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Explore the New Streets Dept Print Shop!

November 21, 2016

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Museum-quality prints and framing of select Streets Dept photos are now available for shipping through Prints.ly starting at just $28… Click HERE to explore!

Amberella Installs ‘Now We Conquer’ Series on Frankford Avenue

February 19, 2017

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As always with Amberella‘s work, I absolutely LOVE this!

One of the latest in her Goth Heart series, Amberella writes in an Instagram post along with her new ‘Now We Conquer’ wheatpastes: “The state of the country feels like a tangled mess. It’s scary, heartbreaking, and things feel uncertain. My heart goes out to those that are being banned and feel unwelcome. We will show you that you are loved and that we want you here. We will do all that we can for you to share this voice and fight for you.”

See more of Amberella‘s work here!

Philly Artists Join NYC’s BRILLIANT ‘Art in Ad Places’ Project

February 19, 2017


(Photos by Luna Park)

Yes, yes, YES… I freaking love this!

Art in Ad Places is a NYC-based, 52 week public service campaign that’s replacing advertisements with artwork. The project began at the start of 2017. Each week, Art in Ad Places will partner with a new artist to install art at payphone kiosks around New York City.

In only its sixth week, three – or half – of the artists that Art in Ad Places has worked with have come from Philadelphia. Which, in my opinion, speaks volumes about the amount of talented artists working and thriving right now in Philly! Looking at the photos above those artists, in descending order, are: Michelle Angela OrtizJim Houser, and Adam Wallacavage.

Michelle’s contribution in particular is a great example of how this project and its artists can use this platform to elevate political and social issues. Michelle’s piece depicts a 13-year-old boy named Erick and reads the following quote from him: “If my parents are deported, I will have to raise my sister.” About her installation, Michelle says, “My portrait of Erick represents the many families affected by the threat of deportations. In this current anti-immigrant climate, it is necessary to represent the images and messages of immigrant communities fighting for a better life in this country.”

You may remember Michelle Angela Ortiz’s banner for the Streets Dept co-organized Inauguration Day public art protest, Signs of Solidarity, was created to have a similar effect as she wrote in her Artist Statement: “At this moment when our communities of color are at a higher risk of being targeted in this country, it is crucial that we remember how beautiful, resilient, and powerful we are. That when others fail to see our light, we continue to shine brighter and be a beacon to our families, our children, and our communities.”

Art in Ad Places was created by artist Caroline Caldwell and former Philly dude and Vandalog Founder RJ Rushmore. On their website, the duo list the many reasons for the creation of their project, namely their belief that outdoor advertising is visual pollution that can be psychologically damaging and which is ultimately pushed on viewers in the public space without their consent. All of which I couldn’t agree with more. (In fact, check out Streets Dept’s ‘Purpose Statement’ here, if you’ve never read it!)

Can’t wait to see if more Philly artists participate in this project. Y’all should definitely follow along on Art in Ad Places’ Instagram here!

And if you love this project as much as I do, then you’ll surely like the many not too dissimilar (though certainly less focused/curated) ad takeovers that have been popping up around Philly for the last year from artists including NDAKid Hazo, and Joe Boruchow.

Joe Boruchow’s Latest Ad Takeover Criticizes Wall Street’s Apparent Elation with President Trump

February 17, 2017

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Titled Prosperity Theology, Philly-based paper cutout artist Joe Boruchow‘s latest piece of resistance art aims its judgement at Wall Street. As Joe wrote to me in a text about his newest piece, “The Stock market is hitting record highs while the U.S. descends!”

Joe’s installation is located (for now at least, these types of installations tend to be removed fairly quickly) overtop a bus shelter ad at 19th and Walnut streets in Rittenhouse by means of what’s generally called an “ad takeover.” Ad takeovers seek to retake the messages and art that’s displayed in the public space from commercial advertisers. While many artists have certainly been working against commercial advertisers in the public space for some time, the effort has been supercharged over the last couple of years thanks to an artist named Jordan Seiler who will create and ship bus shelter ad keys to anyone who asks for one, in nearly any major city in the world. In fact, there’s a great video about Jordan’s campaign on Slate.com which you should absolutely watch.

These ad takeovers have been happening in Philly since at least October of 2015 by local artists such as NDA (NDA, in fact, has done these several times), as well as Kid Hazo during the DNC and, of course, Joe Boruchow.

In addition to this installation, Joe Boruchow has been creating, in my opinion, just some of the best anti-Trump/resistance art coming out of Philly, which you can see more of herehere, and here.

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Hand-drawn on Girard

February 16, 2017

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Omg I LOVE this!

Found on Girard avenue, between 4th and 5th streets, on the boarder of Northern Liberties and Kensington. I have no idea who the artist is, or why this is. I can’t even really read the words, to be honest. But nevertheless I persistent in loving it.

Comment if you know anything about it, or if you know about more of these around Philly!

“To The Loners”, Gigantic Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear ‘Installation’ Pops Up in Northern Liberties with A Simple Message

February 15, 2017

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A lovely message “to the loners” and “for the dreamers” popped up yesterday, Valentine’s Day, addressed from “the loneliest” at 2nd street and Girard avenue in Northern Liberties asking simply: “Make the world creative.” Read more…

Philly’s Street Artists Don’t Like President Trump. Sad!

February 14, 2017

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“I’m not one to talk politics, but fuck this dude.”Kystnd, Philly street artist

It’s been less than a month since so-called President Trump took office, but Philly’s artists (like most of the rest of us) aren’t having it. Any of it. And many Philly street artists are beginning to step up to create what I guess you could call art of the resistance.

This includes several artists who don’t typically create political artwork, like Kystnd, Nero, and Tim Gibbon. As the quote from Kystnd above highlights, Trump and his alarming first few weeks in office appear to only be watering the seeds of dissent.

At this rate, I can only imagine that we’re all in for a good deal of political street art for at least the next four years. (God willing only four!) Read more…

Go See The Village of Arts and Humanities’ First SPACES Exhibition Before It Closes Next Week

February 1, 2017

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If you’ve never been to Philly’s Village of Arts and Humanities, you are missing OUT… I really can’t emphasis this enough, I freaking LOVE this place!

On the outside, The Village of Arts and Humanities offers a brilliant array of 15 art parks and gardens in the mold of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project (see some photos I took of The Heidelberg Project in 2015 here.) On the inside, The Village offers the people in the North Philly neighborhoods that surrounds it a space to read, dance, sing, make music, and explore their creativity.

“Our mission is to amplify the voices and aspirations of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression and personal success that engage youth and their families, revitalize physical space and preserve black heritage. We value the power of creativity as our most powerful and effective tool for catalyzing healthy and sustainable change—with, for and as neighbors to our community.”The Village of Arts and Humanities

One of my favorite things about The Village is their new SPACES program, an artist in residence program that promotes collaboration between international artists and North Philadelphia residents. The first iteration of which has brought us Olanrewaju Tejuoso’s incredible Material Memory exhibition!

Olanrewaju (aka Lanre) is a painter, sculptor, and performance artist from Abeokuta, Nigeria who works in discarded materials. When he arrived in North Philly, Lanre surveyed the streets for materials and inspiration. He often came across candles, bottles, and teddy bears — the remnants of temporary memorials created by community members grieving a death in the neighborhood. In conversation with Village staff and community members, Lanre decided to respond to the community’s need to remember its loved ones through art.

For clarity’s sake: All of the photos in this post that are indoors are of Olanrewaju Tejuoso’s Material Memory exhibition. The outdoor photos show work that’s there year-round.

If you’d like to see Lanre’s work in person, you’re in luck. Because of its great reception, Material Memory, which was originally slated to close on January 30th, will now be extended one week and have a Closing Celebration on Tuesday, February 7th. All the details of which can be found here!

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