Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Public Art: Imagining the Next Fifty Years

Philadelphia's two original Percent for Art programs, the program of the Redevelopment Authority, and the City of Philadelphia program, have collaborated on a celebration of the 50th anniversary of their creation in 1959 - the first such ordinances in the nation. More info is available here. A wonderful exhibit has been mounted at the Art Institute of Philadelphia gallery on Chestnut Street which features the work of student photographers from four of our leading arts colleges - Moore College of Art, University of the Arts, the Tyler School at Temple, and the Art Institute - interpreting the City's public art collection through their photographs. The idea was to not just highlight the work of art, but show it "in action," as part of the life of the City, and as perceived by young artists. In addition, a symposium was held last Thursday that featured a panel of artists and curators - Andrea Blum, Dennis Oppenheim, Damon Rich and Adelina Vlas, with Aaron Levy from the Slought Foundation as the moderator. It was a fascinating, if incomplete, conversation - much more to delve into on this subject than could be covered in the allotted time. A commentary on the interest in this subject is that this panel was competing against a World Series game and still had a full house! (OK, it DID end early enough for us to get home by about the third inning - there is a limit to how much we can sacrifice for art...) Rather than recap the conversation myself, there is a great entry here on the Plan Philly website by Todd Bressi that I recommend.

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