"Collection" introduces Philadelphians to the idea of a locally grown art community

Erica Prince - Ryan Foley from Vox Populi's "Collection" exhibit.Collecting art may seem like an expensive process, reserved only for those with the time and funds to seek out and purchase pieces. But "Collection", a new exhibit from the 25-year-old artist collective Vox Populi, is working to change that misconception. Organized by Vox Populi member Beth Heinly and executive director Andrew Suggs, "Collection" brings together more than 60 works that have been collected and hung in the homes of Vox Populi members and board members. The hope is to open a discussion on collecting and introduce the public to artists from the Philadelphia-area and beyond.

When walking through "Collection," it’s clear that in planning the show it was important to the curators that the space feels familiar and homey. Planters, records, books, chairs and couches are throughout the four galleries, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the same atmosphere in which these pieces are often appreciated. A cell phone tour invites visitors to get comfortable, stay awhile and listen to the stories behind the pieces.

As part of the exhibit, Vox Populi is also hosting various events. Earlier this month, they had a potluck art swap at the gallery as well as a Twitter discussion to encourage conversation about personal art collections and the issues around collecting. This Sunday, March 31, they’ll host their final event – a panel discussion on art collection. The hope, explains Becky Hunter, a member and artist with Vox, is to interest people in buying art for the first time as a way to connect with their community. Hunter relates the process as similar to buying local food. The panel discussion will include representatives from the Community Supported Art (CSArt) program that recently launched in Philadelphia. Similar to a CSA, an individual buys a “share” and each month is given a “box” of art (instead of locally grown food).

"Collection" is open until this Sunday, March 31. For gallery hours and more information on Sunday’s panel, visit voxpopuligallery.org/exhibitions/collection