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Subscribe to Streets Dept’s Patreon Now for Access to Extra Content and Events!

May 12, 2021

So excited to announce that Streets Dept will be creating extra content and hosting new events all exclusively for our new Patreon subscribers! 

Why Patreon? Using Patreon to earn support directly from you, our readers, allows us the freedom to focus on the content. We have a lot we want to create for you, and your direct support will help us to sustain that effort. 

What do you get? Oh boy, a lot! We’ve thought a lot about this. We even surveyed y’all a few months ago to sense check our intuitions. Depending on which level you support, you’ll gain access to a new monthly newsletter with local art histories, tips on what Philly gallery shows to check out that month, and new helpful public art walking maps that you can use to give yourself and your friends a tour of some of the city’s most exciting permanent public artworks! We’re also developing a new kind of talk show just for our Patreon subscribers that’ll host freewheeling monthly chats with local artists (think more fun talk show vibes than art lectures). Not to mention a longer-form Local Tourist photo guide to cool spots around Philly, our first-ever year-end magazine to be created with local artists, Streets Dept Excursions (formerly tours) and more.

Check out our Patreon page now to see all the benefits!

Announcing the Streets Dept Podcast “Sidebar” Series

May 16, 2021

Welcome to the first Streets Dept Podcast “Sidebar” series, where we’ll explore different topics and issues with multiple people over several episodes!

For this first Sidebar series, Sidebar: A New View – Camden, we’ll be talking with artists Don Kennell and Lisa Adler, along with the Vice President of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership Meishka Mitchell, to begin a conversation about public art, public space, and the $4 million problem of illegal dumping in Camden, New Jersey.  

Check out the episode below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, 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 much, so thank you for doing that.)

The Streets Dept Podcast is part of the RADIOKISMET family of podcasts. Each episode is mixed and edited by our brilliant audio engineer, Mike Mehalick.

Street Art Project Raises Bail Money to Free Black Mothers by Mother’s Day

April 26, 2021

Since 2018, the People’s Paper Co-op have collaborated with the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund on their annual Mama’s Day Bail Out campaign. Each year they organize exhibitions, parades, press conferences, and events to raise awareness and funds for the project, while sharing the stories, dreams, and demands of formerly incarcerated women with thousands of Philadelphians. In that time, their poster and t-shirt sales have raised over $125,000 to free Black mothers and caregivers for Mother’s Day. And this year, they’re aiming to raise $90,000!

The People’s Paper Co-op (PPC) is a women led, women focused, women powered art and advocacy project at The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. The PPC looks to women in reentry as the leading criminal justice experts our society needs to hear from and uses art to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world.

“Cash bail is the modern-day debtors’ prison,” reads President Biden’s 2020 campaign website. “The cash bail system incarcerates people who are presumed innocent.” Biden and Harris ran on ending cash bail because it keeps people in prison solely for fact that unlike their wealthier counterparts many folks can’t afford their freedom. Ending cash bail is only the just thing to do morally and ethically, it’s a winning policy as well. And a policy change we must hold Biden and Harris accountable to. But right now, there’s women who need your help.

The mural photographed for this post was installed last Friday, April 23 at Ridge Avenue and Spring Garden Street. It’s just one of several installations going up around town right now to promote the 2021 Mama’s Day Bail Out Campaign webstore where you can buy art and tee shirts with 100% of proceeds go directly to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund to free Black moms and caregivers for Mother’s Day. Please don’t wait y’all, your purchase needs to be made as soon as possible to free folks in time for Mother’s Day. Go buy the artwork now, it only takes a few minutes!

Read more…

Camden Launches Exciting Public Art Project to Call Attention to Illegal Dumping

April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day, y’all! This year in celebration of Earth Day there’s an incredible project launching just over the Delaware in Camden, New Jersey that’s bringing artists and public space together to call attention to illegal dumping and its impact on Camden’s community. Called A New View, the six-month-long exhibition features six, one-of-a-kind and family-friendly public art projects designed by nationally recognized artists. And I’m super excited to tell you that Streets Dept is joining the initiative as a media partner to help highlight the project’s goals and artwork! 

A New View features a massive feline designed from repurposed automobiles, a 15-foot-tall steel trash collecting creature, a machine that utilizes mealworms to eat Styrofoam packaging from e-waste, and more. The creations were specifically designed to raise awareness about illegal dumping of bulk waste in Camden, which costs taxpayers over $4 million annually. 

“This project is all about envisioning a future for the city, with art playing a central role in reinforcing Camden as a place for creativity and innovation,” says Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “The sites chosen for the project have long been dumping grounds, literally or figuratively. A New View will transform them and generate interest among community members and visitors to explore different Camden neighborhoods.”

The Project is a partnership between the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, and is funded by a Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant.

The six central installations will be augmented by creative works from two New Jersey artists, Tom Marchetty and Erik James Montgomery. Local woodworker, third-generation factory machinery specialist, and owner of The Factory Workers, Tom Marchetty will add to each site’s overall transformation by designing and building “pod parks” (unique seating areas) at each of the sites. Camden-based photographer Erik James Montgomery’s viral photography series, Camden Is Bright Not Blight, will continue to shine a light on illegal dumping. The photo series, originally launched in fall 2020, was displayed on abandoned buildings throughout Camden, keeping much-needed attention on illegal dumping during the pandemic.

A map of the six site locations can be found here. Below you can find out more information about each installation! 

“Invincible Cat” by Don Kennell and Lisa Adler (DKLA Design)

Location: 1489 Pershing St, Camden, NJ 08104

Invincible Cat is a 36 foot long, monumental panther made from repurposed black car hoods. The sculpture has a steel armature that allows elements of the piece to function as sturdy urban furniture. DKLA Design sees this animal as a symbolic protector of the space it occupies. Panthers are rare creatures and hold a mythic place in popular imagination. They are strong and agile, revered and respected. The sculpture embodies these qualities and engages the imagination of its viewers. 

Read more…

Center City Wall Gets Egged by Playful New Yarnbomb Installation

April 17, 2021

New yarnbomb installation yesterday by Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon) invites you to “take it (over) easy.” Featuring a roughly 6′ by 5′ yarned egg art, the installation can be found now on Walnut Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets in Center City.

On her Instagram, the artist adds: “Before you troll me, yes, I know this is actually a sunny side up egg – but just go with it! I have been having so much fun playing with my [artwork] lately, so I thought I’d try something new. This piece is more 3D than my usual work. The yolk pops off the wall (it’s stuffed with recycled bags.) I’m literally obsessed and excited to continue to play with my medium in new fun ways.”

I love this so damn much, Nicole! I hope you continue playing with your medium like this too, because this brought me so much joy today and I’m sure it’s doing the same for some many more folks just randomly running into it.

See past works of art from Nicole Nikolich around Philly here, and read our 2019 interview with the artist here!

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