February 1, 2016 |
Thousands of people flocked Saturday to Mount Holly, scouring the area for parking spots and then joining a downtown throng to soak up colorful sights and sunshine just one week after a major storm barreled through the area. They came to see sculptors create masterpieces from ice that was bound up in 300-pound blocks, not swirling about and wreaking havoc. Oh yes, they came, too, for the spicy hot chili that was being served up as the annual Fire & Ice Festival unfolded on a three-block stretch in the business district.
January 11, 2016 |
Ritter & Shay are best known for designing the extraordinary trio of art deco skyscrapers that hover over Center City like giant frosted wedding cakes: the Drake , One East Penn Square , and the U.S. Custom House. But before the architects made it big downtown, they designed a modest commercial building for North Broad Street. Their contribution to the boulevard's collection of architectural riches is the Broad Street Trust Co., just above Stiles Street. Built in 1927, the four-story limestone building predates Ritter & Shay's first art deco skyscraper, the Drake, by two years.
December 21, 2015 |
What once was lost may well be found, but with public art, there are usually no saviors, and fate is unpredictable. Take, for instance, two sets of monumental sculptures removed in 1961 from the landmark Witherspoon Building at Walnut and Juniper Streets. One group of nine-foot statues, fashioned by Alexander Stirling Calder, was taken down, stored, and re-installed in 1967 in the court of the Presbyterian Historical Society's new home on Lombard Street in Society Hill. The other, a group of 10 enormous biblical prophets created by the renowned Thomas Eakins and his friend and former student Samuel Murray, became the Lost Prophets, dealt off for a pittance in the 1960s and forgotten, but recently rediscovered.
November 14, 2015 |
For Rea Rossi, sound has always been a tricky thing: elusive and slippery, wrangled only with therapy, concentration, and excellent hearing aids. So Rossi, 29, an artist based in Fishtown, began contemplating how to capture it and make it tangible, solid enough to wrap around a wrist or drape over her shoulders. The resulting artworks - visualizations meant to represent sound waves created in a computer-assisted design program and 3D-printed from nylon - are somewhere on the spectrum between jewelry and sculpture.
September 18, 2015 |
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.
September 5, 2015 |
The anonymous messages ranged from the universal - "World Peace! World Peace! World Peace!" - to the deeply personal: "Prayers for my son having a liver transplant. " "I pray that I will be able to fully accept my son's homosexuality. " And: "Grieving the loss of my dear husband of 37 years. " Knotted ribbons of white cloth bearing prayers and statements of personal struggle rippled in the breeze Thursday outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. More than 30,000 streamers of hope and faith fluttered during the dedication of the "Knotted Grotto" outside the cathedral.
August 29, 2015 |
Karl O. Karhumaa, 90, a sculptor who taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for more than 20 years, exerting a quiet but powerful influence on a generation of Philadelphia sculptors, died Monday at Wyndmoor Hills Health Care & Rehabilitation Center. He was recovering from a broken hip, friends said, when he died in his sleep. "He had a dry sense of humor, and his sculpture has humor - it's a lot like him," said friend and fellow sculptor Jerry Klein. Klein said Mr. Karhumaa was a figurative artist but saw figures "in a different way" than others at the academy.
July 13, 2015 |
A glance down the hallway toward the gallery of the Woodmere Art Museum, where its 74th Annual Juried Exhibition begins, reveals the quirky aesthetic of jurors and artist brothers Steven and Billy Dufala. In the distance, an enormous, featureless, off-white creature shaped like a cross between a duck and a sheep lies on the floor. Behind it is a large painting of two women standing side by side against a starry night, one holding an ungainly cloudlike form, the other's face hidden by a mass of droopy hair - or something like hair.
June 26, 2015 |
A garden party need not be a staid, tame affair of tea sandwiches and wine spritzers. At Tyler Park Center for the Arts this weekend, it will have quite the sound track. Saturday and Sunday mark the first Summer Music and Sculpture Festival. Bands such as jammy Wineskin, drummers like Jim Hines, eclectic cover band TriTide, and other acts will provide the beat to an installation featuring dozens of sculptures from artists traveling from as far away as Germany and from as near as Trenton and Philadelphia.
June 6, 2015 |
Even before a ribbon-cutting to unveil newly installed sculptures at Paine's Park on Thursday afternoon, the geometric forms were heavily scarred with scratches and tire marks left by skateboarders and BMX bikers who had attacked it overnight. But unlike other public works popular with skaters (see the Claes Oldenburg paint "blob" on Broad Street that was reoriented a few years ago to deter them), this was exactly the intended result. The piece, Steps and Pyramid , is British artist Jonathan Monk's skatable reinterpretation of sculptures by the minimalist artist Sol LeWitt.