Happy Holidays and Winter Vacation to all! Winter break is always wonderful; relaxing with friends and family, but there’s always a bit more idle time than we know what to do with. In between Netflix binges or eggnog sipping, grab a couple friends, and use your STAMP passes. You have access to 12 museums to keep you busy!
Grab a friend and head over to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), they have a new exhibit called Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts. This art exhibit is also historical and anthropological.
The design of the exhibit was incredibly thought out. I’d visited exhibits in the gallery before and was curious to see how this installation would use its huge space. The walls have become murals. Amongst all the wonderful artifacts they’ve collected, the walls that display them, are mini murals. Each section of the gallery is almost an exhibit of its own. A timeline wrapping around the first wall as you turn the corner, includes events like the beginning of the Mural Arts Program and the falling of the Berlin Wall, putting into context what was going on in Philadelphia and the rest of the world.
There are more than 2 walls of photography of murals around Philadelphia, and it was fun to search for the ones I recognized.
There are poetry, audible interviews, and personal pictures from participants in making the murals and members of the community. Writing in other languages draws a universal bridge in art. There is a wall that showcases political murals and how art sparked conversations in the community. There is a series of photography on a collection of works by Stephen Powers’ “Love Letters”. I found them an interesting take on graffiti. Murals began as a way to combat graffiti, but this artist left messages on a wall. I’ve always thought murals to be paintings or portraits. Without giving much away, this exhibit addresses different culture’s approach to murals in Philadelphia. How religious, ethnic and overall neighborhood needs affected the art in a given area is a theme in the exhibit.
I strongly suggest giving this exhibit a visit. You’ll learn a lot about Philly’s art as well as art a force to change the world.
While you’re there, head over to the Historic Building next door and check out the Kaws installation if you haven’t already!
READY TO VISIT PAFA? Check out the PAFA profile page for the hours you can use your STAMP pass!
This post was written by Amani Bey, a STAMP Teen Council member. Amani attends Science Leadership Academy.