Augmented Reality monuments from Betty Leacraft, Black Quantum Futurism, Betsy Casañas, Colette Fu, Plus Mayoral Candidates speak, Peter Crimmins talks with arts leaders, and More!

Hello Everybody! Open this treasure chest of a News post, and discover images and links to augmented reality monuments that you can access and "place" in your own landscapes - yes, really. Our friends and partners at N.I.C.E. interviewed the two Mayoral Candidates. The video interviews are intimate, the questions are excellent and you should check out the answers, too! Plus an opportunity from Mural Arts and a great read by Peter Crimmins on arts community leaders' advice for the new Mayor, and a couple great events, from Tyler Graduate Artists Coalition and Amber Arts. Enjoy!


An Asian man with short hair and wearing glasses and headphones speaks at a microphone in a recording studio. He is answering questions from a grassroots journalism platform, We Talk Weekly. The man, wearing a burgundy colored shirt might be the next mayor of Philadelphia
David Oh, Republican candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia, speaks on a Q+A with independent online journalists of “We Talk Weekly.” October, 2023
A black woman wearing glasses sits in front of vertical blinds that are closed, and speaks into a camera. She is answering questions posed to her from a grassroots journalism platform, We Talk Weekly. The woman, wearing a dark green shirt and sporting gold earrings and a smart haircut, might be the next mayor of Philadelphia.
Cherelle Parker, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia, speaks on a Q+A with independent online journalists of “We Talk Weekly.” October, 2023

Grassroots Journalism interviews the Philadelphia Mayoral Candidates

Artblog’s N.I.C.E. partners at “We Talk Weekly,” journalists Charles Gregory, Lauren Sizzle, Lady Sparkle and visiting journalist, Sadja Purple Blackwell speak with Cherelle Parker, Democratic candidate for Mayor and David Oh, Republican candidate. Election Day is next Tuesday, Nov. 7. Please get out there and exercise your right to select the next mayor.

In this independent grassroots media interview (see it on YouTube), Cherelle Parker answers questions that deal with her persona (“Who is Cherelle Parker?”); her position on stop and frisk; safety in the city; her stand on the Hamas/Israel war; and other things. It was a good Q&A! Parker confessed that she is a life-long “people pleaser” and “fixer” who has finally become able to say “no.” Parker comes on at around 21 minutes, and her Q&A is finished at 1:13. David Oh speaks beginning at 1:27.

Four Philadelphia artists create monuments to important Philadelphians using Artificial Reality

Artblog friend, Betty Leacraft alerted me to her participation in Kinfolk, a national project that comes out of New York and is focused on creating community and educating the community’s history through augmented reality monuments to local heroes who have been undersung. There are four Philadelphia artists who were commissioned, and who worked with the tech team at Kinfolk – Betty Leacraft, Betsy Casañas, Colette Fu and Black Quantum Futurism. The monuments they created honor McCoy Tyner (Betty Leacraft), Grupo Motivos (Betsy Casañas), Philadelphia Chinatown (Colette Fu) and Leon Sullivan (Black Quantum Futurism).

A central image shows a man in a blue suit with white hat sitting at a black grand piano where he is playing with gusto, his left hand raised in the air. The man and piano and encircled with a circlet of piano keys, and the ensemble sits atop a 2-step platform that has the name McCoy Tynor written on it. In the bottom left is a QR code to activate the AR app represented by this card. Above the QR code ar letters that spell “kinfolk,” the name of the AR monument project.
A card with lettering and a central image and a QR code show Betty Leacraft’s Augmented Reality monument to musician McCoy Tyner, made with Kinfolk. (Ed Note: You can open this app through the QR code and see the monument and “place” it in your landscape. Try it!)

The monuments are available via an app. Micah The project, Kinfolk is nationwide and has hopes of working in schools to teach about monuments and who has not been honored and how to change that. They told me at last Sunday’s event in City Hall Courtyard, that they’d be sharing the Philadelphia monuments in neighborhoods once they have a schedule worked out. I will update you with those dates once they arrive. I spoke with Dave Dominguez and Micah Milner of Kinfolk.

Three people pose for the camera at an event in Philadelphia. They all wear black t-shirts and hats that have a logo on them with the word “kinfolk.” The Kinfolk project is an AR monument project.
Artist Betty Leacraft (seated) with Kinfolk team members Micah Milner (right) and David Dominguez (left) at the City Hall debut of the Kinship augmented reality monument project in which Betty’s monument, made with the tech assistance of Milner and Dominguez, honors musician McCoy Tyler.

From the Kinfolk website:
Kinfolk is an archive on a mission. We bring underrepresented history closer than ever through immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences. Using accessible technology, experience history come to life in your hometown, community center, local museum, living room, or your classroom.

‍Our ultimate goal: furthering equity, historical justice, and understanding by fueling knowledge of the past. Download our nationally recognized apps, or reach out to create something one-of-a-kind to cater to the needs of your local community. We can’t wait for you to meet your Kinfolk.


What the New Philly Mayor needs to know about the arts – Peter Crimmins of WHYY


Public Art Opportunity – 56th Street Gateway – Deadline November 30, 2023
Managed by Mural Arts Philadelphia on behalf of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Bartram’s Garden and Empower CDC
Timeline: December 2023 to July 2023
Pay: $10,000 design fee ($5,000/Design), +up to $45,000 production budget
Submissions will be accepted through this link 

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), Empowered CDC, and Bartram’s Garden are collaborating on a proposal that aims to reimagine a highly visible empty parcel at the intersection of 56th Street, Lindbergh Boulevard, and Elmwood Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. The project will involve the design and installation of several site-specific works of art to help create a welcoming community hub for the surrounding neighborhood by July 2024. This is the first step of a multi-stage, transformational plan to transform the intersection over an 8-year period.


“What Does Public Art Mean to You Today?”
Monday November 6th
6-8pm at Icebox Project Space
Free. Register here

Produced by Amber Art and Design, in conjunction with their 10-year celebration at the Icebox project Space – Join us for panel discussion featuring Keir Johnston, Amber Art co-founder, Jane Golden, Mural Arts Founder, Jose Ortiz Pagan, artist and curator, moderated by Li Sumpter, artist and founder of Myth Media Studios.

TYLER Graduate Arts Collective (GAC) OPEN STUDIOS
NOV. 10, 4:30-7PM
2001 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

From Jake Lahah (He/Him)
My name is Jake, and I’m an MFA candidate at Tyler School of Art + Architecture, and one of the leaders of Tyler’s Graduate Arts Collective (GAC). GAC is hosting an open studios event on November 10th from 4:30pm to 7pm. This year we have over 50+ MFA candidates participating across all of our studio disciplines. This will be our first public event in 2023 that allows our graduate students to network and showcase their work.

GAC has been around for the past 5-6 years. It’s a student run organization within Tyler that focuses primarily on events and programming for Tyler MFA students in the fine arts and graphic design. Each year new 2nd year candidates take on leadership roles and help facilitate our open studios showcase, our offsite exhibition at the Atelier, and our thesis show.