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NEWS
February 25, 2005
Did you decide that you just couldn't miss The Gates in New York? What did you think about the display of saffron flags lining the walkways of Central Park? Not that you need to leave South Jersey to get a look at public art - or to have an opinion about it. Community Voices is looking for essays of about 400 to 700 words on The Gates or any public art in the region. Do you have a favorite, or does one capture your attention even if you don't care for it? Send your essays or ideas to Community Voices, The Inquirer, 53 Haddonfield Rd., Suite 300, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08002.
NEWS
December 27, 1998
With the unveiling of the Frank Rizzo statue on the steps of the Municipal Services Building planned for Jan. 1, this question comes to mind: What other works of art do the public spaces of the city and suburbs need? What person, event or thing would you like to see so honored in your neighborhood? Why? Send essays of 100 words or less by Jan. 11, including a phone number for verification, to Community Voices/Heroes at the addresses listed in the Where to Write box above. Questions?
NEWS
September 3, 1988
Driving across the Ben Franklin Bridge and seeing the city's skyline arrayed before you makes a marvelous introduction to Philadelphia - a promise of urban excitement after an enervating journey through South Jersey's commercial sprawl. As new projects spring up along the waterfront, billboards disappear and Vine Street goes post-modern with sweeping ramps and new landscaping, that impression is bound to get even better. But let's face it, there is one eyesore at the very entrance to the city that acts as an immediate depressant, and nobody to date has done anything about it. That's because Isamu Noguchi's Bolt of Lightning . . . A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin falls into the untouchable realm of art. The 102-foot-high statue, for all the genius, money and good will that went in to its creation, looks like a crumpled piece of metal - less a salute to the great inventor than to the city's oversupply of litter.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 1997 | By Leonard W. Boasberg, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A relief mural spreads 81 feet along the limestone wall of a community center in East Los Angeles. It commemorates the life of a mid-19th-century black woman named Biddy Mason. There's a wagon wheel, symbolizing her trek by wagon train from Texas to Los Angeles, where she won her freedom in a landmark case. There are bonded photos of her freedom papers and of the deed to her homestead, which once stood on the site. There's a midwife's bag, symbolizing her service as a midwife bringing hundreds of babies into the world.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2011 | By REBECCA ALLEN, The Orange County Register
SEATTLE - Hulking under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle is a 7-ton troll clutching a real Volkswagen Beetle, as if it snagged it off the roadway above. And incidentally, the VW has a California license plate. The statue, made of rebar steel, wire and concrete, is at Troll Way and 36th Street in the funky, artistic neighborhood of Fremont. One of the delights of visiting the Northwest is the vast array of public art. Some of it, like the Fremont Troll, is fun. Some is thought-provoking; some stirs controversy.
NEWS
August 8, 1999
What do we want to leave for future generations? What about our community might inspire a work of public art? How can we improve our public spaces? Over the past year, communities and artists participating in the Fairmount Park Art Association's NewLandMarks program have been grappling with these challenging questions to plan new works of public art for sites throughout Philadelphia. To spread the word about the NewLandMarks program, the art association held community meetings at Free Library branches throughout the city.
NEWS
October 1, 2012 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
Making art that serves the people is a noble goal, yet as both the Bolsheviks and the Mexican muralists discovered in the last century, it's not easy to accomplish. The art of the Russian avant-garde proved to be too radical aesthetically, that of the muralists too extreme politically. With a "light-sculpture" project on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway called Open Air , Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has succeeded in bridging the considerable gap between aesthetic ambition and public taste.
NEWS
May 8, 2002
PICTURED at right is our suggestion for one piece of public art that would be fitting for the outside of the new Phillies and Eagles stadiums. It's by one of Philadelphia's favorite artists, Claes Oldenburg, creator of "Clothespin," that iconic sculpture in Center City. This piece is called "Soft Screw. " As documented by Don Russell in yesterday's Daily News, the public, which is heavily bankrolling the construction of our new $1 billion in stadiums, has been shut out of the selection or approval of the public art that will grace the grounds of those new playing fields.
NEWS
December 12, 2001 | By Edward J. Sozanski INQUIRER ART CRITIC
For its public opening on Sunday, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts was supposed to have been fitted out with $260,000 worth of public art selected and purchased under the city's One Percent for Art program. However, the process of acquiring the works is months behind schedule, and they probably won't be acquired and installed until the middle of next year. Still, the Kimmel won't be totally artless for its opening. Two small galleries on the center's first tier promenade will be installed with works by faculty, students and alumnae of Moore College of Art and Design.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Murals in Philadelphia have been created, variously, to uplift underserved communities, honor local leaders, fight blight, and amplify grassroots causes. Now, in a swath of the city's Callowhill area, they're advancing a new goal: rebranding a neighborhood. Artists commissioned by the city's Mural Arts Program are installing nine permanent and temporary murals that, collectively, create a revolving outdoor gallery billed as "Spring Arts District. " That also happens to be the identity that developer Craig Grossman, who sought and partially funded the project, is trying to cultivate in this gentrifying stretch between Eighth and 12th, from Noble to Spring Garden Streets.
NEWS
April 8, 2016
ISSUE | MURALS Program's outreach invigorates Philly A recent letter suggested that Philadelphia is hampered by its abundance of murals, most of which are produced by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program ("Art in moderation," Friday). As the board chair of the nonprofit arm of Mural Arts, I take pride in the organization's commitment to a robust and transparent community process that encourages input on future artworks. The figures and ideas depicted in the murals emerge from these crucial conversations.
NEWS
February 22, 2016
A New York City high school senior is giving Gloucester City residents a chance to help create an imaginative work of public art on their downtown waterfront. Fish sculptures hand-painted by students and adults in the city will be affixed to a sinuous, 20-foot-long "wave wall" to be installed in Proprietor's Park along the Delaware River. The transparent, 7-foot-high wall is the first step in a $30,000, privately funded effort to improve the appearance of an imposing but rather stark waterfront landmark known as the Betsy Ross Pavilion, as well as its surroundings.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2016 | Inga Saffron, INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
There is a great work of art in the center of Dilworth Park. Unfortunately, you can't see it right now. Called Pulse , the site-specific piece by Janet Echelman was commissioned in 2009, just as a major reconstruction was being planned for the City Hall plaza. Her idea was to use colored light and mist to trace the path of the subways as they rumbled under the park's surface. Ephemeral and magical, the piece was meant to be the capstone of the plaza's $55 million overhaul, a civic gesture that could be as captivating as the famous sculptures of Chicago's Millennium Park . But nearly 18 months after Dilworth reopened under the auspices of a private manager, the Center City District, Pulse is only half-finished.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2016 | By Terri Akman, For The Inquirer
The Queen Village Neighborhood Association said it had these ugly electrical junction boxes on every street. What could be done about them? On a recent Wednesday, Ryan Psota was the 15th artist to transform the nearly six-foot-tall metal boxes into works of art. Using brushes, a roller, a beaded paddle, and cardboard coffee-cup sleeve, Psota, 26, created a background texture for his line drawings at a box at Seventh and South Street - with the...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2016 | Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
For fans of public art in Philadelphia, it still stings to think about that day in 1998 when word got out that an iconic wall sculpture by artist Ellsworth Kelly had been removed from the old Greyhound office building, quietly sold, and given to New York's Museum of Modern Art. It wasn't the first or last great work of public art to be lost to Philadelphia through some combination of intercity poaching, heedless development, and neglect. In fact, even as the Gallery mall closed for renovations Jan. 1, the fate of its public art remained unclear.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
If you've wandered along North Broad Street lately, you may be scratching your head at the phalanx of stainless steel columns that have suddenly appeared in the center, marching single-file from Callowhill Street to the North Philadelphia station. Are they modernist WiFi antennas? Props for pole dancers? Or maybe just a vulgar gesture aimed at Center City? The answer is: none of the above. Folks, those 55-foot-tall poles are supposed to be art, of the iconic variety. This misguided project, which has cost the public $14 million, is the combined work of City Hall and Avenue of the Arts , the nonprofit established during the Rendell era to clean up and market Broad Street.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On Tuesday morning, atop the cinematic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, officials will unveil a special loan, in honor of Pope Francis - a monumental bilingual version of Robert Indiana's famous  LOVE  sculpture. AMOR  will overlook the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where Pope Francis will conduct his papal Mass on Sunday, Sept. 27. Officials at the Art Museum and the Association for Public Art, who arranged a four-month loan of the colorful six-foot sculpture, noted that  amor  means  love  both in Latin, the classic language of the church, and in Spanish, Francis' native language.
NEWS
September 6, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
Daniel W. Dietrich II, 73, a self-effacing philanthropist who valued quiet exploration as much as artistic adventure, died Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Paoli Hospital. Mr. Dietrich, who lived in Chester County, was heir to a family conglomerate that once counted Luden's cough drops among its assets. He was vice president of Luden's, based in Reading, for a time, but his tastes ultimately ran more toward cultural activities than business endeavors. A longtime board member and supporter of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art, Mr. Dietrich made a bold statement about his interests this year when he gave $10 million to ICA to form an endowment that would enhance the scope and flexibility of the institution's curatorial efforts.
NEWS
July 25, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
With imminent renovation of the two-block-long Gallery mall on Market Street, its owners are faced with a vexing problem: What to do about the public art installed decades ago, fruit of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority's Percent-for-Art program? All public art in the Gallery must be removed by the end of November, according to the authority. As of now, none of the work has officially found a new home. One piece is of particular concern to officials - Larry Rivers' massive tile mural, Philadelphia Now and Then , which not only faces homelessness, but has suffered serious damage over the years.
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