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Klip Collective Creates Dancing 4-Story Light Installation by LOVE Park

March 8, 2020

UPDATE (3/8): Klip Collective has let us know via Instagram that this installation is not quite finished, commenting: “Thanks for featuring! It’s not yet complete. We’re working on an audio accompaniment which will make the light movement make sense.”

In LOVE with this new 4-story light installation by Philly-based art practice Klip Collective on the Philadelphia Family Court building at 15th and Arch Streets next to LOVE Park!

The lights were officially turned on last night, and they’ll dance every night from 5:30pm-2am. You can watch a short video of the the installation in motion here. (Special thanks to Jen Cleary, part of the Klip team who made this happen, who let me know about the installation.)

See past Klip Collective installations around Philly here!

Streets Dept Podcast – SN 3, EP 10: Eriko Tsogo On Truth and Art

March 4, 2020

Welcome back to the Streets Dept Podcast, y’all. This season of the podcast is our first-ever road trip season! That means that while the episodes at the beginning and end of this season will be recoded here in Philadelphia at Radio Kismet where I’m based, the middle of this season (seven episodes total) was recorded on a recent road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver, Colorado talking with some of the creative minds from those states.

And this, my friends, is the last episode recorded from that road trip. How time flies! Today we’ll be talking with Eriko Tsogo! Eriko is a contemporary Mongolian American artist, project developer, civic leader, and activist for women’s rights and immigrant’s rights. She is also a first generation immigrant herself and DACA recipient born in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and raised in Hungary until the age of 8, when her family decided to come to the US for her father’s experimental art career.

Eriko is considered one of Denver’s brightest and burgeoning contemporary artists. She works in many mediums, and as a cross disciplinary artist, has created works on paper, has released several books, created an animated film, and has designed elaborate mixed media, interactive installations. She is the creator of the International Yurt Residency Program, an artist exchange program between artists residing in Mongolia and Denver. She was one of 25 artists selected to exhibit in the Contemporary Mongolian Art Biennial in DC. And her permanent installation was selected to be included in the new Denver Meow Wolf Museum slated to open 2020.

In early 2019, Eriko bravely and openly revealed her DACA status in a polarized and tumultuous political climate. She is still unable to travel back to Mongolia and has been quoted saying, “I am currently a DACA applicant who suffers from a politically unpredictable future in American because of the new Trump administration.” Eriko is currently based in Denver and lives bi-coastally, splitting her time between Colorado and Los Angeles, California.

Check out my conversation with Eriko Tsogo below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

 
Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new 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. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.) Read more…

20 Change-making Philly Women Honored this Month with Temporary Street Art Installations Around Philly

March 2, 2020

So excited to announce today that for Women’s History Month 2020, Streets Dept has teamed up with friend and fellow curator, Ginger Rudolph (Editor of HAHA Magazine), and 10 Philly artists to create a street art campaign celebrating 20 change-making Philly women! We’re calling it the #SisterlyLove Project, and it’s been made possible by our sponsor Live Nation Philadelphia and with support by VISIT PHILADELPHIA.

Some of y’all may remember an op-ed I wrote back in 2017 about the incredible lack of representation of women in Philly’s monuments (you can read it here, if you missed it). I have been excited to work with Ginger and these incredible Philly artists on this project because I believe deeply in the power of art in the public space, as I’ve expanded on more in this blog’s purpose statement. And the women being honored by this project all well-deserve a space of recognition in our public space. Honestly, it’d be really incredible if all of the women being celebrated by this project each ended up receiving their own permanent monuments in Philly some day. Perhaps this project can serve as a sort of catalyst for that!

The women being honored by this project include a mix of living and historic figures. Women from a wide array of professions and passions including poets, writers, singers, actors, producers, doctors, chefs, business owners, designers, ballet dancers, photographers, journalists, guitarists, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Olympic Gold Medal winners, Civil Rights leaders, LGBTQ activists, and immigration and human rights activists. All women who in one way or another were change makers.


 
The 10 Philly artists who built this project are Hope Hummingbird, Manuela Guillén, Marian Bailey, Marisa Velázquez-Rivas, Monica O, Nicole Nikolich, Nilé Livingston, Old Broads, Symone Salib, and Taped Off TV! The portraits they created feature works of art made in wheatpaste, yarnbomb, porcelain, and even wood burning. All but two of the artworks were all installed over the last few days at locations around the city with the support of some amazing location partners! The final two will be installed this week, so stay tuned!

See the full list of artworks and locations below! Installations will remain up through the end of March, or (because this is a street art project) when the elements decide otherwise. You can also find a handy map of the project over at Visit Philly here! Read more…

Streets Dept Podcast – SN 3, EP 9: Sabrina Allie and David Sabados Go From Politics to Print

February 21, 2020

Welcome back to the Streets Dept Podcast, y’all. This season of the podcast is our first-ever road trip season! That means that while the episodes at the beginning and end of this season will be recoded here in Philadelphia at Radio Kismet where I’m based, the middle of this season (seven episodes total) was recorded on a recent road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver, Colorado talking with some of the creative minds from those states.

Today we’ll be talking with Sabrina Allie and David Sabados! Sabrina and David first met in the spring of 2019 as opponents on the campaign trail for Denver City Council’s District 1. They both ran in the primary, and they ultimately both lost that race. But in campaigning they realized just how many people complained about not having the resources to learn about local neighborhood and district issues. Ultimately leading them to start their own local newspaper, The Denver North Star!

Check out my conversation with Sabrina Allie and David Sabados below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

 
Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new 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. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.) Read more…

Amberella Installs “City Hearts”

February 16, 2020

New wheatpastes today by Philly/LA-based street artist, Amberella, located at 22nd and Lombard Streets!

Titled City Hearts, Amberella told me more about the series: ” [It] celebrates our city and speaks to who we are as a community of brothers and sisters. Some hearts are heavy on the girl power, as I feel a deep sense of sisterhood in these streets. The hearts have definitely become a ‘Philly’ thing. With my roots here (Grandmom), I feel happy and touched by that.”

Amberella has been wheatpasting around Philly since the start of this blog over nine years ago. That first series she created addressed street harassment. But it’s been the different heart series that she began in 2016 that she’s become synonymous with!

“Love’s In Need of Love Today”, New Ad Takeover by Olivia McKnight

February 14, 2020

New love-themed work today by Philly-based street artist Olivia McKnight, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Olivia’s piece, installed at 16th and Fitzwater Streets in South Philly, has been installed as an ad takeover. That’s when an artist replaces an outdoor ad (in this case a bus shelter ad) with their art. And as someone who has very publicly come out against outdoor advertising, I love it!

For context, many Philly artists have participated in ad takeovers over the years, including: NDA in 2015, Kid Hazo in 2016 and 2017, and Joe Boruchow in 2016, 2017, and 2019. In 2017, a number of Philly artists even traveled to New York City to be part of Art in Ad Places, replacing outdoor ads with art in that city. I also partnered with Peopledelphia‘s Brendan Lowry twice for projects replacing “out of home” ads (as they’re also called) in Philly with art: Trashcan Takeover in 2018, and Track Takeover in 2019. Needless to say, artists by and large hate outdoor advertising because we know the power of art in public space.

The ad takeover by Olivia today reads, “Love’s in need of love today!” And if that sentence rings a bell, it’s because it’s the title of a Stevie Wonder song. As I wrote last month, Olivia is on a mission to bring Stevie’s love to the streets of Philadelphia, and today’s installation in part of that new series!

When posting about the installation to her Instagram this morning, Olivia added, “When you see it…grab it, protect it, nurture it and hold on to it!” Amen, Olivia! <3

Philly Street Art Interviews: Hysterical Men Depicts the Female Experience by Subverting Sexist Language

February 13, 2020

Welcome to Season 3 of Streets Dept’s newest series of street artist interviews, created in partnership with Philadelphia’s own unofficial official street art museum, Tattooed Mom. Each month, Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale will sit down with one local street artist to ask them about their work. Together, we’ll learn more about the incredible artists getting up around Philly. (Photos also by Eric Dale.)

Street artists have a wide variety of motivations for doing what they do. Some create street art for fun. Some do it to help promote a larger body of artwork. And some are simply eschewing the more traditional world of gallery-based fine art.

My guest today, however, started creating street art out of pure, unadulterated rage.

The anger that fuels street art newcomer Hysterical Men is rooted in gender inequality, social injustice, and congressional incompetence—in other words: politics. While many artists began incorporating political messages into their work after the 2016 election, Hysterical has built her entire brand around candid political commentary. Focusing mostly on hand-drawn portraits of members of Congress and other political operatives, I’d say she’s currently the most political street artist working in Philadelphia.

Hysterical Men has a particular talent for distilling complex and emotional sentiments down to a crystal clear message using powerful language and symbolism. And she’s using this ability to smash the patriarchy.


 
Streets Dept’s Eric Dale: Thank you for doing this interview!
Hysterical Men: Oh, it’s my pleasure!

SD: So first of all, I’m really curious to know where the idea for Hysterical Men came from. The underlying concept is one of those rare, perfect ideas that’s utterly simple yet incredibly powerful. I know that the Kavanaugh hearings were the initial inspiration—if you can call it that—but how did this idea to turn men’s sexist language back on them come to crystallize in your head?
HM: That’s a great question. It did start with the Kavanaugh hearings. I had been tossing around in my head for a year prior how to bring my concerns about the state of the country into my artwork, and I had been trying different things, and nothing was quite right. I had been seeing Symone Salib’s work around a lot, and I saw her portraits at Broad and Wharton of Cristine Blasey-Ford and Anita Hill. She is always so good about tapping into the current moment, and getting stuff up, and she just got that up right at the right time, when we were all just so traumatized by those hearings. Read more…

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