Congratulations, Colored Girls Museum and Conrad Benner, Memorial to Homicide Victims, Petrucci Foundation exhibit at Cree Winery

Happy Holiday! I hope you enjoy a day of relaxation with friends and family. We are very happy The Colored Girls Museum had a positive meeting with the Zoning Board and will be remaining as an important and cherished museum in a Germantown row house! In other News this week, congratulations to Conrad Benner for his new podcast with WHYY! There is word about a unique memorial to homicide victims, and notice about an exhibit of works in the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection at the wine company, Cree, in New Jersey. Enjoy!

Artblog Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving, All! Whether you celebrate or not, I wish you a relaxing break from your routine this Thursday. We will be reviewing the past year over the next month for the Liberta Awards, our annual roundup of notable events and other things to celebrate or complain about! Don’t forget Artblog in your annual giving! We would love to have 100% of our readers contribute what they can, from $5 to $500. Thank you if you have contributed! And if you haven’t please consider a donation in our 20th Year! Link to our Paypal. xo Roberta



A poster with four colorful pictures shows The Colored Girls Museum in a row house in Philadelphia, and explains the museum’s recent zoning problems.

The Colored Girls Museum update!

“We would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support of The Colored Girls Museum. We have some paperwork to file to meet the needs of The Zoning Board. We consider this day a great step to a favorable outcome. We couldn’t have done it without you all!” (posted Nov. 15 on Facebook)


Street Art Podcast with Conrad Benner on WHYY!
Congratulations, Conrad Benner, one of the hardest-working arts journalists in the city! See the trailer

 A greenhouse with a door labeled “House of the Living” is surrounded by lush grass and shrubs. On the panes of glass are large black and white photographic images of men and women and children lost to homicide in Philadelphia.
House of the Living is a greenhouse and memorial to homicide victims. Courtesy of House of the Living.

Notable Homicide Victims Memorial in Elkins Park
Three organizations collaborate in Homicide Victims Memorial – House of the Living in Elkins Park
From spokesperson, Cara Anderson of Swarthmore College, one of the three organizations in the collaboration:

Once an overgrown greenhouse located on the historic, 42 acre Elkins Estate in Elkins Park, House of the Living is a memorial to people lost to homicide, and a peaceful place for families and community members to heal and reflect. House of the Living is a multi-year collaboration between EMIR Healing Center, FarmerJawn & Friends Foundation Fund, and Swarthmore College that addresses the homicide epidemic in Philadelphia in an unprecedented way. These three groups have come together over the goal of creating a memorial that is a place of healing and a beacon of hope for change in Philadelphia.

The critical work of engaging with the families of homicide victims depicted in the memorial is led by EMIR Healing Center, an organization that has been healing Philadelphia’s community and co-victims of homicide for the past 20 years. EMIR works closely with families, ensuring that the memorial is a respectful representation of their loved ones.

The inside of a greenhouse shows seeds being started in flats on a flat table-like structure. Windows of the greenhouse are adorned with black and white photographic images of men, women, children who are victims of homicide in the city.
Seeds being started inside House of the Living. Courtesy of House of the Living.

Inside the greenhouse, FarmerJawn uses regenerative farming practices to grow organic produce for Philadelphia families in need. FarmerJawn is a Black woman-owned agricultural organization that provides farm-fresh foods and food education regarding politics and justice. They first began tending to this greenhouse in 2021; before then, the greenhouse had been neglected and defunct for some 13 years.

Esteemed faculty from Swarthmore College’s Art Department, Associate Professor Ron Tarver, and Assistant Professor Jody Joyner, lead the design of the memorial. Tarver and Joyner see the transformation of the greenhouse as an enduring tribute that reflects their reverence for the families impacted.

In the first phase of the project, the group built on FarmerJawn’s previous work of revitalizing the greenhouse and surrounding landscape. They also conducted trauma-informed interviews of victims’ families, and designed and installed 90 engraved acrylic panels with the portraits and names of homicide victims from Philadelphia. This phase was backed by a grant from the Engaged Humanities Studios of the Lang Center at Swarthmore College.

The second phase of the HotL project is focused on raising significant funding to complete the project. The funds will support production and material costs, programming, improving greenhouse infrastructure, and landscape design and implementation.

When the project is completed, all 410 glass panels on the greenhouse will be replaced with individual portraits. The completed memorial will visually reflect the enormity of Philadelphia’s homicide problem, as the city sees an average of 433 homicides annually. House of the Living is open weekdays from dawn until dusk. Learn more about House of the Living.

Swarthmore College Art Department
Ron Tarver, Associate Professor of Art,
Jody Joyner, Assistant Professor of Art,
Swarthmore College is a highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering that has empowered students to contribute to a better world for more than 150 years.
EMIR Healing Center
Aja King, Community Coordinator,
EMIR Healing Center is a Philadelphia-based organization that offers a wide range of support for families, individuals, and community members who have been affected by homicide.
FarmerJawn & Friends Foundation Fund
Brandon Ritter, Chief Operations Officer,
FarmerJawn is a Black Woman-owned agricultural organization that provides farm-fresh organic foods and food education regarding politics and justice to communities regardless of socioeconomic status. FarmerJawn & Friends Foundation Fund is the non-profit 501c3 educational affiliate of FarmerJawn, serving as an educational platform for urban agriculture.


An image shows a warm and welcoming old fashioned dining room with a wood table and chairs in front of a wood framed fireplace. Above the fireplace is a colorful landscape painting by James Brantley, framed in a gold frame.
James Brantley, The Delaware, oil on Canvas, 2012, hangs above the mantle in Cree’s central room. Image courtesy of the Petrucci Family Foundation.

Petrucci Family Foundation Collection exhibit at Cree Wine Company in Hampton, NJ

Cree Wine Company (Cree), one of New Jersey’s best places to taste, learn, dine, and buy wines from all over the world, has refreshed its walls with a third iteration of African
American Art courtesy of the Petrucci Family Foundation (PFF). The art collection has been on view for Cree’s patrons since the wine company opened its doors in 2021. While the art travels to top museums and exhibitions all over the country, the only permanent, publicly accessible display of the stunning Collection is at Cree in Hampton, NJ.

“It is an unbelievable honor and privilege to have these works of art from the Petrucci
Family Foundation on display. The collection brings warmth, color, and joy to each space, adding another level of ambience that enhances the entire food and wine experience our guests receive at Cree Wine Company,” says Chris Cree, Founder and Master of Wine.

The current selection of works features a range of artists, including Monica Ikegwu, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Richard Mayhew, James Brantley, Berrisford Boothe, YoYo Lander, Charles White, Louis Sloan, Artis Lane, Benny Andrews, Lezley Saar, Derrick Adams, and Katrina Andry. With each new iteration of artwork, PFF and Cree organize artist talks, dinners, and wine pairings to spotlight the work. Dates TBA.

Claudia Volpe, Director at the Petrucci Family Foundation adds, “One of PFF’s primary goals is to educate folks about African American art, and we are privileged to work with a variety of museums to that end. But we rarely get to install museum-quality pieces in a more relaxed environment where you wouldn’t expect to find work of this caliber. It’s been very gratifying to collaborate with Chris Cree and learn about the enthusiasm
these pieces have generated with his guests. We’ve organized several successful programs that feature the artists and will be hosting more in the near future.” See a full list of upcoming events at Cree.

About The Petrucci Family Foundation
The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art brings focus to the full range of African American art and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art. In 2012, the PFF began to collect the works of Black Artists in the belief that we cannot truly understand American history without understanding African American history. Now home to more than 500 works of art in all media, the PFF Collection continues to grow with new additions selected on the advice of professional educators, curators, and artists, emphasizing projects whose goal is to inspire the next generation of storytelling and cultural literacy in America.

About Cree Wine Company
Cree Wine Company was founded by Chris Cree, New Jersey’s only Master of Wine, and one of only 56 Master of Wines in the country and 418 worldwide. Cree’s goal is to offer wine lovers of all types to experience, taste and purchase wine. Cree offers a casual setting in the historic Perryville Inn, where patrons can expand their knowledge and appreciation of wine, while enjoying stunning art and tasty small plates that are paired with a wine suggestion. Guests can enjoy various wines from all over the world from their Wine Spectator award-winning wine list with prices ranging from $10 to several thousand dollars per bottle.