One of the things I love most about Philadelphia is the unexpected little streets and alley ways that stretch from Queen Village to Point Breeze and all the neighborhoods in between. Here are some flower pictures I took on some walks around the city.
That’s how long the Fleisher Art Memorial has been holding its annual adult student exhibition. At the time of the first show, the US was at war with Spain. The average yearly salary was around $450.00. There was no income tax. Pennsylvania Hospital offered a horse-drawn ambulance service. City Hall and the Broad Street Subway were off in the future and the Fleisher Art Memorial opened and started offering art classes to the people of Philadelphia. The Annual Exhibition closes on March 24. It’s worth a visit.
For more information, press here.
2016 is screaming to a close. Who knows what the New Year will bring? One good thing it will bring is the Mummer’s Parade. I’ve written about the Philadelphia Mummers and their fascinating history and traditions in past years but I’m always learning something new. I saw the badges and ribbons pictured here at an exhibit at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park.
At first, I thought the badges and ribbons were awards of some kind. In fact, they were Mummer identification worn on parade day. “New Years Association” is just another term for Mummers club.
To see pictures from the 1906 Mummers parade, press here.
Cross-dressing was a Winter Solstice and Carnival tradition that transitioned into the Mummers Parade without any political hysteria. It was considered good fun. And still is, as the picture below will attest. That is my husband gamely posing with some happy Mummers.
To read about cross-dressing and the Mummers Parade, press here .
For the 2016 Parade lineup and route map, press here.
What else could provide a better example of the bounty and abundance that we should all be so thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year? Reading Terminal Market. Here are some pictures of the hustle and bustle on the day before the turkey lands.
The Parkway has long been the home of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. The relocation of the Barnes from Merion to the Parkway sparked a flurry of development and the designation of the neighborhood as the Philadelphia Museum District. The Park Towne Place apartment complex, which has rebranded itself as Museum District Residences, hired a curator and acquired art to fill the common areas of the complex and an art gallery that contains a permanent collection of about 100 works, many of them by Philadelphia artists.
The gallery has space for rotational exhibits. Park Towne Place plans to have several public art openings each year. “Constructing Organics” is the first show and is open until December 2016.
Diane Marimow is one of the Philadelphia artists whose work is showcased in the “Constructing Organics” show. I loved her massive hand-built pieces that evoked memories of the seashore and marine life.
Last year, polymer artists Emily Squires Levine and Laura Tabakman spent some late summer days in the Colorado mountains and were so inspired by their walks through groves of aspen trees that they decided to collaborate on an installation.
The result is “Into The Forest” which opened for public viewing in Philadelphia on September 12. Located in the South Tower Art Gallery of the Park Towne Apartments in Philadelphia, the installation is part of the “Constructing Organics” show which features work by three other Philadelphia artists. InLiquid and AIMCO co-sponsored the show.
I attended the opening and was excited to see polymer art recognized as fine art. Laura, who lives in Pittsburgh, was not able to attend the opening but Emily did an excellent job of explaining how she and Laura were influenced by their hikes through the aspen forests and how they translated that experience into an intriguing installation.
Here are some pictures
The Philadelphia venue is only the beginning for “Into the Forest.”
I first learned at the EuroSynergy conference this summer that Emily and Laura, who have been joined by award winning polymer artist Julie Eakes plan to expand “Into The Forest” into an international collaborative project. Laura announced the project at the end of her Synergy presentation on “Getting Your Work Ready to Show.” She’d already wowed the audience with her stories about how she scouted exhibition opportunities for her incredible polymer and mixed media installations. After she revealed the plans for the international collaboration she invited everyone to volunteer via a Facebook group set up for the purpose. I volunteered right there on my iPad and many people in the audience did the same.
Several polymer events to support the program are in the works. Emily will lead one at the September meeting of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild. For information on this meeting, go to the PAPCG blog.
I’ve wanted to tour the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia for quite some time. Even though there have been Masons in my and my husband’s family and I used to work in City Hall which is right across the street, I never made the trip.
Then I joined the Cityscape Tours Philadelphia Meetup group that Steve Rosenbach organized a year ago. When an email popped up in my account announcing an “Almost Free” tour of the Temple I signed up and I’m glad I did.
I arrived at the Temple a few minutes early and Steve was there with a list of names and a hearty welcome. He was very well organized. As more people arrived, it became evident that some had attended prior tours Steve had organized and that others were newbies like me. But everyone was very friendly and the fact that we all had cameras seemed to unite us somehow. I always feel self conscious when I take pictures in public (you’d never know this I suppose because I take pictures constantly wherever I go if it is legal and does not violate privacy, propriety or rules of etiquette.)
By way of background, the Masonic Temple was constructed between 1868 and 1873 in the Romanesque style of architecture developed by the Normans in the Middle Ages. The interior took another 15 years to complete and included It is on the list of National Landmarks.
There are seven lodge halls in the Temple and our group got to see four of them: Ionic Hall, Norman Hall, Egyptian Hall and Gothic Hall. We also saw the Grand Staircase, some fascinating artifacts in the attached museum, and some very old portraits of prominent Masons including George Washington. I took a lot of pictures but most of them did not turn out so well. No matter; it was a fun and interesting time and good company. To learn more about Freemasonry, press here.
Here are some pictures
I just found this interesting image cica 1840 of the site where the Masonic Temple now stands. Part of the Arch Street Church, which was later enlarged and is still standing, is visible.
Last December, the intrepid Ellen Marshall and I toured the NextFab Studio located at 2025 Washington Street in Philadelphia. Our purported mission was to learn about 3D printing, which we did. But the tour, led by NextFab head of Institutional Relations Alex Kaplan, got to see all the facilities and equipment available to people who join the Studio and take the requisite safety and beginning classes.
What I did not know was that in addition to providing facilities for members, giving classes and sponsoring community outreach programs, NextFab is a for-profit organization that provides technical consulting, custom fabrication and prototyping services to businesses and individuals. For more information, press here.
Bukito 3D printer
3D printed City Hall
More 3D printed items including the face in the corner
Giant 3D printer used for industrial applications
Wide format 2D digital printer
Solar system picture printed in wide format
NextFab also offers woodworking and metal fabrication facilities, and an electronics lab.
Alex Kaplan in the Wood Shop holding a cutting board from a beginner’s wood shop safety class that members have to take before they are allowed to work independently. My friend Patty has joined NextFab and reports that these beginning safety workshops are also project oriented which is great because not only do you learn about safety in the shop and how to use tools properly, you also come away with a nifty item you made yourself.
I am getting ready to retire. Yes, retire from what I call my 38 year detour. (Includes professional school) I don’t regret the time I’ve spent because I made changes long ago that enabled me to take care of myself and make a living and I was fortunate to have wonderful co-workers who were sane for the most part and who cut me slack when I was not. For the past few years, one of the perks of my job has been working in one of the most interesting buildings in the United States. I never tire of walking its halls and taking pictures. Here are some of them