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Announcing September’s 2nd Saturday Street Art Tour: Bella Vista

August 16, 2017

Y’all, this past weekend’s 2nd Saturday Street Art Tour exploring the Spring Arts/Eraserhood neighborhood was a blast. And I’m so excited to announce September’s tour today…

Join me September 9th for my 2nd Saturday Street Art Tour: Bella Vista! This two-hour, guided walking tour will explore the street art, graffiti, murals – and more! – of Philadelphia’s Bella Vista, Queen Village, and South Street neighborhoods. Hosted my me, Conrad Benner.

Get your ticket(s) now here!

Yarnbomb photo by artist Binding Things.

Streets Dept Partners with WeFilmPhilly to Showcase Philly from New Angles

August 20, 2017

Y’all: Over the next 12 months, Streets Dept will be documenting Philly’s public art and architecture in ways I’ve never to be able to before. So excited to announce a new partnership today with WeFilmPhilly!

WeFilmPhilly is a new, Philadelphia-based (duh!) video production company that specializes in high quality drone aerial photography, aerial 4K video, and video production. Together, WeFilmPhilly and Streets Dept will collaborate on a series of 12 videos to be released monthly over the next year that explores Philly’s public art and architecture from above with aerial drone footage and sound recorded from the ground.

This is apart of WeFilmPhilly’s new #PhillyMinute campaign, which aims to collaborate with local creatives on one-minute videos celebrating the incredible city around us. So, while Streets Dept is the first collaborator and our partnership will extend over the next year, WeFilmPhilly is also looking to work with Philadelphia area artists, Instagrammers, and local businesses and institutions on individual videos exploring Philly in a minute. If you’re interested in collaborating with WePhillyPhilly, reach out to them here.

For our first video, we wanted to start at the center of our city, home to easily the most iconic architectural gem in the city, and record the sights and sounds of a minute at City Hall. Hope you enjoy – and stay tuned, much more to come!

The View from the Roof of 448 North 10th Street

August 16, 2017

Every once in a while I get the rare opportunity to explore the roof of a building around Philly. I think this happens because I’ve made my love for this city pretty clear over the last 6+ years of running this blog. And if I love anything more than posting photos of art in the public space around Philly, it’s posting a unique shot of our skyline.

Well this last week, as I was walking through Spring Arts making final notes and changes to my first 2nd Saturday Street Art Tour of the neighborhood, I ran into Kelly from Arts & Crafts Holdings, who I knew through co-organizing Collective Action. (We rented an Arts & Crafts Holdings space at 990 Spring Garden for the first Collective Action event.) And to my delight, she invited me to check out the incredible views from their soon-to-be-open building at 448 North 10th street. Views that include, if you look carefully at the very last photo of this post, the current state of the Rail Park‘s Phase One, which is set to open very soon!

Read more…

And Here’s How that New ‘Welcome to Fishtown’ Mural Got Made

August 14, 2017

 You may remember last month that a new mural joined the Fishtown streetscape, a fish friendly(?) welcome sign commissioned by V.U.R.T., a new Philly-area mural painting non-profit. The mural was created and designed by V.U.R.T.’s Evan Lovett in collaboration with Glossblack.

Well today I got a video of the mural being made, which I always find interesting to see. Check it out for yourself above!

Video was made by Wes Genarie, with drone operation by Binh Le. Music by The Passion HiFi.

The Streets of Philly Are About to Experience Parades of Artistic, Civically Inspired Performances: Here’s What You Need to Know

August 12, 2017

(Cranes in photos by Alison Dilworth, windmills by Dayton Castleman)

UPDATE (8/15): Today’s event at Broad Street Ministry has been postponed because of the rain, check out Philadelphia Assembled’s events calendar shortly to see a new day/time for that Move-In event.

In the meantime, I’d like to invite y’all to join me for an equally visual (aka Instagrammable) Philadelphia Assembled Move-In event, Visages of the Underground: Economic Sovereignty, taking place this Thursday, August 17 from 7-9pm starting at the African Cultural Art Forum, 221 South 52nd street (52nd street between Walnut and Locust streets.) This Move-in event will see Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez of Amber Art and Design traveling the carved wooden boat from the site of the African Cultural Art Forum along Lancaster Avenue, a route that leads from the outer edges of the city directly into its center, where they will continue along the path of the Schuylkill River towards the Museum. In doing so, Amber Arts is engaging indigenous histories, the traverses of illegal immigrants, past and modern passages from slavery to freedom, and those who are forced to travel under persecution – each following nature-provided markers and pathways… Hope to see y’all there!

So excited to tell y’all that Philadelphia Assembled is about to take over the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s Perelman Building and I will be covering the Move-In! This will be the first in a series of collaborations I’ll be partnering with the Philadelphia Museum of Art for over the next few months, all to document and explore their Philadelphia Assembled exhibition, a project that joins art and civic engagement. If you missed it, click here to read my announcement of this partnership from last week.

So what’s this “Move-In?”

Starting next week, Philadelphia Assembled collaborators working alongside Amber Art and Design will create a series of performances to bring art objects, conversations, and installations from the Philadelphia Assembled public sites across the city to the PMA’s Perelman Building. These Move-In events are free and open to the public, and you can learn more about all of them here.

I’ll be live-documenting three of these Move-Ins next week on @StreetsDept’s Instagram and Instagram Story feed, so be sure to follow along there.

Of all the Move-Ins, there’s one in particular that’s relatively centrally located and going to be especially visual (aka Instagrammable,) and I don’t think you’ll want to miss. That’s the Visages of the Underground: Sanctuary Move-In performance. For this Move-In, Philadelphia Assembled collaborators and Amber Art and Design will move paper cranes from Broad Street Ministry through the streets of Center City and into the PMA’s Perelman Building. These cranes usually hang atop Broad Street Ministry’s sanctuary space where they soar above the food and fellowship offered to a large portion of the city’s homeless population. Inside the cranes are message from BSM clients and residents. Carrying the BSM spirit of “radical hospitality,” the passage of these objects symbolizes the movement of this space of shelter and welcome to the Museum.

Please join us for this Move-In performance on Tuesday, August 15th from 3-5pm starting at Broad Street Ministry at 315 South Broad Street (on Broad between Spruce and Pine streets.) Hope to see y’all there!

A Local Photographer Has Been Filling SEPTA’s El and Subway Stations with Art, Have You Noticed?

August 7, 2017

Absolutely freaking LOVE this! Have you seen any of these?

Over the last several months, a local Philly photographer has quietly been installing his artwork around SEPTA’s City Hall and 15th street subway stations in pre-existing and unused notification frames.

The photographer is Ryan Strand Greenberg, and the project is called Photography starting at $2.50. (Get it? That’s the price to ride the el/subway!) I had been noticing the series via Ryan’s Instagram for the last several weeks, but had yet to see one in person until yesterday, despite using those SEPTA stations quite often. I suspect that’s because many people like the photos and take them for themselves. And that’s part of the artist’s intent, which Ryan is super humbled and flattered by, he explained to me after I reached out to him via email for comment.

“I sort of think about this as a project where everyone pays the same (including myself) and they can interact with the work (or not) in the way that is suited to them, and if people feel compelled to take the work than they can. Surely some of the photos get taken down or are thrown away, some of them get taken by people, and some of them stay up for a while and people can see them.”

“I really think photography, more so than lots of other art forms, is so accessible because its so connected to reality. Its almost a universal language. I have never understood why it has to exist in a uniform context such as a gallery. A lot of my pictures are made in neighborhoods where these trains can take you. In a lot of cases the pictures are of people and places that are connected more so to the subway then to a gallery or museum. It just feels like a more genuine expression for the work I make… I think I put my photographs in City Hall station because it is a central transportation point for people heading to many different areas of the city.”

Ryan updates the various unused notification frames weekly, so keep your eyes out if you use these SEPTA stations regularly!

And SEPTA, if you’re reading, honestly you should pay Ryan and fellow Philly artists to fill your stations with art. Some cities have music on their subway platforms, why can’t Philly be the city with rotating local art on our subway platforms? Support the local art economy, y’all! (SEPTA, seriously email me, let’s talk.)

New Butter And Salmon Piece in Fishtown Pleads with Drivers to Slow Down

August 7, 2017

A new sockpuppet piece by Butter And Salmon at Norris street and Trenton avenue pleads with drivers in Fishtown to slow down.

Seriously though, as someone who walks a lot in Philly, it seems like way too many drivers are lead footed. Way too many drivers speed-roll into crosswalks and just stop there for a red light/stop sign. Don’t forget, you’re driving a lethal weapon, y’all, slow down a bit and respect crosswalks and pedestrians!

See previous works by Butter And Salmon here!

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