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Joe Boruchow Offers New Downloadable Anti-Trumpism Print to Hang in Your Window

November 20, 2017

Joe Boruchow wheatpasted a new print this weekend at 9th and Spring Garden streets, and he’s now offering a downloadable version of it for you to hang in your window!

Titled Shorn Flag, the piece depicts the flag of the United States being cut apart with the help of people wearing tee shirts that spell out “Trump.”

Curious to know more about what inspired the new work, I texted Joe. His response was as follows:

“I intended to make a poster for my front window to rile my Trump supporting neighbors. It started out as only text reading, ‘True patriots reject Trumpism.’ As I worked on it, this image emerged… It’s a response to how Trump prefers jingoistic pageantry to true patriotism and how his supporters enable the desecration of our country.”

Joe is offering the downloadable version of this print for free here!

Also this weekend, Joe installed a series of wheatpastes at 448 North 10th street created with students of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Art Education program, which you can see below…

See more work from Joe Boruchow around Philly here!

Nero’s ‘You Belong Here’ in Spring Arts

November 20, 2017

Finally got a chance to see Nero‘s new(ish) mural, commissioned by Arts & Crafts Holdings, painted in the Spring Arts neighborhood last August!

This was Nero’s first commissioned mural, as he wrote about on his Instagram: “Since I was very young I’ve known that I wanted to be an artist… And growing up in Philadelphia I would always see incredible murals throughout the city. Since, a major life goal of mine was to someday have a mural of my very own. Today that finally happened! I am beyond thrilled to now have a mural in the city that I love so much. The art I do isn’t permanent. So to have a piece that will live on for years to come is a dream come true.”

Congrats on your first mural, Nero!

Molly Crabapple’s Whimsical New Fishtown Mural

November 17, 2017

I am in LOVE with this new mural by Molly Crabapple at Front and Oxford streets in Fishtown, a part of the We The People series curated by Vandalog‘s RJ Rushmore and commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia!

See more from RJ Rushmore’s curated We The People series by artists: NTEL and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

Philadelphia Just Removed One of Its Few Monuments to Women, Let’s Build 50 More

November 13, 2017

Last weekend, a monument that was created by artist Sharon Hayes for the purpose of calling attention to Philadelphia’s lack of monuments to living historical women was removed from Rittenhouse Square. The monument, titled If They Should Ask, had stood for nearly two months and was one of 20 artist-created “prototype monuments” apart of Monument Lab, a citywide public art and history exhibition that’s asking, What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? (Full disclosure: As I announced in September, I am on the Monument Lab Curatorial Team.)

Now, the monument was always scheduled to be deinstalled, as are all the prototype monuments created for Monument Lab. And while Sharon’s and a few other artist’s monuments came down a bit early, Monument Lab’s 2017 exhibition doesn’t end until this Sunday, November 19th, which will be the last day to view most of the artist-created monuments.

No matter when it was scheduled to come down, it was the reason Sharon created her monument that should leave the whole city eager and empowered to begin to address centuries of patriarchal monument making.

“Although the city of Philadelphia is home to over 1,500 public sculptures, there are only two that celebrate the life of a real, historic woman – Joan of Arc and Mary Dyer, neither of whom were Philadelphia residents.” Sharon writes in her Artist Statement. “If They Should Ask is a temporary monument located in Rittenhouse Square that addresses the absence of monuments to women in the city of Philadelphia. The object is a collection of cast concrete pedestals sourced from existing monuments in Philadelphia and materialized at half-scale. Encircled with the names of women who contributed to civic and public life in Philadelphia from early European contact to the present day, If They Should Ask proposes that the persistent and aggressive exclusion of women from this form of public recognition perpetuates historical misunderstandings and reproduces inequality in the city’s economic, social, political, and cultural spheres.”

While Sharon’s monument is now gone from the monument landscape of Philadelphia, I hope its absence can inspire the making of monuments to the countless historical women who deserve to be honored and remembered in our city’s public spaces! Read more…

Don’t Miss Kaitlin Pomerantz’s Temporary Monument to The Philly Stoop in Washington Square Park

November 10, 2017

This weekend is your last chance to catch Kaitlin Pomerantz‘s temporary monument to the Philly stoop, titled On the Threshold (Salvaged Stoops, Philadelphia,) in Washington Square park before they’re deinstalled on Monday.

This installation is one of 20 artist-created “prototype monuments” apart of Monument Lab, a citywide public art and history exhibition that’s asking, What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? (Full disclosure: As I announced in September, I am on the Monument Lab Curatorial Team.)

As she writes in her artist statement, Kaitlin’s installation is a response to the recent immense change and transformation across Philly’s neighborhoods: “This monument consists of a dozen stoops that have been salvaged from recently demolished buildings around the city of Philadelphia, and reconstructed using historical and traditional masonry techniques by Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Local 1 PA-DE. These fragments-become-whole-again invite viewers to consider the vast changes taking place in the landscape of Philadelphia—the city’s architectural and social histories, and what is being lost as well as preserved in a time of rampant development. They remind us of how built space shapes social space, and ask us to be active citizens in matters pertaining to the landscape of Philadelphia as it passes into this new threshold of economic growth.”

Anyone else think these should be permanent?! They’re such a perfect addition to the park, and as you can see in the photos, they’re quite utilitarian too. People know exactly how to use the stoops, because it’s how Philadelphians have been using stoops for generations. Read: for everything from chatting with friends and neighbors to eating a hoagie at lunch. Please keep these, or install them in another park, please please please!

Learn about other Monument Lab prototype monuments around Philadelphia right now by Tyree Guyton in KensingtonRAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency) in FishtownKlip Collective in South Philly, Michelle Angela Ortiz at City Hall, and Hank Willis Thomas in Center City… See a full list here!

Listen to Episode 3 of the Streets Dept Podcast: An Interview with Artist Marisa Williamson

November 7, 2017

Episode 3 of the Streets Dept Podcast, an interview with multi-media artist Marisa Williamson, is now live!

A New York City-based multi-media, performance, video, and installation artist, Marisa Williamson is seeking to make history alive in people’s worlds. For the third episode of our podcast, Marisa sits down with me to talk about all the ways she’s working to do that, including her new app, a video scavenger hunt that explores the African American historical struggle for freedom.

The Streets Dept Podcast is a bi-monthly (that’s twice a month) interview podcast. I’ll be interviewing artists and creatives from around the world. From street artists to poets, activists to politicians, small business owners to community organizers. The podcast will feature one-on-one, 30-minute-ish interviews with the creative minds who are shaping the world around us.

Subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on iTunesSoundCloud, or Google Play to receive episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (It really, REALLY helps when y’all rate and review, so it’d mean the world to me if you could do that!)

Season One of the Streets Dept Podcast is brought to you by our sponsors at The Navy Yard and Indy Hall! Each episode is mixed and edited by our Producer Mike Mehalick.

Listen to Episode 1, an interview with R. Eric Thomas, here; and listen to Episode 2, and interview with Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, here!

(The art in the recording studio we’re using, which you can see in the photo above, is a collab by Sean Martorana and Saul Rosenbaum.)

Interviews with Street Artists: Empowering Yourself with Blur

November 6, 2017

(Collaborative Mouth Series by Blur and Yuienglingblingbling)

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, chances are you’ve seen me post work by Philadelphia-based sticker and street artist Blur before. She was one of the 30+ artists who participated in January’s Signs of Solidarity public art protest against hate and divisiveness on Trump’s Inauguration Day that I helped to co-organize. And this past August, I even named Blur as one of three new Philly street artists that you should be following in an interview with Time Out Philadelphia.

Blur’s work is about empowerment and making yourself seen and heard. And she’s garnered a ton of love and attention in her relatively short street art career, including recently being invited to partner with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So, when thinking about who to interview next for this new Interviews with Street Artists series, my first thought was Blur.

SD: Hey Blur! Ok, so your sticker and wheatpaste Mouth Series has really taken off over the last two years or so. It’s one of the most consistently Instagrammed Philly street art series that I see people posting about. Why do you think it has resonated so much with people?
B: The Mouth Series has been personally empowering for me to create. It’s a vessel for my own story, opinions, and feelings. I have a lot to say but don’t always feel heard, and I’ve found that’s a feeling most people share. I think that’s why the series has had such a positive response, because the viewers see themselves in my work. People resonate with art that they can relate and connect to. This series is me and all my vulnerabilities, out there publicly, loud and unapologetic. It has authenticity, and people respond to that. Also I believe all humans want two things: to be heard and to be seen. That’s what this series has always been about, and I believe it makes people feel that way.

SD: How did you get in to street art? You write on your website about how in 2015 your health plummeted in ways you never imagined, and that for months you quite literally could not speak. “Blur was created from desperation, a need to be heard,” you write. Was that what got you started, or what pushed you further?
B: That’s exactly how it all started. I was at a new low point, a new shade of disability for me that pushed me into wanting to share my art and my voice publicly through street art. People with chronic illnesses really suffer in silence. I’ve seen many shades of disability, and continue to see them. Wheel chairs, walkers, canes, inability to hold a pencil, inability to form words, hospital stays, intensive treatments, lots of medications in lots of forms, etc. I haven’t finished college, I was a high school drop out, and eventually got my GED. That was all happening in my life, and it was all kept hidden away for years. Until I suffered a seizure that took my speaking capabilities away for 6 months. That was the pushing point, and it pissed me off enough that I decided that’s it, I am not going to be quiet any longer. While I was hobbling through Philly going to appointments, I would put up stickers of the Mouth Series. It was so cathartic, and I started to hope that people who saw them could relate. Most of the time it’s very hard on my body to do what I do, but I’ve been connecting and relating to people throughout the city since the first sticker I put up, and I love it.

Side note, now what it’s like being a female street artist with disabilities and chronic illnesses that gets herself all over Philly to put up her artwork? Whole different interview! Lol Read more…

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