Three rounds of Knight Arts Challenge grants have helped Philly cultural organizations create new programs and bring art to broader audiences. Now the Knight Foundation announced $780,000 in new funding to 19 Philly artists and groups, largely toward previous challenge-grant winners looking to scale up projects or try something new.
Among these winners are several that promise to turn “everyday moments into artistic experiences.” Here are five highly public projects we’re excited to experience:
Bearded Ladies Cabaret ($75,000) will create and produce “an interactive, pop-up opera inspired by the life and legacy of Andy Warhol.” While it’s a work in progress there will be pop-up performances in everyday places, like parks. Opera Philadelphia will provide an opera chorus for the show's run at The Wilma Theater.
Chemical Heritage Foundation ($60,000) will interpret urban air quality through a public art project by digital media artist Andrea Polli. Polli will create a 60-foot video projection on the façade of The Wilma Theater visualizing real-time air quality data.
Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates ($50,000) will go towards the huge site-specific installation at seven spots along the Northeast Corridor railroad tracks in Philadelphia by German artist Katharina Grosse. The splashy artwork is intended to be viewed through window of a moving train. It’s a “real-time landscape painting that explores shifting scale, perspective and the passage of time.”
Sean Stoops ($27,000) will turn subway tunnels into an art canvas. Stoops will install a series of large images, sequenced like a giant flipbook, in Center City subway tunnels, which will use the speed of moving trains to create the illusion of a moving image.
The Clay Studio ($25,000) will hold a 40-hour open house in celebration of its 40th anniversary, including hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and presentations. Twenty artists will create 200 custom coffee mugs, which will be given away to strangers in a "Guerilla Mug Assault."
Ashley Hahn has written and edited Eyes on the Street since 2011. Since September 2015 she has served as PlanPhilly's managing editor. She has a special interest in preservation, neighborhoods, and all things public – from policy to art. She holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from PennDesign. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She is proud to call 19147 home.