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Public Art in Philly


Friday, November 26, 2010

Yes there is a lot of history lurking around, but contemporary art is also easy to find in Philadelphia.  The walls are covered with murals and museums/galleries are on every corner.  Here is a little taste of just one day’s walk in downtown, starting with Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture followed by “Your Move” at City Hall.

Mei Ling Hom’s “China Wedge” was especially designed for the triangular area under the escalator of the Convention Center.  This tight space is a metaphor for the immigrant experience.  Deep inside the sculpture is a hidden collection of sealed envelopes of writings by Asian Americans about their difficult and painful experiences.

Beneath the scaffolding may be one of the most important sites for US history… but now it has definitely been made to look like a contemporary art installation during the refurbishment process!

I saw this tree on my way to Cereal Art.  It looked so warm and cozy on this chilly autumn afternoon that I wanted to hug it… but then I thought about all the dogs who get the same feeling and pee all over it.


Claes Oldenburg’s Clothespin sculpture is quite controversial.  Some love it and others hate it.  I think it’s great!

No, I didn’t run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky.  But I did see Michelangelo Pistoleto‘s excellent show there.  That night the museum stayed open until 8:45pm and there was a lively scene: a storytelling competition in one of the galleries, live jazz music and Pistoleto’s show.
PAFA is the first and oldest art school in the US.  I wonder if Thomas Eakins was as cool and hip as art students today.

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