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Everything You Need to Know About ‘Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition,’ On View Now thru July 4th

May 24, 2017

(A Reminder, by Shawn Theodore on Elfreth’s Alley)

So excited to launch Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition today!

Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibition of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District – an area of the city that runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. It will be on view from Thursday, May 25 through Tuesday, July 4.

Commissioned by Visit Philadelphia and curated by’s Conrad Benner, the exhibition explores the spirit of revolution and offers people free access to contemporary, topical art in historic settings.

From the American Revolution to the Civic Rights Movement to the fight for Marriage Equality, what all revolutions have in common is their starting point: people looking at the world around them with a critical eye. ​Is this the best we can do?​ ​How can we create a world that’s better for me and my neighbors?

For ​Revolutionary​, I invited artists who were doing just that, using their art to examine the world and challenge our current political and social status quo. From Nero‘s simple message of inclusivity and tolerance at Franklin Square, You Belong Here. To Michelle Angela Ortiz’s portrait of a Philadelphia man who experienced a year-long struggle with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and almost being deported, who now lives in fear in what was once for him a city of hope, installed at the Old City District headquarters. To Lisa Kelley’s weavings that connect the struggles, the despair, and the stories of hope surrounding addiction and the opioid epidemic that’s sweeping large sections of our city and the country at Arch Street Meeting House. To Yasmine Mustafa and Monica O‘s collaborative poster at the African American Museum in Philadelphia about privilege and the Birth Lottery, the the idea that no one can choose the circumstances they’re born into, so why not work to recognize this more and engage each other with more empathy. To Shawn Theodore‘s installation on Elfreth’s Alley (pictured above) that serves as A Reminder that for those in this nation with ancestors who persevered under the tyranny of slavery before and after colonial independence, that change, that revolution, has truly yet to arrive.

With ​Revolutionary​, I want the juxtaposition of contemporary art with social and political themes over historic place and architecture to pull a thread through history to the hopes and challenges of our present day.

Much more on each of these 13 Revolutionary artists’ work and their locations below, but first there’s two things you should know:

1) Artist Panel: We’ll be hosting an artist panel with four of our Revolutionary artists on June 7th (from 6-8pm) at the National Constitution Center. Tickets are free but limited, so please RSVP here now if you’re interested!

2) Instagram Contest: For this opening weekend only, we will be hosting an Instagram contest, the winners of which will receive a signed copy of Yasmine Mustafa and Monica O‘s collaborative poster, Birth Lottery! From Thursday, May 25th (9am) through Monday, 29th (11:59PM), participants are invited to post their own Instagram photo(s) of their favorite Revolutionary Exhibition artwork(s) using all three of the following hashtags in the caption: #RevolutionaryArt #VisitPhilly #HistoricPhilly. You may photograph and post as many of the Revolutionary artworks as you like. I will review the top 10 photos with the most likes and select my 5 favorite photos to win! Winners will be notified via Instagram Direct Message by June 2nd.

Without further ado, let’s explore the art! Click the title or photo of each of the installations below to learn more about the artist, location, and artwork:

Kid Hazo’s Opening Message for Revolutionary at Art In The Age

Zoë Cohen at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Yasmine Mustafa and Monica O at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Shawn Theodore on Elfreth’s Alley

Nick Cassway at Arden Theatre Company

Nero at Franklin Square

Michelle Angela Ortiz at Old City District

Lisa Kelley at Arch Street Meeting House

Karina Puente at La Colombe

Joe Boruchow at Spruce Street Harbor Park

A Brilliant Dummy at The Moshulu

Ishknits at The Shambles

Emily Smith Satis at FringeArts

Carlos Lopez Rosa at the Betsy Ross House

A map of all our Revolutionary installations can be found here!

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