- location Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
April 06, 2014
Images of the Exhibition
About the Exhibition
On view November 14, 2013—April 6, 2014, Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts, was the first major museum exhibition to present the evolution of Mural Arts’ community-engaged art-making over a 30-year arc. Installed in the first floor galleries of the Hamilton Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the exhibition positions Mural Arts’ artistic and programmatic efforts within the national and international realm of socially-engaged arts practices.
The exhibition featured archival and documentary material and images from the earliest years when the program was part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network to the most current Mural Arts Philadelphia projects and initiatives. A large mural making studio offered the public an opportunity to meet muralists and participants, and contribute to a project. Highlighting themes that have emerged over thirty years of working with communities and organizational partners all over the city, Beyond the Paint celebrated the people, the places, and the projects that have been part of this city-wide art program.
In addition, the exhibition highlighted the community engagement processes at the heart of Mural Arts’ years of practice with three new works. Temporary Services (based in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Copenhagen) and Philadelphia artist duo Megawords produced new works that amplify and expand the program’s art practice in both form and approach. New York–based artist Josh MacPhee designed a series of street newspapers using content collected from different communities which were collaboratively screenprinted in a studio in the gallery, installed in the exhibition, and shared with communities in Philadelphia.
Participatory programming was central to the spirit of the exhibition and was encouraged by Free Sunday admission throughout the run of the show. The opening weekend kicked off a series of thought-provoking talks, films, and workshops with Who Shapes Our City?, a panel discussion that offered Philadelphians a chance to hear from community leaders, and to offer opinions on how the arts might figure in shaping Philadelphia’s public spaces moving forward.
The exhibition was developed through a collaborative process with Mural Arts’ founder Jane Golden; PAFA Museum director Harry Philbrick; Elizabeth Thomas, who curated the exhibition’s special projects; project manager Netanel Portier; and exhibition coordinator Kristin Hankins. Philadelphia designers Bluecadet designed the installation.
Collaborative Programming with Megawords, Josh MacPhee and Temporary Services
Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts, was an exhibition exploring Mural Arts’ history, current work, and future directions, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Temporary Services, an artist collective based in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Copenhagen, New York-based artist Josh MacPhee, and Philadelphia artist duo Megawords produced new works that amplify and expand the program’s art practice in both form and approach.
A series of public programs was held in the space, each exploring different directions of creative practice.
As part of the exhibition, Megawords created a publication combining their research and public submissions. The publication was distributed freely around the city.
The public was invited to participate in broadsheet creation and printing by submitting content and attending community print days. Examples of content included writing, photographs, and drawings exploring communities and personal relationships with the city, as well as ideas shared across communities.
Julie and James Alexandre, Joe and Jane Goldblum, Bowman Properties, Arthur Dantchik, Independence Foundation, PTS Foundation,Wyncote Foundation
Catalogue is sponsored by: Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation