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Streets Dept Podcast – SN 2, EP 2: Building Tech to Better the World, An Interview with MilkCrate CEO Morgan Berman

December 11, 2018

So excited to chat with Morgan Berman for the Streets Dept Podcast today! Morgan is an award-winning social entrepreneur and the CEO of MilkCrate, a mission driven tech company that helps other mission driven organizations achieve their impact goals.

Morgan has presented at Forbes 30 Under 30, was listed by the UN Foundation as one of the “Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch,” and even invited to the White House for Clean Energy Plan talks. She has been a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Fellow at the Rothschild Fellowship, and an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow. She’s also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu Blue Belt, which she got into to help deal with the stress of starting her own business.

Check out my conversation with Morgan Berman now below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple Podcasts/ iTunesGoogle Play, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.)

Season 2 of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our brilliant sponsors at Temple University and Lyft! Each episode is mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick and recorded at the legendary Indy Hall coworking space in Old City, Philadelphia.

Streets Dept Presents: The Shop Philly Artists Holiday Gift Guide (2018)

November 24, 2018

For the last seven and a half years, I’ve documented and celebrated countless Philly artists who create in Philly’s public spaces, and as time has marched on more and more of the artists that I document have begun to create shops that let y’all easily purchase their work online. So, as we’re now at the edge of the holiday shopping season, it occurred to me to create a list of a number of these artists’ online shops so that you can not only shop local but support local Philly artists by buying their work for gifts!

Now, to avoid leaving you with a potentially intimidating/unusable list of hundreds of artists, I’ve decided to narrow my list a bit with two simple parameters: 1) that they have created work in public space around Philly in the last year that’s been documented on this blog, including artists that have participated in one of my Streets Dept-curated exhibitions, and 2) that they, and this is probably obviously, actually have online shops and sell things over the internet.

These parameters have created what I think is a super helpful list of 21 artists’ online shops that range in price from a few dollars to a couple thousand dollars, and range from art pieces to prints to jewelry and tees. Truly, there’s something for everyone in these artists’ stores, so you really got to click on all of them. But, if you’re in more of a hurry, I’ve got a list of some of my favorite art galleries and locally owned shops at the end of this post that you can pop into for last minute gifts!

To see the artist’s shop, just click their name or any image of their work… And thank y’all for supporting local artists! <3

Read more…

Meet Old Saint Gritty: The Kenzinger Bearing Santa That Philly Needs and Deserves

December 13, 2018

And a Very Gritty Christmas to you…

New wheatpaste today by Marisa Velázquez-Rivas sees Gritty as Santa complete with a box of “Phestive Philly” goodies!

You can find the wheatpaste now at Girard avenue and Hope street, but this spot gets buffed by its building owner pretty regularly so you likely don’t have much time to see it if you did want to see it in real life. That is, of course, until Gritty visits us all on the evening of December 24th. And I guess in that case you should follow Marisa’s lead and leave out Kenzinger and yellow mustard topped Philly pretzels!

Check out our Summer 2018 interview with Philly street artist Marisa Velázquez-Rivas here!

Adam Crawford’s Stunning New Mural in Queen Village

December 13, 2018

Omg I am in LOVE with this new mural by Adam Crawford outside American Mortals on Bainbridge street between 5th and 6th streets in Queen Village, created with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia!

“The mural is permanent until American Mortals moves out or the owner decides to paint over it,” Adam responded when I emailed him some questions.

“Mural Arts gave me free reign over the design with the exception of a few minor changes before I got final approval,” Adam added when I asked about the mural’s design and creation. “This was very much planned out. I had only done one other mural before and it was much simpler, so I did as much prep as I could so I wouldn’t have any problems. A lot of the major forms were (believe it or not) inspired by what I imagined to be a massive spray can painting a big zig-zag, and then I developed it from there!”

Hope to see more murals from Adam around Philly!

Streets Dept’s Top 15 Artworks from Art Basel 2018

December 10, 2018

So excited to visit Art Basel (and Miami) for the first time this last week, and I wanted to pull together a list of some of the artists and artworks that caught my eye!

A few caveats here, namely that I did not go to every single Art Basel event because I was only there for 3 1/2 days and there is so, SO much to do and see and traffic was bananas. So for that reason this is not a complete review of Art Basel, per say, but of the 4 big shows I did get to see, shows that came highly recomended by firends of mine who’ve been going to and participting in Art Basel for many years: Scope, Untitled, Pulse, and the Juxtapoz Clubhouse. Also, there are so many artists I enjoyed that haven’t made this list just solely to keep this list a reasonable length. It could truly be Top 50 and maybe next year I’ll do that.

Hope y’all enjoy this little peek at Art Basel 2018…

15) Hilda Palafox – Juxtapoz Clubhouse, special all Mexico City group show

“Hilda Palafox, ‘Poni,’ is on of those illustrators whose drawings could be a poem. She grew up and is based in Mexico City, she has an bachelor’s degree in Integral Design and since 2006 has been spreading her beautifully crafted dolls around her home country. Her illustrations carry an air of pureness and at times, a very elegant apathy. She creates gentle balances amongst colors and black and white. She enjoys mixing and matching techniques, for each piece the results are always held together by gracefulness. Subtle suggestions of expressions and emotions held together by light bodies and romantic surroundings. In recent years she’s embarked on bringing her work into delicate ceramic pieces. She has illustrated for magazines, singers and several national and international brands. Apart from her illustration work she has been commissioned to adorn murals from the paradisiac island of Holbox in Quintana Roo to crusty walls in Mexico City rooftops. Her characters fit in, they invite you to watch, from their pupil-less glances to their doe eyed stares, a seduction that could only be a vision.” (from Ivonne Alcántara of Juxtapoz)

14) Dennis McNett, Paradigm Gallery + Studio (Philadelphia) – Juxtapoz Clubhouse

“Dennis McNett has been carving surly block prints for over 20 years. His encouragement as a kid came from his blind grandfather, who told him over and over again that his drawings were good. Later influences came from the raw high-energy imagery pouring out of the early 80’s skateboard and punk rock scene. His graphic aesthetic and love for narrative work has been translated in many ways and has been displayed internationally. Dennis’s work ranges from larger than life Viking ship performances/parades (Manhattan, Philladelphia, Kansas City, St. Louis,) to resurrecting Nordic giants on West Broadway in Manhattan, Dragon slayings in Oklahoma, masks, installations, performance, sculptures, unique hand-carved wood carvings, traditional relief prints, and graphics.” (from Pratt Institute)

13) Okuda San MiguelScope

“Prismatic, mystical, and infused with color, Okuda San Miguel’s murals, street art, sculptures, tapestries, photographs, installations and more vibrate with an energy that is impossible to ignore. Laden with enigmatic imagery and highly pigmented geometries, his multi-disciplinary work both suggests and challenges themes of spirituality, modernity, environmentalism and the human condition.” (from Design Boom) Read more…

Streets Dept Presents: “GLOW” by Amberella at Mission Taqueria for #ArtAtMission

December 4, 2018

For years, Amberella has wheatpasted her Goth/Power Heart street art series around Philadelphia. This winter, she’s showing her work in a new light…

Streets Dept and Mission Taqueria are excited to present our winter Art at Mission exhibition, GLOW by Amberella!

“Something that I’ve always loved about the Goth/Power Hearts is that they truly have so many meanings depending on where they are placed and what mind is interpreting them. Personally my work feels very intense and emotional because it’s coming from my deepest feelings, heart, and soul. The words shared represent all different types of struggles, love, relationships, the rebuilding of myself, and personal growth. With this installation, GLOW, I have had the opportunity to take a lighthearted spin on my work. Originally intended to speak to sassy dating or relationship banter, these words instead take a fun and playful twist when presented in a food establishment. Are you talking about me or my taco? Or is my taco talking to me? The space at Mission is filled with an undeniable glow, and I’m excited to share my work as pure eye candy – it looks delicious!” -Amberella

GLOW by Amberella
WHEN: December 2 – February 28, 2018 (FREE, see daily business hours here)
WHERE: Mission Taqueria1516 Sansom Street
HASHTAGS: #GLOWbyAmberella#ArtAtMission

Purchase Exhibition Artwork
Both the UR HOT and EAT ME neon installations by Amberella are available for purchase, as well are new commissions; please contact the artist here if interested in discussing either!

UR HOT and EAT ME tees and prints by Amberella are exclusively available at Mission Taqueria through the length of the exhibition (ending February 28), please see daily business hours here if you’re interested in purchasing those! Read more…

Philly Street Art Interviews: Meet Bob, Philadelphia’s Reigning Sticker King

December 3, 2018

(Photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale)

Welcome to Streets Dept’s newest series of street artist interviews, created in partnership with Philadelphia’s own unofficial official street art museum, Tattooed Mom. Each month, Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale will sit down with one local street artist to ask them about their work. Together, we’ll learn more about the incredible artists getting up around Philly.

Before Bob Will Reign, Philadelphia had no sticker art scene to speak of. It’s not like the streets were pristine—there was plenty of graffiti—but it rarely strayed from the realm of spray paint. No stickers adorned the backs of street signs. No characters sprang up from inside newspaper bins.

Back then, Bob was just a kid from New Jersey who liked graffiti and design. Now,
he’s looked upon as Philadelphia’s sticker king, one of the first two artists who originated the culture of hand-drawn, cut-out sticker characters here in Philly.

I sat down with Bob Will Reign at Tattooed Mom to learn about how it all got started, and how things have changed, both for the artist and for the culture.

Streets Dept: Thanks for stopping by, Bob! So when did you slap your first slap?
Bob Will Reign: The first Bob sticker was probably 2002 or 3, but I started with regular graffiti. I remember seeing it when I was little. In Jersey, there was this guy near me—I never met him or anything—but he wrote “BUZ.” And that happened to be my nickname that my dad gave me when I was little. So I would be driving to the mall or something with my mom and be like whoa, that’s my name, like, huge on the wall! I never really thought about it, but subconsciously, since I saw that, I kinda started paying attention to it. I was always into drawing and doodling, and one day I just started to do letters. And then I started to do different words, and I was just like man, this is pretty cool!

But Bob started, actually, when the internet became more available. I would just get on Google to look up graffiti; like why do people do this? because it was so interesting to me. In Europe at the time, people were doing more of the stickers like what we see here—characters and logos and things. That’s kind of what got me into Bob, because at the same time, I was going to school for design. So graffiti letters were really interesting to me and I liked doing it, but once I saw that people were doing it with logos and designs and stuff, I was like I think it would be cool to do THAT—to come up with my own logo that I could put everywhere. Read more…

Streets Dept Podcast – SN 2, EP 1: The Rise of Marcus Branch

November 27, 2018

Welcome back to the Streets Dept Podcast! After a wildly fun (and successful!) nine-episode first season that came out in late 2017 through early 2018 interviewing the likes of Senior Staff Writer R. Eric Thomas, Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, hip-hop artist Chill Moody, urbanism-focused creative agency CEO Antoinette Marie Johnson, and street art legend Swoon, we’re back for a second season!

The Streets Dept Podcast is an interview podcast that features one-on-one conversations with the creative minds shaping the world around us from street artists to poets, activists to politicians, small business owners to community organizers! The podcast is hosted by founder, Conrad Benner (aka me, y’all).

To help us kick-off Season 2, we’re chatting with NYC/PHL-based photographer Marcus Branch, who’s just truly taking the art world by storm. I genuinely think Marcus has a good chance of being one of those rare household name photographers one day (and maybe sooner than we all think.) In recent years, Marcus has shot for Afropunk, Marie Claire, i-D Japan, and Interview Magazine to name just a few. His seemingly effortless talent, drive, and eye combined with his passion for documenting queer, black, non-binary communities, and people of all backgrounds, makes his body of work look and feel like the beautiful future we all deserve, where our differences are respected and celebrated.

Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes, SoundCloud, Google Play, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.)

Season 2 of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our brilliant sponsors at Temple University and Lyft! Each episode is mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick and recorded at Indy Hall in Old City, Philadelphia.

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