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Martin Puryear Installs ‘Big Bling’ in Fairmount Park

June 4, 2017

Philadelphia: Meet Big Bling by artist Martin Puryear, your Instagram goals for the summer – on view now through November in Fairmount Park (along Kelly Drive between Fountain Green Drive and the Connecting Railway and Girard Avenue Bridges!)

What is the sculpture of, you may ask: “I tend not to tell people what they’re looking at when they’re in the presence of my work,” says Puryear. “I trust people’s eyes. I trust their imagination.”

Love this!

Activists Project Four-Story Message to Trump Administration Across from the Roots Picnic in Philly

June 4, 2017

Tonight, across from the Roots Picnic at Festival Pier on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia, a group of activists from Refuse Fascism projected a four-story message to the Trump/Pence administration: “No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.”

The message ends with a link to their website where you can learn more about the organization, their efforts, and how you might get involved.

From what I understand, this is just the first of likely many such large-scale projections the group is planning around Philly in the coming months, which as someone who quite openly opposes Trump I’m rather excited to hear!

Lastly – shout out to these kids (below) who thought I was a party photographer, who asked me nicely to take their photo… Honestly, they were very sweet, very kind people. I’m not poking fun at them so please don’t interpret this that way. I just really like this photo. It marries the mood of the event with the seriousness of these activists’ message/our times too perfectly for me not to include.

P.s. As a life-long Philadelphian, I will never call this street “Columbus Boulevard.” Never ever.

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 StreetsDept.com’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: Read more…

Joe Boruchow Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at Spruce Street Harbor Park

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: Joe Boruchow
Title of Artwork: Transition 3
Location: Spruce Street Harbor Park

Artist Statement:
This is the last in a series of cutouts I made during the transition period between Trump’s election and his inauguration. It continues to disturb me to watch folks become inured to the constant barrage of outrages coming from the administration. It is a hypnotizing torrent and as we fall back into our daily routines we submit to it.

Work by Joe Boruchow is available for purchase here – support local artists, y’all!

……………………………………..
Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by StreetsDept.com’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

A Brilliant Dummy Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at The Moshulu

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: A Brilliant Dummy
Title of Artwork: Fearless
Location: The Moshulu

Artist Statement:
Fearless showcases work that expresses what it means to be fearless and wonderfully made. The pieces take viewers through a simple, yet colorful and pure imaginative interpretation of various emotions from struggling with insecurities, finding balance in purpose, fighting fear with love, and ultimately overcoming!

To purchase any of these prints by A Brilliant Dummy, please contact the artist here – support local artists, y’all!

……………………………………..
Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by StreetsDept.com’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

Ishknits Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at The Shambles

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: Ishknits
Title of Artwork: I Will Answer Injustice with Justice
Location: The Shambles (2nd and Lombard)

Artist Statement:
This piece is part of an ongoing series of knit and crochet installations featuring quotes by the Game of Thrones character, Daenerys Targaryen. The quote is part of a conversation that begins, “Sometimes it is better to answer injustice with mercy” to which Daenerys replies, “I will answer injustice with justice.” This request for mercy is one heard often by those who have been treated unjustly, generally coming from those people and systems doing the oppressing. But injustice has only one solution. It is basic and fundamental. There is no confusion. If there is injustice, we will answer with justice. And these systems should not underestimate the will, strength, and courage of those who seek it.

Work by Ishknits is available for purchase here – support local artists, y’all!

……………………………………..
Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by StreetsDept.com’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

Michelle Angela Ortiz Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at Old City District

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: Michelle Angela Ortiz
Title of Artwork: Se Siente El Miedo
Location: Old City District

Artist Statement:
The portraits are stills from a video interview of community member, Cruz. Cruz lives in Philadelphia and shared his experience with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and almost being deported. He spoke about his year long struggle with wearing a probation bracelet, being intimidated by ICE agents, and living in fear in what was once for him a city of hope.


 
“They (ICE) arrested me and I was detained for about 8 hours… I got out of there around 6… They sent me home but with an probation bracelet. I had to put it on and not leave the house in 12 hours. Only for about 12 hours during daylight I could move around out of the house, but in the evening I had to be back home.”

“I had that on me for about 4 months and I went to work with it, and came back home in the evening. Every two weeks they would come and search my house. They frequently made phone calls to me.”

“At the beginning, I had to sign papers every week and later every two weeks. Until I could get rid of that thing, I felt that I was in prison. To tell you the truth I was not in peace in the street, doing the shopping or anything. I used to work for about ten hours, so I had only half hour to go to work and another half hour to come back home. That was about all the time I could spent outside, and I could not hang out in the street.”

“I still feel little scared but not a lot now. Step by step you get to learn what you can get from this country… and hope that you have few rights.”

To purchase this piece by Michelle Angela Ortiz, please contact the artist here – support local artists, y’all!

……………………………………..
Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by StreetsDept.com’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

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