UArts Brown Box project
Brown box project
Brown Box project, finished installation, 13th and Spruce, artist – Corinne Sandkuhler.

Campbell told me the project is part of the university’s campaign to get to know their neighbors in Center City and “to get art into the world. That’s the intention…and that the works be engaging and enrich our (urban) experience… and that the students get a cash prize, their name on the box and have a public art work.”

The debate in academe has been for a long time focussed on “What could art be?” said Campbell. But, he said, that doesn’t matter anymore. “We’ve established that art is ever changing and expanding, so wringing our hands over what is art is not so interesting anymore.”

The question is now, Campbell said, “How can art be integrated into life, so it’s not that you go into a special place for art then go out into a dull world.” But rather, art should be in the urban environment. “Philadelphia has a history of art in the environment — public art, mural arts…so in the same spirit, not “What is art”? but “Where is it?”

“To be a part of the process of bringing art into quotidian life is special. That’s the appropriate project now for artists.”

Funding for the project comes from UArts, Washington Square West Neighborhood Association and neighbors. The school worked with the Streets Department and got approval for the project from the Art Commission. The box wrappings will last 5-10 years. Look for the boxes (which, by the way, house emergency switches for the traffic signals) between 7th and 13th streets and from Locust to South streets. Brands Imaging was the printer and installer. See the project website for more images.

Bridgette Mayer’s memoir, “The Art Cure,” is available now at Amazon. Congratulations, Bridgette!

Knight Foundation drops $3M on Thirteen Philly arts groups in 2016 arts grants – Big Congratulations to Taller Puertorriqueño for “Yo Soy Oro” project; CultureWorks for “Venture” project and Black Star Film Festival!

group of people
Knight Foundation grantee, Black Star Film Festival

In addition to Opera Philadelphia, which previously received $2.5M in Knight funding, the 2016 grantees are:

Asian Arts Initiative ($20,000) Supporting the development and production of “Salt Soul,” a site-specific performance by Jungwoong Kim featuring dance, music, video and vocalization that explores three incidents of sudden loss, disaster, and grief from an Asian-American perspective.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra ($20,000): Creating a multi-sensory experience with “Synaesthesia,” which pairs music, art and a meal prepared by a celebrity chef at the Barnes Museum that explores the connections between the aesthetic and sensory experiences of each genre. The project is inspired by the branch of philosophy- somaesthetics – which explores the role of the body experience in aesthetic appreciation.

Black Star Film Festival ($50,000): Celebrating filmmakers of the African diaspora, and sharing their stories with Philadelphians, at the 2016 festival this summer. More than 4,000 people attended the festival which explored the theme of migration.

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia ($50,000): CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia ($50,000): Increasing the capacity of individual artists and small arts organizations to get the support they need for their work through VENTURE, a new funding model that offers a shared revenue development team and technology for small-scale projects and organizations. VENTURE will develop and test new ways to provide affordable fundraising and marketing support to cultural organizations and creative enterprise.

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania ($5,000) Increasing artistic literacy and developing new audiences for contemporary art with a free public education series “What is Contemporary Art?” The sessions will be taught by a combination of University of Pennsylvania faculty, local artists and writers at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance ($50,000) Helping arts organizations use data to build their patron base by partnering with Code for Philly on a year-long initiative pairing technologists and arts groups. The event will include meet-ups with leaders in politics, sports and retail to talk about how they use data to transform their organizations and businesses.

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and PATH – Preserving, Archiving & Teaching Hip Hop ($50,000) Showcasing Philadelphia artists during the 2016 Democratic National Convention by activating the city’s main thoroughfare, Broad Street, with the arts, including a median mural, a performance of the contemporary hip-hop musical “The Last Jimmy” and a youth-created public art installation

MoBBallet ($50,000): Documenting the experiences of black ballerinas with media installations telling the stories of four trained in Philadelphia starting in the 1940s. As more ballets seek to diversify their companies, MOBB wants to share the history of blacks in ballet to create a legacy that connects to modern audiences.

Painted Bride Art Center ($25,000): Exploring new ways to attract millennials to the center with the Secret Show series, where the subject of the show is unknown to the audience until it premieres. The series curated by emerging artists creates opportunities for those one-time-only, “I was there” experiences that artists and adventuresome audiences alike are seeking.

Philadelphia Dance Company ($40,000) To engage audiences with “Straight Outta Philly” – a new PHILADANCO! production in collaboration with acclaimed choreographer and Philadelphia native Rennie Harris that will blend street style hip-hop and modern dance in November.

Philadelphia Fringe Festival ($25,000): Attracting and building a diverse FringeArts audience more reflective of the Philadelphia community by supporting the 2016 Fringe Festival to present African/African American performance artists in performance, educational programing and facilitated conversations with artists.

Taller Puertorriqueño ($25,000): Engaging artists and residents in challenging perceptions of the city’s Fairhill neighborhood with Yo Soy Oro, a multi-media campaign and exhibition. This effort builds on a successful 2014 initiative, where the award-winning artists Escobar-Morales created a fake advertising agency to develop a campaign that contemplate economic and social issues through the lens of advertising.

Three Aksha ($5,000) Creating new choreography for classical Indian dance by bringing master artists from India to Philadelphia to form a 20-minute piece based on the Indian text Natyashastra, an ancient and classic Sanskrit piece on stagecraft in the performing arts.


Environmentalist-artist Diane Burko will speak at Morris Arboretum on Oct. 5 at 2PM about her most recent projects relating to melting polar ice caps and glaciers and her thoughts on climate change.

Wed. Oct. 5, 2PM
The Intersection of Art & Environment
Morris Arboretum
Members – $15
Non-Members – $20

Randall Sellers
Randall Sellers and me at Sellers Bookstore in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Last weekend, Steve and I took a day trip to Jim Thorpe, PA, a cute and historic town in Carbon County (ie coal country). While there, we visited Randall Sellers, former Philadelphian, awesome artist and owner of Sellers Books and Fine Arts, on the Jim Thorpe’s main street. It was great to catch up, and Sellers, who has been in Jim Thorpe for nine years now, told us he is the President of the Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce! He runs a great bookstore, with lots of art books, great for browsing — with an art exhibition space in the back. And, yes! He’s making art, some of the tiny utopian dreamscapes he was known for in Philadelphia (see my Philly Weekly article) and some oil paintings influenced by the hilly Pocono landscape around Jim Thorpe.  Hi Randall.  It was great to see you!


Mural Arts call for artist proposals for project at Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club

The Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club is a hub of activity for the surrounding neighborhood, serving youth in its programs, and fostering long-term investment from Alumni of all ages, parents, and staff. Historically, this Club was groundbreaking as the first Boys & Girls Club to serve African American youth and first to be led by an African American Director. Building off of this incredible legacy and their continued role in the community, this mural project seeks to portray African American leaders, including inspiring inventors from STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), prominent Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club Alumni, and the founders of The Links service organization. The mural will serve as inspiration in its final imagery, and provide opportunities for Club youth to research African American inventors and community leaders and participate in key moments throughout the process.

The mural will be located on the exterior of the Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club located at 328 W Coulter St on a Northwest-facing wall adjacent to Morris Street and viewed from W Coulter St. The wall is 30’4” x 24’ (730 sq. ft.)

The mural will be painted directly on the wall in Spring of 2017. Throughout the project development, the artist is expected to attend community meetings to present their design vision. Additionally, the artist is expected to conduct two paint days with select older youth participants and members of The Links service organization. Artists submitting proposals must have a firm grasp of mural making skills and diplomacy in their collaboration with community members. The Mural Arts Program has years of expertise and will work closely with the artist throughout the process. The Mural Arts Program will be responsible for maintaining the mural after its completion which is expected to have a lifespan of at least 10 years.

Deadline for submissions: Monday, October 17, 2016
Selected artist to be notified: late October-early November 2016
Discovery/Design Phase:
Mural Community Meetings: November-December 2016
Mural Design Reviews: December 2016
Mural Final Design Unveiling: December 2016-January 2017
Production Phase: April-May 2017
Completion: May-June 2017
Dedication Event: June 2017

ELIGIBILITY: This call is open to established and emerging artists, or an artist team, with priority given to artists who have a strong connection to Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, who live in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood or have in the past and currently live close enough to commute regularly, and who have demonstrated experience in managing a project of this magnitude. Given the mural theme, priority will be given to artists who have a strong figurative and narrative portfolio.

Please send us the following elements by email and all labeled with your name:
1. Artist/Collaborative Statement of Interest, two pages maximum, (a) explaining how you would approach this project, including how you would engage the community in the design process (b) describing relevant experience that would contribute to your success in completing this project, and (c) confirming your availability to undertake this project within its timeline in Philadelphia
2. Current Resume or Bio
3. 5 digital images- examples of your work that give a sense of your skill and approach to this project

Submissions or questions should be addressed to E. Maude Haak-Frendscho, Project Manager:

Opportunity from Philly Photo Art Center to get rid of something

We’re reaching out to our community for donations of new and used DSLR cameras and equipment for students in Teen Photo, our free after school program. Can you help?

Growing by leaps and bounds each year, more than 60 public high school students from across the Greater Philadelphia region will take part in Teen Photo, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s free after school program. Over the course of an entire school year, these budding young artists receive access to PPAC’s equipment, materials, and expert teaching staff as they learn to think critically and creatively through photography. PPAC relies on generous people like you to make Teen Photo a transformative experience for as many students as possible.

Can you donate a DSLR camera or other equipment today? We invite you to Josh can answer any questions you may have about the program and students’ needs. We’ve also set up an Amazon Wishlist that notes items students still need – from flash drives to photo paper to snacks, any purchase you make from the Wishlist will come right to our door, and into the hands of a young photographer! Anything you can contribute helps.

Thank you for supporting these young artists!

PCAH issues guidelines for 2017 project grant applications

The guidelines are now available for download at

From Paula Marincola, Director of PCAH…I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and our eligibility requirements, and then make an appointment with Center program staff byOctober 15 to discuss project ideas. We request that development staff members be accompanied by appropriate curatorial or artistic program staff for these meetings, as they are particularly relevant for those who are conceptualizing the proposed projects.

To schedule an appointment, contact:
Exhibitions & Public Interpretation
Chloe Reison

Erin Read

Please note these important dates, for your planning:
November 16, 2016 at 4 p.m. — Letter of Intent to Apply deadline
Week of December 12, 2016 — Notification of invitation to apply
March 1, 2017 at 4 p.m. — Full Project grant applications deadline