Mural Arts Announces Artists for “Open Source” Project

Three artists taking part in Mural Arts "Open Source" project: Swoon, Shepard Fairey and the Dufala Brothers.

Three artists taking part in Mural Arts “Open Source” project: Swoon, Shepard Fairey and the Dufala Brothers.

Today the Mural Arts Program announced the artists who will be participating in the new “Open Source” project, which it says is Philadelphia’s biggest site-specific art exhibition ever. The project includes such names as JR, Shepard Fairey, Sterling Ruby, SWOON, Michelle Angela Ortiz, and is scheduled for 2015.

“’Open Source’ will position Mural Arts as an organization on the leading edge of cultural conversation, harnessing our strengths as well as the strengths of the participating artists,” Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden said in a release. “Mural Arts has already put our city on the map as a world-renowned hub for public art and this project takes that to the next level. The project will advance Philadelphia’s reputation for cultural innovation and further situate it as a global city.”

The 12 international artists contributing are SWOON, The Dufala Brothers (of Funeral for a Home fame), the team of Ernel Martinez & Keir Johnston, Sam Durant, Shepard Fairey (who did a mural/liquor ad, Lotus Diamond, in Fishtown last year), JR, MOMO, Jonathan Monk, Odili Donald Odita, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Sterling Ruby, Shinique Smith, Jennie Shanker and Heeseop Yoon. The Dufala Brothers are natives of the Philadelphia area. Martinez and Johnston, Odita and Shanker are Philadelphia-based.

MOMO installation.

MOMO installation. For “Open Source,” the New York-based artist will work on a project about empowering youth through the arts.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art to Be Only U.S. Stop for Major Impressionist Exhibit

Dance at Bougival, 1883 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Dance at Bougival, 1883, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Big news in the Philly art scene this week: The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) just announced that it will be the only U.S. city to house an upcoming international exhibition that includes works from Impressionist greats, like Manet, Monet, Degas and Renoir, among others.

“Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting” highlights the impact of Parisian art dealer Durand-Ruel, who championed the works of the aforementioned Impressionist painters, giving rise to the medium we know and love today. A description from the Art Museum:

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Philly Photographer Takes Stunning Nude Self-Portraits in Abandoned Buildings

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Sarah Bloom is a 45-year-old photographer who makes her living by shooting weddings and portrait photography. But Bloom, who lives in Narberth with her 19-year-old daughter, also finds her way into abandoned buildings to take nude self-portraits among the decay, and she’s just gotten international attention for it. Here, she tells us why she does it. A gallery, used with permission, appears after the interview.

So why nude and why in abandoned buildings in Philadelphia?
I had already been taking photos of myself naked to try and get more comfortable with my body. I liked the nude form because of the vulnerability and fragility of our physical beings. And the buildings became a canvas, a backdrop for me. I think they’re beautiful. Sad and beautiful. Aging can be sad but also beautiful, and I try to embrace it as such. There’s a lot of loss there, but also a beauty to it.

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Barnes Foundation Names New Director

In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Thom Collins, director of the Perez Art Museum Miami, is shown during an interview at the museum in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Thom Collins, director of the Perez Art Museum Miami, is shown during an interview at the museum in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The Barnes Foundation has named its new director. Thom Collins comes here from Miami, where he was director of the Perez Art Museum Miami. Collins is a native Philadelphian.

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Collins, 46, who also served for five years as director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y., said he was drawn to the Barnes not only because it was one of the places where he first learned about art while growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, but also because of the philosophy of its founder, Albert C. Barnes, a pharmaceutical tycoon who cast it more as a teaching institution than as a traditional museum.

“I’ve always thought of myself as an educator,” said Mr. Collins, who added that he felt that the Barnes had “really never been able to bridge to that great academic community in and around Philadelphia” — schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University and Swarthmore College, his undergraduate alma mater.

Asked his opinion about the Barnes’s relocation from the suburb of Merion — permitted in a 2004 court decision that circumvented the charter and bylaws of Barnes, who had stipulated that his collection could not be lent, sold or moved from its original home — Mr. Collins said: “To me it seems like an unqualified success. I have no reservations now about it at all, and I wouldn’t be going there if I did.”

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11 Things To Do In Philly This Weekend: Franklin Flea Winter Market Opens, Franklin Square Holiday Festival, Dilworth Park Ice Skating Rink Opens and More



Bill Cosby’s Art Collection On Display at Smithsonian

More than 60 artworks from Bill and Camille Cosby’s private art collection are now on display with pieces of African works at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington.

This is the first time the works have been shown to the public. According to AP, the pieces include everything from “a masterwork that had remained hidden for a half-century before Camille Cosby recognized its value, to a quilt made from their slain son’s clothes (he was killed in 1997).” More about the Cosby works in “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue”:

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THE ONE: Artist Sarah Kaizar On “Mars Show”

"We've been here before, but it's new every time" by Sarah Kaizar.

“We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time” by Sarah Kaizar.

Local artist and Tyler School of Art grad Sarah Kaizar is showing her latest works in a solo exhibit called “Mars Show,” open now through November 30th at 3rd Street Gallery. We chatted with her about the show’s subject—mental health care and the Mars rover experiments—and its signature piece, “We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time” (above).

How and when did you create “We’ve done this before, but it’s new every time”? I’ve been working on this project on and off since August 2013. This piece is drawn with a mix of materials (pencil, ink, paint, tape, chalk, conté crayon, powdered graphite … ) on layers of vellum and acrylic resin. I have never worked this way before, so the drawing had a few false starts; you can actually see that process in the piece because of the translucency of the materials.

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Lynch-Themed Exhibit Opens at Kensington’s Pterodactyl

PJ Smalley’s portrait of Dale Cooper | Photo via Christian Sarkis Graham

PJ Smalley’s portrait of Dale Cooper. | Photo via Christian Sarkis Graham

Is there really any time as fitting as Halloween weekend to open a show in praise and commemoration of David Lynch? (Okay besides Father’s Day. Or Thanksgiving.)

“I was thinking, ‘How would Dale Cooper go about curating a show?’ He would be very earnest, with almost a Boy Scout sincerity; but he would still engage elements of the surreal and the strange. He would go about it as a tribute to his creator; in a lot of ways, Dale Cooper is the ultimate Lynch self-portrait.”

So explains PJ Smalley, the artist behind the arguable centerpiece of Pterodactyl gallery’s David Lynch-themed exhibit, “Catching the Big Fish,” which held its opening reception Saturday night.

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“Playing Angels” Sculpture Returns to Kelly Drive

Yesterday a beloved sculpture was restored to its proper place in Fairmount. Carl Milles’ “Playing Angels” have danced and played in the grass above Kelly Drive since 1972 and recently received a long-awaited makeover.

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia) had the “Playing Angels” fully restored and reengineered their anchoring system, so now they can be enjoyed for decades to come. The angels were cast from a group of five originals created by the famous Swedish sculptor around 1950, which currently reside in Millesgården, overlooking Sweden’s Stockholm harbor.



According to the Association for Public Art, the five casts were originally headed for a private site in Philadelphia. When plans fell through, one angel headed to Kansas City and another to Virginia. The Association for Public Art (then called the Fairmount Park Art Association) bought the other three in 1968 and installed them four years later.

The playful bronze casts sit lightly atop concrete pedestals – similar to those at Millesgården – giving them the appearance of flight. Now the “Playing Angels” can once again be seen frolicking in the sky while they make their music where Kelly Drive meets Fountain Green Drive, overlooking the Schuylkill River.

Photos courtesy of the Association for Public Art.

What’s Worth Seeing in October: Neil Young, Thurston Moore, Midtown Village Fall Festival, and More

neil young

Neil Young

Neil Young
October 8th and 9th
Academy of Music
The gritty Canadian singer and guitarist has always had a huge Philadelphia fan base, and his shows here are the stuff of legend. He performed a solo set and one with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Live Aid, he headlined a special 2008 concert to commemorate the end of the Spectrum, and his 2007 Tower shows were memorialized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the documentary Neil Young Trunk Show. If you don’t catch at least one of his two performances here this month, you’ll be missing out.

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