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Archive | Art

What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Mosaic Mural Dedicated at Kirkbride School

By Tim Gibbon for the Passyunk Post

On Tuesday, June 5th students, teachers, project partners, and community members gathered at Eliza Kirkbride School, 1501 South 7th Street, for the dedication of the new mosaic mural that now adorns the front of their school. Kirkbride students worked with COSACOSA art at large, Inc. to produce the mural, titled “Philadelphia: Love & Liberty.” COSACOSA is a non-profit organization that engages people of differing backgrounds to work together toward a common goal through participatory art-making.

The new mosaic mural at Kirkbride. Photo by Ellie Seif.

The artwork celebrates both Philadelphia’s role in the founding of the nation and the hopes of its youth. Students investigated connections among the ideals expressed in our nation’s founding documents and immigrant stories from their families, their school, and their neighborhood. Kirkbride students represent more than 30 different ethnicities, and many are new immigrants. The ceremony coincided with the national celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month.

Kirkbride student artists. Photo by Tim Gibbon.

The ceremony featured remarks principal Rebecca Julien and teachers Catherine Memmolo and Peter Metcalfe. Praising the student’s work, COSACOSA Director Kimberly Niemela said, “In the mural, a rainbow bridge of understanding runs across the entire city.”

Sabrya Ross, an 8th grade student at Kirkbride who worked on the mural, noted that “Love and freedom are very important because there’s a lot of separation and hate in the world. We should all try to come together to make it better.” Fellow 8th-grader Guosheng Chen added, “When we are united together as one community, we can achieve any goal.”

Sabrya Ross, an 8th grade student at Kirkbride gives her remarks. Photo by Ellie Seif.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

New Courtyard from Old Materials for Southwark School

Southwark School at 9th and Mifflin Streets is gearing up for an exciting redesign of the 9th Street courtyard into a true community space. Since February, Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Restored Spaces Initiative, in collaboration with the Spanish trash-focused artist collective Basurama – which translates to “Trash-o-rama” – has worked with community members, Southwark School students, faculty, and staff, to design and produce furniture for the currently empty space.

Southwark School – 9th Street project area. Credit: Google Maps.

At the beginning of the school year, Mural Arts installed the mural “Weaving Culture” on the north side of the 9th Street courtyard. This vibrant mural was designed in collaboration with Southwark students, parents, faculty and staff.

“Weaving Culture” mural by James Dunn in collaboration with Southwark School student artists. Photo credit: Steve Weinik.

Earlier this year, Southwark parents and neighbors had an opportunity to design the new benches and planters that will be placed in the courtyard in front of the mural. The distinctive feature of the design, and a specialty of artist collective Basurama, is that all of the fixtures will be built from recycled materials, including, very appropriately, old school desks.

The design process has been a real community effort. The meetings, during which several translators were present, have been well attended by a true cross-section of the community found in and around Southwark School.

The final design was presented on April 23rd at a meeting where the community had the opportunity to discuss and vote on the design and the placement of benches and planters within the space. After some discussion and careful deliberation the final arrangement and orientation of the fixtures were agreed upon unanimously.

East side of 9th Street, looking northeast. Credit: Google Maps.

The first phase of the courtyard construction is taking place this week, June 4th to June 8th. While some highly-skilled work will be done by professionals, community members (and others) are welcome and encouraged to participate in the collaborative build. Just stop by the site between 10 a.m. and noon or 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to lend a hand. A second construction phase will occur this fall.

After this week’s build-out is completed, a representative of artist collective Basurama will address the community at Bok on June 11th at 6 pm. Basurama will be joined by Ron Whyte (activist and blogger, Deep Green Philly), Nic Esposito (Director, City of Philadelphia Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet), and Raquel de Anda (artist; Director of Public Engagement, No Longer Empty). Register or find more information about the event here.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Queen Village 

Tonight: Get your “Groove On!”

Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater presents “Groove On!” tonight at L’Etage, 624 South 6th Street. The fundraiser will feature daring displays of the other talents of the ensemble’s members which includes two South Philly residents.

Tongue & Groove is a Philly-based improvised theater group founded in 2006.  In their regular shows, the group anonymously collects thoughts from audience members which they then use to create improvised scenes and monologues.

Tonight’s show is more of a talent show-meets-fundraiser.

The Tongue & Groove troop. South Philadelphia resident Beth Dougherty is shown in the lower left corner of this photo.

Various cast members will showcase their skills which include cabaret singer, magician and drummer.  They’ll be joined by special guests to offer a fun-filled evening.

Ensemble member and East Passyunk Crossing resident, Beth Dougherty, noted that the group just received non-profit status through CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia.  The fundraiser will help the group meet their mission of helping people connect in a disconnected world. “A show like ours [in which] we create the content from suggestions we receive from the audience…connects everyone who is present…we help to bring people together…and everyone walks out feeling the same good feeling together,” Dougherty explained.

Dougherty, a founding member of the company, was invited to join by company director Bobbi Block. Off-stage, Dougherty has served on the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association board since 2008 and helped form its Education Committee. She loves the creative opportunity the ensemble affords her,  “I love my work and my community activism and involvement, but there is nothing like getting up on stage and creating a show from scratch like we do.”

While creating a show from scratch might seem stressful to some, Dougherty notes, “it’s really more fun than anything to get the suggestions and get out there and put it all together.  The challenge can be trying to be “funny” – sometimes if you aren’t getting as many laughs as you would like, there is the tendency to push something and try too hard to be funny, which almost always backfires.”  She enjoys the group’s camaraderie, “they are wonderful, funny, creative and inspiring, and I love to be around them!”

Check out the group’s talents tonight by purchasing tickets here.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

PSCA Art Auction – now featuring even more local artists

The Passyunk Square Civic Association (PSCA) will hold its 7th annual Art Auction from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight at Saint Maron’s Maronite Catholic Church, 10th and Ellsworth Street.  You’ll receive a discount if you purchase tickets in advance here before noon today.

The auction will feature sculpture, prints, photography and paintings from more than 40 South Philly artists. “The event showcases the really creative people, acclaimed creative people, who live right in our neighborhood,” said Sarah Anton, PSCA President.  Anton pointed out one difference with this year’s show, “There are even more local artists thanks to the efforts of David Guinn and Theresa Rose.”

Guinn and Rose both live in the neighborhood and participated in past auctions after seeing PSCA’s annual call for artists.  Rose, who co-chairs the event with Sanaz Hojreh, described an epiphany she and David had at last years’ auction, “We noticed that some artists who we knew lived in the area were missing from the event.”  After speaking with PSCA, “we began reaching out to artists down the street, in the neighborhood, and nearby. Some didn’t know about the auction but were happy to be part of it,” said Rose.

The event benefits PSCA’s on-going efforts and local elementary schools.  Artwork by students from the Andrew Jackson, Christopher Columbus Charter, Kirkbride, & Vare-Washington Schools will be for sale. The proceeds from sales of this art will directly benefit the schools.

Anton praised the generosity of the local artists and area businesses who make the event possible, “It’s a great evening and a wonderful way to help the civic association while celebrating our neighborhood and its creativity.”

Complimentary snacks and drinks will be included and music provided. In addition to the auction, there will be artwork for sale and raffles for local store and restaurant gift certificates and other items.

If you’re an artist in the area and would like to be part of next year’s show, contact pscaartauction@gmail.com.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Explore Bok Beyond the Bar

There’s more to Bok than just its rooftop bar.

explore-bok-beyond-the-bar
Providing studio, office and retail space for creatives of all types, BOK is “work-home” to over 80 artists, makers, small businesses, non-profits and beyond. A pop-up boutique and art exhibition by South Philly creatives will keep the building full of activity this summer.
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