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Philly Sculptor Installs Temporary Rainbow Monument in Fairmount Park

May 8, 2020

I am in LOVE with this new (well, not exactly new) installation by Philadelphia-based sculptor, Sarah Peoples!

Located in Fairmount Park’s Lemon Hill, Sarah installed the piece street-art-style (aka non-commissioned) as a reaction to our time. “I had seen the symbol of a rainbow in my neighborhood of Brewerytown grow into a universal emblem of hope in the pandemic and the idea struck me how ‘real’ symbolic imagery truly is,” Sarah mentioned to me over Instagram direct message. “I remembered that this rainbow was sitting in storage. Watching things unfold during this global pandemic had left me feeling particularly useless/helpless and I wanted to do something. I put the piece up to support the essential workers, the doctors, nurses and everyone working in the hospitals, the grocery store workers, etc.”

While the placement is new, Sarah had actually created the artwork years ago before pulling it out of storage for its current iteration: “The original 2013 piece was entitled Plastic Rainbow, Incorporating Thomas Doughty’s Morning Among the Hills wherein I enlarged a Hudson River School painting as a 16′ x 14′ canvas backdrop and placed the assemblage of plastics into a rainbow formation in front. I was considering symbolism in art within a very specific American painting genre – Hudson River School landscapes.”

“I think we need anything that will bring us together, especially in light of the spectacular mishandling and inexplicably selfish response of our federal government to the crisis,” Sarah added. “I placed it on Lemon Hill because it is very close to my studio/house and I wanted to be able to check in on it for upkeep. Moreover I have long viewed the plinth it sits upon as a perfect place for a temporary sculpture. It is an empty former pedestal to what I assume was a large stone or bronze statue which fell into dis-repair and was removed.”

Thank you, Sarah!

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