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Mexican and Mexican-American Artists Invite You to Break Down Walls with New Interactive Art at Kimmel Center

August 16, 2019

In LOVE with this new pairing of temporary public artworks, installed this week at the Kimmel Center located at Broad and Spruce streets in Center City!

Above, you’ve got Karina Puente’s Look Up! Look In. Karina is a Mexican-American artist based here in Philadelphia. Karina’s modern Papel Picado installations reflect the Mexican cultural heritage of the Santa Ynez Valley where she grew up. Her Kimmel Center installation includes 53 hand-cut Papel Picado that are 5-feet wide and range in length from 6-feet to 12-feet long will be suspended in the air!

“My custom, hand cut patterns root my practice in tradition and keep me connected to ancestors,” Karina says. “Weekly family calls with my ​Tias​ in Santa Barbara always result in an AHA! moment. Through the exhibition, Look Up! Look In, my aim is to articulate the spark of a new idea, arrive at solution-oriented thinking, and fly high during this important cultural moment.”

Y’all might remember that Karina is also the current exhibiting artist for our Streets Dept Art at Mission series in partnership with Mission Taqueria!

On the ground, you’ve got Los Trompos, designed by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena!

Drawing its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, Los Trompos features 10 three-dimensional, larger than life tops in a variety of colors and shapes. The brightly hued surfaces of each top are created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans. By working together, guests may spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures. “Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” Ignacio explained.

“It’s exciting to pair the work of a local Mexican-American artist in the air with the spinning sculptures from Mexico City of Los Trompos on the ground – giving us all a chance to celebrate and recognize these two traditional crafts and having it all come together to bring our Plaza to life,” added Jay Wahl, Producing Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

You can see the pair of artist installations for free now through November 17, 2019 any day or time the Kimmel Center is open. If you didn’t know, the Kimmel Center’s indoor plaza is a quasi public space! You can walk through there, check out the various visual art installation they usually have, sit at one of their tables to work or meet with friends, you can even use their bathrooms.

I mention that because one of the things I find most interesting about these two installation is how much light changes them. Go on a cloudy day and have one experience. Go on a bright sunny day and have another, as both artists’ works create incredible shadows… Click here to see the Kimmel Center’s hours, then go and enjoy breaking down some walls!

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