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Streets Dept Presents: The Shop Philly Artists Holiday Gift Guide (2018)

November 24, 2018

For the last seven and a half years, I’ve documented and celebrated countless Philly artists who create in Philly’s public spaces, and as time has marched on more and more of the artists that I document have begun to create shops that let y’all easily purchase their work online. So, as we’re now at the edge of the holiday shopping season, it occurred to me to create a list of a number of these artists’ online shops so that you can not only shop local but support local Philly artists by buying their work for gifts!

Now, to avoid leaving you with a potentially intimidating/unusable list of hundreds of artists, I’ve decided to narrow my list a bit with two simple parameters: 1) that they have created work in public space around Philly in the last year that’s been documented on this blog, including artists that have participated in one of my Streets Dept-curated exhibitions, and 2) that they, and this is probably obviously, actually have online shops and sell things over the internet.

These parameters have created what I think is a super helpful list of 21 artists’ online shops that range in price from a few dollars to a couple thousand dollars, and range from art pieces to prints to jewelry and tees. Truly, there’s something for everyone in these artists’ stores, so you really got to click on all of them. But, if you’re in more of a hurry, I’ve got a list of some of my favorite art galleries and locally owned shops at the end of this post that you can pop into for last minute gifts!

To see the artist’s shop, just click their name or any image of their work… And thank y’all for supporting local artists! <3

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“Speak Your Truth:” The Story Behind A New Mural in Fishtown

November 18, 2018

At the end of September, an awesome new mural by one of my favorite Philly artist Blur went up in Fishtown outside The Common Room, located on Front street between Jefferson and Oxford streets. I love when local businesses hire artists to create public art on their buildings, so I wanted to reach out to learn more!

I emailed The Common Room’s owner Chelsey Eiel, who began by explaining more about the space itself: “The Common Room is a gallery and workshop space featuring fine art and functional wares by womxn and nonbinary artists. It aims to provide safe, inclusive space for those who feel unrepresented in more traditional public spaces. The gallery’s salon-style atmosphere seeks to spark critical dialogue around social justice and progressive change, while the meditation studio below the gallery offers an intimate environment for respite and self-care. No artist, activist, seeker, or change-maker can go at it alone; we need community in order to thrive. The Common Room celebrates our individuality, while also bringing us together in our shared experience. In a time of political divisiveness and moral apathy, I believe we need these spaces to feel seen, heard, and supported – to know we are worthy because we exist. More than ever, women are feeling a deep urge to gather in circles, to share their wisdom, and to help each other heal. I don’t think this is a mistake; it’s a reclamation, and I’m here to make space for it.”

Then I asked Chelsey about working with Blur for this mural: “I was introduced to Blur through a mutual friend who had a hunch we’d hit it off. I already loved her work and its powerful feminist message for advocacy and agency, but meeting her, I was blown away by her resilience and poise. We shared our stories and some ideas for collaborating on a permanent installation, and when I received the mock-up for ‘Speak Your Truth,’ I knew she got what I was trying to accomplish with The Common Room from a visceral level. I hope that people who see it have that same gut understanding: that this is a space dedicated to the expression of all voices, and the amplification of voices that have historically and systematically been silenced. That when you walk through the doors here, you’re safe to speak your truth, and there is a community here anxiously waiting to hear it.”

“‘Speak Your Truth,’ is the largest mural I’ve done in Philly, and one of currently only two total in the city,” Blur added when I emailed her for comment. “When I approached Chelsey about creating this mural, I was completely inspired by her story of the gallery space. Her goals and dreams for the space and the power it had were big inspirations for the design. I played with a new perspective of my Mouth Design and made sure to make it bright and colorful. I decided to not have any writing in the piece like I normally do because I didn’t want to influence what that viewers felt. My goal for this mural was to empower the viewers to say what needs to be said and to inspire people to spread love and kindness.”

See more work from Blur around Philly here!

New Sean 9 Lugo in Philly

November 17, 2018

Two new(ish) pieces by Sean 9 Lugo around Philly!

Located at 10th and Spring Garden streets (photos above,) and Berks street and Frankford avenue (photo below.)

See more from Sean 9 Lugo around Philly here!

The Words of Philly Artists Are Being Honored in A New Wheatpaste Series

November 8, 2018

Love these two new wheatpastes apart of up-and-coming Philly street artist Symone Salib’s new The Artist Statement series. Each paste in the series includes a portrait of a local artist with a few words of wisdom from that artist!

Above, we have De’von Downes, “It costs me nothing to be a good person,” located at Thompson and Front streets in Fishtown. Below, Sean McCall, “Our hearts are one and the same. You, me, her, them, him – all of our brains,” located at 5th and Bainbridge streets in Queen Village.

Can’t wait to see who Symone has next!

See Symone’s early October tribute to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Anita Hill here!

Mobile Murals Encouraging Philadelphians to Head “To the Polls” Hit Philly’s Streets Today

November 6, 2018

THANK YOU to all the folks around Philly today who stopped and took photos of/with the one-day pop-up traveling version of our To the Polls exhibition!

To the Polls was a mural exhibition that took place at 448 N. 10th Street in Philadelphia’s Spring Arts neighborhood from from September 26, 2018 through October 3, 2018. Organized and curated by Streets Dept’s Conrad Benner with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia, the exhibition worked with 10 Philly-based artists to create 10 temporary 8×8-foot murals to rally the Philadelphia community around civic participation through the act of voting. This mobile version of the exhibition was a way to get a few of the murals out into the public space the day before the election to give more Philadelphians the opportunity to see and share these works of art.

The four murals driven around Philly today were created by artists Alloyius McilwaineMarisa Velázquez-RivasLoveis Wise, and Nilé Livingston. Click here to read the artists’ statements about these murals and all the 10 murals apart of our To the Polls exhibition!

Read more…

Jessica Gamble Reminds Philadelphians to Vote Nov 6 with New Wheatpaste

November 5, 2018

New wheatpaste this week by Philadelphia-based artist Jessica Gamble reminds passersby to vote on November 6th! “Every election is extremely important and this November’s election is no exception. Every person’s voice and vote matters immensely. I hope everyone uses the power of their voices this election and every election in the future to fight for our democracy,” Jessica responded in an email follow up to learn more about the how and why she created and installed this piece.

The paste, which is located on Girard avenue at Hope street, is the first piece of street art from Jessica, “Since January I’ve been coordinating with an artist from France to host him and the collective he is a part of called Arsmuralis, a group of underground french street artists. During their stay in Philadelphia this past mid-October they encouraged me to create my very first wheatpaste.”

“I’ve created a number of very large outdoor installations with fabrics and sculptures along with painting murals but I had not created a wheatpaste before. While thinking of ideas of what to create understanding the importance of the upcoming mid-term election I decided to create a wheatpaste that would hopefully be encouraging and a great reminder of the fast approaching election on November 6th.”

“In 2006 I created a series of 14 paintings called Silent Essense Becomes… The series created a platform for individuals of different sexes, ethnicities, and ages to come forward with a story about an experience they had in their lives. During the telling of their stories I painted on each individual’s body allowing line and color to be my only reactions to their experience. Each interaction was filmed and three projectors of the videos were exhibited along with the 14 paintings. One of the offshoots from this project I created struck me as being very appropriate to use for an election reminder of the fast approaching mid-term election.”

“This wheat paste is hand painted with acrylics along with the use of one of the pigments I used when I was painting on the project participants forms for the project Silent Essense Becomes…

Philly Street Artist Joe Boruchow Installs “VOTE” Wheatpastes Around Town

November 3, 2018

New wheatpastes around Philly this week from paper cutout artist Joe Boruchow hope to inspire Philadelphians to vote this Tuesday, November 6th! The pastes are located at 5th and Bainbridge streets in Queen Village (above) and 3rd and Chestnut streets in Old City (below.)

And if these designs look familiar, they should! Because they were originally created for, and first shown at, our To the Polls exhibition late last month, apart of a series of four new paper cutout designs from Joe titled Four Allegories of Voting:

“The urgency is clear. Without true mass engagement our democracy will not survive. This election and every other, vote. Vote to protect your children. Vote to sweep away the rubbish. Vote to preserve your mental and physical health.” Joe wrote in his artist statement about the new works.

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