Arts Roundup

Artists, exhibits and projects to watch this fall 

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Philadelphia Assembled’ Spotlights the Resistance
Artists and activists of any city’s creative scene usually exist in tension with its more established institutions, which is what makes this month’s “Philadelphia Assembled” show so interesting. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in collaboration with a diverse network of artists, storytellers, gardeners, healers and others—curated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk—will explore the collective acts of resistance that artists have been making in Philadelphia over the past year. The exhibit seeks to ask the question, “How can we collectively imagine our futures?” Vacant space, mass incarceration, climate change and what it means to be a sanctuary city are some of the themes that have been explored in the works throughout Philadelphia this year, now collected in the exhibit running Sept. 10 through Dec. 10, at the Perelman Building at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

LandLab Residencies Connect Art and Nature
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough is home to a number of innovative programs and has been quietly building an art program to address local environmental issues through art installations and public engagement. Three new artists have been chosen for the 2017–2018 year: Maryland-based nonprofit Dance Exchange will look at physical movement related to waterways; Brooklyn multimedia artist Jan Mun will create an ultimately edible mushroom vortex maze that explores how rootedness in place relates to centeredness and meditation; and, finally, Philadelphia landscape architect and artist Kate Farquhar will create a project titled “Synestates,” which will insert what she calls “mythic micro-environments” throughout the center to imagine future possibilities of how humans might interact with our natural surroundings. The program is a joint venture between SCEE and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists. 

Photography Book Explores Philadelphia’s Past
Workshops and factories. Sporting clubs and societies. Synagogues, churches and theaters. Throughout Philadelphia, hidden places offer insight into Philadelphia’s past. Photographers Joseph E.B. Elliott and Nathaniel Popkin—in collaboration with writer Peter Woodall of Hidden City Philadelphia fame—are set to release “Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City” through Temple University Press. Temple has framed the book as a look into “the city’s vivid layers and living ruins” rather than simply presenting a “nostalgic elegy to loss and urban decline.” Preorders are on sale for the November release.

PHS, RAIR and Built Environment Artists Receive Pew Grants
A slew of Philadelphia artists have just received grants from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, including a $75,000 fellowship to dancer Nichole Canuso. Other fellowships went to Brenda Dixon Gottschild, known for surveying the influence of black dance and choreography in America, and Moon Molson, a filmmaker specializing in what he calls “the language of the streets,” with a particular emphasis on films that represent people of color. Landscape architects Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha received a joint fellowship to explore the geographic lines that separate land and water—as well as urban and rural environments—and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was awarded a grant to recreate Thomas Paine Plaza into a “farm-to-park” civic commons to spark conversations on urban agriculture, food access and community revitalization. Up-and-comer RAIR (Recycled Artists in Residence) has also received a grant to fund a project that conceptualizes waste as cultural artifact.