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Yes: Wonderspaces Philadelphia Lives Up to the Hype, Here’s A Sneak Peek Before it Opens Friday

January 23, 2020

Philly, meet Wonderspaces! What began as annual pop-up shows in San Diego, then opened its first permanent location opened in Scottsdale, AZ, is opening its largest location to date right here in Philadelphia. I was invited to a sneak peek this week, and I was not disappointed, y’all!

Wonderspaces Philadelphia is a 24,000 square foot arts space opening at Fashion District tomorrow, Friday, January 24th. Featuring two floors and about a dozen rooms of immersive, interactive art by 14 artists/ artist groups, it will undoubtedly soon become one of the most Instagrammed spots in the city. And that’s kind of what it’s about as a viewer. It’s art that’s fun, thought-provoking, and super visual. Most of the installations require you to work to engage with them, whether its Dinner Party, a VR experience by artists Laura Wexler, Charlotte Stoudt, and Angel Soto; Body Paint, a digital canvas that’s colored only by your movement, by artist Memo Akten; or Come Together, an installation made of 2,200 descended parts that forms a closed fist from one spot in a wide room, by artist Michael Murphy. You can’t come to Wonderspaces and just stare at the walls.

I chatted with Jason Shin, the President of Wonderspaces, while I was at the preview too. He talked with me mostly about their commitment to the artists they partner with, which I found really refreshing. Their website reflects this mentality too with lines in bold like, “Artists must be paid,” and, “Art, not advertising. We present art for people, not for brands.” And while that first line about artists getting paid might seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how many of these experiential art pop-ups don’t pay artists. Yes, even here in Philly. It’s stuff artists talk with each other about, but most folks wouldn’t know otherwise. It’s part of the reason that while I generally only use this blog to highlight art in the public space and/or free to access, I am blogging about Wonderspaces, which does require a paid ticket. (Though there are naturally discounts for students, etc.)

On that note, if you’re reading this before Friday, January 24, 2020 at 11:59pm EST, I’m currently running an Instagram giveaway, the three winners of which will each receive a pair of tickets each to Wonderspaces Philadelphia. You can see more about that giveaway here! (Definitely click that link for a short video I created from Wonderspaces, whether you enter my giveaway or not.)

Exhibitions at Wonderspaces Philadelphia will be rotating, but as of now there’s no news about timeline. So don’t wait to go see this first 14 works: Learn more about Wonderspaces Philadelphia here!

In order of the photos in this blog post, artworks are: Daydream V.2 by NONOTAK Studio; Submergence by Squidsoup; Dinner Party by Laura Wexler, Charlotte Stoudt, and Angel Soto; Black Balloons by Tadao Cern; and Come Together by Michael Murphy.

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