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Everything You Need to Know About “Streets Dept Walls,” On View Now at Fashion District

October 10, 2019

Streets Dept Walls
A Public Gallery

WHEN: Sept 19, 2019 – December 31, 2019
WHERE: Fashion District Philadelphia

Streets Dept Walls is a celebration of art, our beloved city of Philadelphia, and ourselves! Featuring a collection of 10 new temporary murals by 11 Philly artists, our project works to honor Philly’s status as an arts capitol and a place for creatives.

#StreetsDeptWalls are located in not one but two different areas of Fashion District. Our West Wall is located on the Concourse Level by 11th Street near Oath Pizza; and our East Wall is located on the Concourse Level by 9th Street near the As Seen On TV store.

Project created by curator Conrad Benner (founder of StreetsDept.com) with support from Fashion District Philadelphia. Read more…

New South Philly Mural Asks What Is The Future of Migration in the US?

November 17, 2019

What is the future of migration in Philadelphia, and in the United States in general?

That’s the question that guided the creation of a new mural at 4th and Mifflin streets in South Philly. Designed and painted by lead artist Layqa Nuna Yawar with students and youth from the neighborhood, the project was created with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia and includes a digital element made with web developer Ricardo Cabret.

“This is a question with evolving answers, but one thing is true: migration is an act of imagination and resilience, the project’s website reads. “Up against geography, language, and other challenges, migrants’ imaginations create cities, communities, and culture wherever they go. In this multimedia project from Ecuadorian muralist and self-described migrant Layqa Nuna Yawar, middle school and high school students dove into these complex questions. After all, these dreams are what helped to create the city of Philadelphia, and continue to shape it to this day.”

This prompt was presented to a group of local youth in a series of art and code based workshops. Youth from Mural Arts ongoing programs at Southeast by Southeast community center and Furness High School learned about the history of immigration in Philadelphia through an artistic lens, reflecting on personal and external narratives. Most of the participants share a recent or generational migrant experience in the U.S. All of them are tasked with the weight of our future, and all of them have a vision that is as global as their dreams.

The youths’ ideas and artwork informed the final mural design, all of which is archived online at migrantimaginary.muralarts.org, built with web developer Ricardo Cabret who also taught students the fundamentals of HTML coding. It’s a really cool resource that allows you to see all the thought and inspiration that was put into this finished mural!

New Wire Street Art Installation in Center City by Reed

November 16, 2019

New wire art installation from Baltimore-based street artist Reed located at 13th and Market streets in Center City!

So Reed’s installations are made with super thin wire and hung high in the air on traffic light polls, which usually makes them pretty easy to miss. I’ve always found that a particularly endearing aspect of Reed’s work, not too dissimilar to sticker artists who get higher up on the backs of streets signs. Like, it can be a bit of work to spot those kinds of work, but if you do it’s a bit of a treat to discover. And there’s something about this 13th and Market spot that almost makes this new piece by Reed even more invisible. The busyness of that intersection or maybe the taller buildings surrounding it offering less of sky’s negative white space to see it. Either way, I noticed more people than usual really confused about where I was pointing my camera when I shot the photos for this post.

Depicting a wide-eyed heart shaped figure looking through a telescope with its fingers crossed, Reed’s 13th and Market installation could symbolize any number of things. I think I see it as a hope for kindness among strangers navigating the streets, the city, and their lives.

See previous installations from Reed around Philly here!

European Arts Collective Builds Massive, Climbable Tape Sculpture Inside A Vacant Warehouse at the Navy Yard

November 8, 2019

Holy shit: Philly, meet the #NavyYardCocoon!

Excited to get a preview this week of  Group X and the Navy Yard’s latest public arts project, an interactive tape sculpture created by experimental European arts collective Numen/For Use. Titled Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon, the project opens tomorrow, Saturday, November 9th inside 1701 Langley Avenue (Building 694) at the Navy Yard and runs through December 1st open Thursdays and Fridays 12-8PM and Saturdays and Sundays 10Am-8PM (closed November 28 for Thanksgiving, as well as November 17.).

With their sculpture, Numen/For Use wish to transport onlookers and those who navigate the installation both literally and metaphorically. This is Numen/For Use’s first installation on the East Coast, and their second in the United States.

Made with 21.5 miles of translucent tape, Enter the Cocoon is not only super surreal to look at and walk around, but you can also climb in it too! Yes, you read that right. Roughly five people at a time can “enter the cocoon.” No tickets or RSVPs are required for you to enter the building to see the sculpture, but you can reserve a spot (for free) on the project’s Ticketleap site, if you’ve like to guarantee an entry up into the Cocoon itself. Otherwise, you may just have to wait in a long line or potentially have to come back if the lines are too long. For those with children, note that kids must be at least 40 inches tall to enter the installation, and children younger than 11 must be accompanied by an adult.

“For us it is 100 percent important that the public can go inside and experience these works. When people see the installation, most of them are curious, and then they want to go inside. But since you have to take your shoes off and crawl on all fours, it makes the social borders come down. Visitors enjoy it together in a very communicative way even though they often do not know each other or talk to each other,” said artists Numen/For Use. “This is why we like to see it in the public. Maybe it is somehow like in a different world and some rules and borders do not count for a while.”

Following the wildly popular Sea Monsters HERE inflatable art installation with artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon is the second collaborative partnership between Group X, a group of Philadelphia-based artists, curators, and organizers whose members are anonymous, and the Navy Yard, the “coolest shipyard in America” and leading model for repurposed military base where nearly 15,000 employees work at 170 companies, surrounded by iconic parks, Complete Streets, and a riverfront greenway. Read more…

Klip Collective’s “Room 303” at BOK in South Philly Is A Whole Damn Thing, Don’t Miss It!

November 5, 2019

(Photo from Klip Collective)

In LOVE with Klip Collective’s Room 303, an immersive art experience on view now (free) 10am-4pm on weekdays next to Klip’s studios on the 3rd Floor of BOK in South Philly! Check out the video embebded below to get a better sense of the installation. (Those with trypophobia be warned.)

Led by video artist and projection mapping pioneer Ricardo Rivera, Klip Collective is a Philly-based art practice founded in 2003 that produces site-specific video, light, and sound installations.

Like most of their work, Klip’s experience at BOK is only temporary, so don’t wait long to go see it! There is currently no closing date, but you can follow them on Instagram here for more information and announcements.

P.s. Some of y’all might remember Klip Collective’s first installation at BOK in 2016, which was equally impressive and beautifully poignant. Check that out here, if you don’t remember!

Announcing Streets Dept Art Shop #2, One-day Street Art Shop At Tattooed Mom

November 4, 2019

The Streets Dept Art Shop is back – and just in time for the holiday season! It’s a perfect opportunity to come buy art from nine of your favorite Philly street artists.

Streets Dept Art Shop #2
WHEN: Friday 11/15, 6-10pm (FREE ENTRY, 21+)
WHERE: Tattooed Mom, 530 South Street, 2nd Floor
(Click here for the Facebook Event page) 

Here’s the thing, y’all: As far as I’m concerned, Philly is full of some of the most creative and hard-working street artists anywhere in the whole damn world. It’s one of the reasons I have LOVED running Streets Dept over the last eight and a half years. And it’s one of the reasons I’ve been so excited to work with Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale and Tattooed Mom (Philadelphia’s own unofficially official street art museum) to create a monthly Philly Street Art Interviews series. Now that our second season of interviews is complete we’re building a pop-up shop with the artists just for you!

The shop will feature artwork for sale by all six of our Season 2 interview guests along with three more artists we’ve chatted with in the past, including:

Kid Hazo
Under Water Pirates
Symone Salib
SEPER
Morg
Lace In The Moon
FaithsFunnn
Darkmeal
Taped Off TV

I hope to see you there! Be sure to invite your friends and mark yourself as ‘going’ to this event to see updates over the next couple weeks with more details about what each artist will be selling.

In the meantime, catch up on any of the brilliant and insightful interviews with these artists that you might have missed over the months here!

A Wall for Puerto Rico Rises in Kensington

November 4, 2019

(Photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale)

A little more than a month ago an event called The Giveback: Puerto Rico was held at 5th street and Cecil B. Moore avenue in Kensington in celebration of this year’s Puerto Rican festivities as well as a fundraiser to provide education to the underserved areas of Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. Organized by community leader artist and Puerto Rican native Christian Alexis Rodriguez-Pagan (aka TAMEARTZ), the project culminated with some new work around 5th and Cecil including this awesome large-scale mural created by @busta.art @imsedbr, @desilmula, @michaelpistash, and @tameartz!

“Over 400 schools have closed across Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria,” the project’s GoFundMe page reads. “Rural areas, like Christian’s hometowns of Mayagüez and Añasco, are often overlooked following natural disasters and struggle to receive and establish basic human services. Money raised from Puerto Rico: The Giveback will be used to create sustainable education programs and computer labs for community centers in areas that have not received relief… Understanding the magnitude of the project, Christian is working with local philanthropists Victor and Madeline Neris Negron, musician Asher Roth, and community sponsor Chadwick Smith of Flow Development & Technology to raise public awareness.”

And the GoFundMe page is still live and actively looking for donations, so if you’d like to contribute please learn more here.

P.s. Busta, who we interviewed last year, also created this new piece at 5th and Cecil (photographed below)!

Join Us for A “Streets Dept Walls” Artist Talk on 11/18 (6PM)

October 30, 2019

Join curator and StreetsDept.com founder Conrad Benner for a talk with our #StreetsDeptWalls artists!

Streets Dept Walls is a celebration of art, our beloved city of Philadelphia, and ourselves! Featuring a collection of 10 new temporary murals by 11 Philly artists, our project works to honor Philly’s status as an arts capitol and a place for creatives.

Come hear from the following artists and learn more about their lives, their art, and their careers thus far – not to mention their murals for Streets Dept Walls:

Marian Bailey
Uriah Bussey
Dora Cuenca
Manuela Guillén
Tim McFarlane
A’Driane Nieves
Nicole Nikolich
Quinn Rodriguez
Symone Salib
Meg Wolensky

“It’s undeniable, art is such a powerful tool. Art can connect us to ourselves, our communities, and our world in ways that few other things can. And art in the public space is a tool that’s well used when it reflects our humanity in all its beauty and complexity.” -Conrad Benner

Artist Talk – Streets Dept Walls
WHEN: Monday, November 18th (6-8PM)
WHERE: The Cube Plaza at Fashion District Philadelphia (located at 9th and Market streets)
**Event is free and open to all**

Hope to see y’all there! In the meantime, learn more about Streets Dept Walls and our artists’ temporary murals here!

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