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Congratulations Pepón Osorio on the PA Governor’s Award, Ron Klein’s students turn tobacco into art, Nari Ward creates a flag, Wolgin Prize lecture by LaToya Ruby Frazier, Hidden City uncovers Barnes history, Plus Opportunities!

News of our world features student artists, activist artists, a couple solid opportunities via Fairmount Park Conservancy and Mural Arts and a great read for you. Enjoy!



One good way to fight Big Tobacco – turn it into art, The Tobacco Project

Untitled Joseph Grevera cigarettes, paper, foam core, wood 16.5" x 16.5" April 2017
Untitled, Joseph Grevera, cigarettes, paper, foam core, wood, 16.5″ x 16.5″
April 2017
Untitled Joshua Lascano cigarettes, foam core, wood 16.5" x 17" April 2017
Untitled, Joshua Lascano, cigarettes, foam core, wood
16.5″ x 17″ April 2017

SJU students of Professor Ron Klein‘s Appropriated Art class created art from tobacco products that were illegally sold to undercover youth surveyors, who visited tobacco retailers and attempted to purchase tobacco. The cigars, cigarettes and “loosies” in these works of art were originally intended to recruit the next generation of smokers. We are using innovation and art as a tool for social change by repurposing products intended to cause harm and addiction.

The Tobacco Project is a collaboration between Saint Joseph’s University, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Get Healthy Philly.

Gallery Lecture: Art and Social Change
Emily Hage, PhD, Professor, Art Department, Saint Joseph’s University
Ryan Coffman, MPH, CHES, CTTS-M
Tobacco Policy and Control Program Manager, Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health, Get Healthy Philly
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 11 AM
Boland Hall

The lecture and exhibit are sponsored by the Art Department, Saint Joseph’s University

Congratulations, Pepon Osorio, recipient of the PA Governor’s Award for the Arts!  We are huge fans of Pepon Osorio here at Artblog. In his typical, humble fashion, Osorio credited the community in his most recent project, reForm, with helping him get this recognition.  He said on Facebook:

… I must share this one with Philly’s Fairhill community. The ME becomes the WE again! Countless students, principal, teachers and parents who taught me how to persist and get it done! I’ll save the best for the award ceremony.

Nari Ward's Breathing Flag, 2017, now on view on the exterior of PAFA's historic building on North Broad St. Part of the Creative Time "Pledges of Allegiance" project
Nari Ward’s Breathing Flag, 2017, now on view on the exterior of PAFA’s historic building on North Broad St. Part of the Creative Time “Pledges of Allegiance” project

Nari Ward’s Breathing Flag on view now for a month at PAFA (on the exterior of the front of the historic Frank Furness building), part of Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance project.

Starting Monday Aug 14, Creative Time and four other locations across the country will raise Nari Ward’s Breathing Flag, which references Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) flag and an African prayer symbol known as the Congolese Cosmogram, which represents birth, life, death, and rebirth.


“Several of these hole patterns are drilled into the floorboards of one of the oldest African-American churches in the United States in Savannah, Georgia. It is believed that the drilled pattern functioned as breathing holes for runaway slaves who, hiding under the floor, awaited safe transport north,” explains artist Nari Ward. “The union of that moment and of Garvey’s black nationalist flag acknowledge the resilience of the human spirit to survive even as we continue to need to be reminded here in America that Black Lives Matter.”

Pledges of Allegiance is a nationwide public art project by Creative Time. The project is a serialized commission of sixteen flags, each created by acclaimed contemporary artists: Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ann Hamilton, Robert Longo, Josephine Meckseper, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Jayson Musson, Ahmet Ögüt, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, Pedro Reyes, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward. More information here.

Put it on your calendar and get a (free) ticket to see LaToya Ruby Frazier give the Jack Wolgin Visiting Artist lecture at Temple Contemporary. This much accoladed artist documents her community in Braddock, PA, and the impact on the community of the economic downturn. Highly recommended.

LaToya Ruby Frazier
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art, 2001 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Register for a ticket here.

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Jack Wolgin Visiting Artist Lecture featuring Photographer and Video Artist LaToya Ruby Frazier. Using photography, video, and performance to document her hometown of Braddock, PA, her work addresses issues of industrialism, rustbelt revitalization, environmental justice, healthcare inequity, and family and communal history.

Receiving her MFA in photography from Syrac use University (2007), Frazier also studied under the Whitney Musuem of American Art Independent Study Program (2010-2011) and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin (2103-2014). Currently an Associate Professor of Photography at the School for the Art Institute of Chicago, Frazier also exhibits hew work widely in the U.S. and internationally and is the recipient of many awards, including fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s MacArthur Fellows Program (2015), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2014).


Barnes Foundation’s Foundation
One of the benefits of co-working at Cultureworks is that we run into our friends at Hidden City on a regular basis, and they clue us in to some of the hidden art history of Philadelphia. For example, we were talking about the Barnes Foundation with HC’s Pete Woodall and he mentioned that the place where Albert Barnes got his start at the millions that fueled his art collecting was a little-known spot in West Philly that’s overdue its 15 minutes of fame, especially now that the Barnes is in town. A history and preservation advocate, Woodall has a suggestion: “It would be great to get the Barnes to do the research and put up the money for one of those blue State Historical Markers…” Read the post about the Barnes Foundation foundation here.


Open call for artists, temporary art commission – Fairmount Park Conservancy’s 6th Annual GLOW in the Park – Application Deadline Sept. 6, 2017

Fairmount Park Conservancy seeks to commission one artist or artist team to create
a temporary outdoor art installation for the 6th annual GLOW in the Park at the Reflecting Pool at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center. We are looking for a work with a sense of fun, spectacle and intentionality, speaking to its setting as well as creating a unique experience for those attending. Budget of $7,000. Full details and application information here.

Two from Mural Arts and DRPA – Application Deadline for both, Sept. 5, 2017

5th Street Philadelphia Vehicular Tunnel Mural – Budget $20,000 – Deadline Sept. 5, 2017
CONCEPT: Mural Arts Philadelphia is partnering with the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) to create a new mural inside the 5thStreet vehicular tunnel, which runs one way north under the Ben Bridge Plaza in Philadelphia between Race Street and Callowhill Street. The DRPA recently completed a series of improvements in the tunnel, including wall repairs, new lighting, and a dedicated bike lane, and now wishes to commission a mural to further enhance the appearance of the tunnel and deter incidents of graffiti and other vandalism. Complete Vehicular Tunnel application information here.

Ben Franklin Bridge Philadelphia Pedestrian Tunnel Mural – Budget $33,000 – Deadline Sept. 5, 2017
CONCEPT: Mural Arts Philadelphia is partnering with the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) to create a new mural inside the pedestrian underpass at the 5TH Street entry and exit ramps near the pedestrian footwalks of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia. DRPA recently repainted the walls and upgraded the lighting inside the underpass and now wishes to commission a mural to further enhance the space’s appearance and deter incidents of graffiti and other vandalism. Complete Pedestrian Tunnel application information here.