June 11, 2015 |
The L.A.-based street artist WRDSMTH wanted to come to Philly. To do some installations - to put up some work. So he called Conrad Benner. Of course he did. Who else would he call? For four years, Benner has tirelessly showcased Philly's robust street art scene though his enormously popular blog and Instagram feed, Streets Dept. He grew up in Fishtown enamored of graffiti and street art - from the Philly tradition dating to graffiti pioneer Cornbread through the Mural Arts programs and the new pieces he saw popping up all around him on an endless canvas of abandoned homes and factories.
May 11, 2015 |
MURAL ARTIST Eurhi Jones has turned the north wall of Bodine High School into a gigantic ocean wave, created a spectacular jungle on the exterior of the Philadelphia Zoo parking garage and painted a wildlife-rich "Walk Through a Pennsylvania Forest" at the Please Touch Museum. Now, she has turned her eye-popping palette and her passion for nature into a 10-block, 50-artworks trail that winds through her own neighborhood, Manayunk, and leads people to the new Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center on the Schuylkill River.
March 11, 2015 |
Inside the art gallery at the end of the block on South Fourth Street, an eclectic array of artwork is bathed in harsh slants of light. Somehow both gritty and clean, lost-object art by an artist named MyDogSighs hangs across from A Common Name's stunning geodes, gleaming and winking in the light. The two artists, the former from the United Kingdom, the latter from California, were brought to Philadelphia by an arts initiative named HAHA x Paradigm. A collaborative effort of Paradigm Gallery, owned by Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, and Ginger Rudolph's global art publication HAHA magazine, HAHA x Paradigm is focused on bringing art to the community.
December 21, 2014 |
Graffiti crawl up exterior walls like webs of ivy, bending and twisting around rows of shuttered windows. At some street corners, layers of posters pile unevenly over this graffiti like papier mâché, stitching together urban blocks. When I traveled to Greece this year, my original itinerary focused on ancient history sites: the Parthenon, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Agora. These places all tell valuable Greek stories from centuries past through classical busts, orderly columns, and symmetrical ruins.
February 10, 2014 |
It was that kind of week. Dreary. Cold. Freezing snow, icy rain, downed power lines, and, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil, a forecast of six weeks more of the same. But Friday morning, as the good people of Collingswood made their way downtown, it was almost as if someone had sprinkled Haddon Avenue with fairy dust: Overnight, trees appeared to have sprouted sweater-wraps of pink, purple, and pewter. Horse-head hitching posts sported little knit caps and scarfs. Former parking meters were gussied up in pole cozies.
October 4, 2013 |
Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon are ready. They've got their artblog.org postcards laid out on Fallon's dining room table. They've got some artblog.org stats printed up. They've got a lime-green artblog.org tote bag tucked into itself like a tiny sculptural ball! "It's scary!" Fallon jokes, eyeing a reporter's tape recorder. "It's like us going in and interviewing people. We scare the bejeezus out of them!" Rosof chimes in: "We tag-team 'em!" Not to worry, she adds quickly.
September 23, 2013 |
When the idea first bubbled up more than two decades ago during the Rendell administration, a greatly broadened arts and culture sector was to be Philadelphia's savior. Hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private money was poured into expansions and new buildings, sometimes creating institutions from whole cloth. New audiences, economic development, and civic vitality would follow, planners said. The arts were the centerpiece of the plan, and it worked. Today, at least one arts booster harbors no doubts about how much of Center City's success can be traced to the arts.
August 12, 2012 |
NEW YORK - In torn jeans and saddled with a black backpack, Andrew Witten glances up and down the street for police. He then whips out a black marker and scribbles "Zephyr" on a wall covered with movie posters. He admires his work for a few seconds before his tattooed arms reach for his daughter, holding her hand as he briskly walks away. Witten and a generation of urban latchkey kids who spray-painted their initials all over Manhattan in the 1970s and '80s and landed in the city's street-art scene are coming of age - middle age, that is. And like Witten, a 51-year-old single father, some street artists considered now to be graffiti elders are having trouble putting away their spray-paint cans.
January 22, 2012 |
MIAMI - Beyond this gateway city's endless stretch of beachfront condos and restaurant-lined avenues, in what was once a desolate warehouse district, street art and graffiti have been elevated to a new level in a park named Wynwood Walls. Often called the Museum of the Streets, this urban gallery featuring murals by renowned artists from all over the world has no admission fee. Its creator, real estate maven Tony Goldman, had an epiphany after visiting midtown Miami's Wynwood neighborhood with his son, Joey, in 2005.
December 7, 2011 |
A DRAWING of a naked woman scrawled with the catcall "Damn Girl You Thick," Beyoncé song lyrics spray-painted on a wall, a small sticker with the scribbled message "osama is a muslim. " The funny, the political, the colorful, the arresting: These are the images that catch Conrad Benner's eye as he walks around Philadelphia, camera in hand. Benner, 26, posts pictures of street art to his blog StreetsDept.com, which averages about 1,000 page-views a day, and sends on-the-fly pictures out on his Twitter account, @streetsdept, to his 2,636 (as of yesterday)