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Announcing Streets Dept’s “10 Years Photo Show”

March 2, 2021

What better way to celebrate 10 years of my photo-blog StreetsDept.com than with a photo show! Over the next two months I’m thrilled to be hosting an open exhibition at BOK‘s new Workshop space, a new commercial, food, and artistic corridor that’s now open to the public and currently home to Two Persons coffee, Miles Table restaurant, and DNA Flora!

Streets Dept’s 10 Years Photo Show celebrates a decade of art on the streets of Philadelphia. Started in 2011 by photographer and curator Conrad Benner (that’s me), StreetsDept.com is an award-winning website that documents and celebrates Philly’s street art and public art. 10 Years Photo Show offers a visual look back at some of the most memorable moments from the blog’s history. From photographing artist Ishnikts yarnbombing the former Frank Rizzo monument in 2012 to commissioning artist Loveis Wise’s beloved temporary “Your Voice Has Power” mural during the 2018 midterm elections, this photography exhibition will recall fond memories for longtime Streets Dept followers and offer new folks a glimpse at the ephemeral side of Philly’s walls.

10 Years, 68 Photos

10 Years Photo Show opens March 11 through April 25, 2021; open hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 5pmSaturdays from 9am to 6pm, and Sundays from 9am to 2pm; enter BOK’s Workshop spaces through the entrance at 821 Dudley Street

Please note that BOK is following all current COVID safety guidelines, and that the exhibition space for Streets Dept’s 10 Years Photo Show will only allow a limited number of people in at a time. That just means you may need to wait for a few minutes before entering the exhibition. And as always, masks are required at all times inside BOK and this exhibition.  

Excited to share these photos and memories with you all, hope you’re able to make time for it over the next number of weeks! 

First 100 Days: Artist-created Posters Demanding Action from Biden/Harris

January 24, 2021

So excited to launch First 100 Days today​, a new art project designed to engage the public around policy issues that could be addressed in the new presidential administration!

I’ve created/curated this project with 13 Philly artists and support from Mural Arts Philadelphia because the first 100 days of a new administration are crucial. The first three months set the tone for the next four years and show us where the priorities lie for our new president and vice president. It’s exactly the time that our united voices can work to push change.

Why posters? It’s simple: messages in the public space can work to influence the discussion. That’s why we have commercial outdoor advertising. And in a city as walkable and densely populated as Philly, our home windows can also work as a quasi-public billboard space. I’m sure you’ve also noticed the uptick in folks using their windows to display campaign and protest signs.

#First100Days offers you free artist-created and community-inspired posters to display in your windows for the first 100 days of the Biden/Harris administration to talk about your policy hopes. Each poster highlights a priority that our artists think President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris should address during the first three months in office.

Click here to go to our Mural Arts page where you can not only get the free files to download and print any of these 13 posters, but there you’ll also find information on how to stay in contact with your representatives in DC to keep inquiring about action on the issues you care about.

Before you go though, hear from the artists themselves about why they choose their policy issues:

Read more…

Artist Shanina Dionna Depicts Black Lives Matter Protest In New Port Richmond Billboard Installation

March 4, 2021

Love this new temporary installation from Philly-based artist Shanina Dionna that’s replaced an ad with art at Lehigh and Aramingo Avenues in the Port Richmond/ Kensington area!

This is one of a series of art takeovers presented by SaveArtSpace‘s Whistling in the Dark project, a cross-media, tri-city, public art exhibition curated by Caledonia Curry (aka Swoon) and Gianni Lee that’s currently displaying art on billboards in New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Shanina’s artwork, titled “Show Up” (2020), depicts COVID-masked protesters standing in front of a line of police outside Philadelphia’s MSB Plaza with some of those protesters holding up their fists and/or signs. Based off the context and timing of this work, it’s presumable that it depicts a Black Lives Matter protest. And of the two protest signs being held up by individuals illustrated in the artwork one reads, “Enough is enough,” the other, “RIP Christopher Ridley.” The latter being the name of an off-duty police officer who was killed by on-duty police officers when he tried to break up a fight on the streets of White Plains, New York in 2008. Christopher Ridley was a 23-year-old Black man in plain clothes, the officers who killed him were found not liable by a federal grand jury.

If you’re interested in supporting the artist, Shanina is selling prints of this artwork starting at $25 on her web-store.

P.s. You may remember that Shanina is currently exhibiting a mural with us at Streets Dept Walls, if you haven’t checked that out yet. And Caledonia Curry (Swoon) was one of the first people I ever interviewed for my Streets Dept Podcast, and you can listen to that episode here.

New Le Josh Mural Under I-95 in Northern Liberties is Stunning

February 24, 2021

That’s it. That’s the blog post. I was in Northern Liberties last week and walked by this stunning (and relatively new) abstract work from Le Josh that was created on Fairmount Avenue under I-95 in October of 2020. Absolutely love it!

Amberella Experiments with Mosaic

February 21, 2021

New series this month from Philly/LA-based artist Amberella! And this new series sees the artist’s ubiquitous street art hearts turned into mosaics. The two new installations read “Choose Love” and “Choose Joy,” and they’re located on Frankford Avenue at Master Street in Fishtown and at Spring Garden and Percy Streets in Spring Arts, respectively.

Amberella expanded on why she was interested in experimenting with mosaic in a recent Instagram post: “My heart is singing. My creative body is so nourished. I’ve been craving more layers to my creative process. I chose to honor that desire and make creative time and space for that. I was yearning for color, texture, something more to explore, and an even more expressive translation of my heart. The journey of my heart art surely isn’t over… but it wanted to elevate. I’m still so in love with the streets so it’s there where they still find their home.”

This new series was able to come to life with the support and guidance of Philly textile artist, Katia Tiles, who helped show Amberella how to bring her vision to life in this new artform. And I think this is such a great way to grow and push this street art series, I think it looks fantastic. In fact, I’d be really curious to see a larger scale Amberella heart mosaic mural too one day!

See past work from Amberella around Philly here!

“Queer Valentine” Street Art Installation Today from Symone Salib and Candy Alexandra González

February 13, 2021

Absolutely adore this new collaborate street art installation by Philly-based artists Symone Salib and Candy Alexandra González, located on South Broad Street at Fitzwater Street!

Titled Queer Valentine, the artwork features a wheatpaste by Symone that the artists writes on Instagram uses an illustration that they made for a new queer coloring book that’ll soon be released in the UK surrounded by paper-like marigolds made by Candy. The text in the artwork reads: “The identity of my love has become a fluid movement.”

This is the first time these two artists have ever collaborated for any street art project, but hopefully not the last!

See past work from Symone Salib here, and from Candy Alexandra González here.

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