Jul 13, 2011

More Than Murals: Journey South Closing Event

by: Anonymous

Journeys South was a multidisciplinary public art project that took art ‘off the wall’ and acknowledged and celebrated the diverse contributions of immigrants in one South Philadelphia neighborhood. The project’s closing reception was held at Paradiso Restaurant on East Passyunk Avenue with over 75 guests in attendance, including artists, community members, funders, and other people who had followed the project with interest.

A four-piece art collection was created to influence and impact the community without including Mural Arts Philadelphia specialty—murals.

The Journeys South collection included:

 “Different Paths, One Market” by Michelle Angela Ortiz and Tony Rocco, an awning design in the Italian Market on South 9th Street which reflected the life stories of market vendors, store owners, workers and residents.

A choreography showcase of five footprint journeys installed on East Passyunk Avenue demonstrating immigrants’ journeys to South Philadelphia entitled, Footprint Journeys: “Start Here” by Amanda Miller and video artist Tobin Rothlein.

The Hand-Crafted Zoetrope: 7th Street Memory Box replica of the animation device invented in 1834 featuring portraits of residents from the historical Eastern European Jewish 7th and Wolf Streets neighborhood by fine art photographer RA Friedman.

“Neighbor Ballads” poetic booklets placed in honor boxes on corners of  East Passyunk in honor of seven immigrants who have contributed to the personality and character of South Philadelphia by print artist Erik Ruin and poet Frank Sherlock.

At the closing celebration, Frank Sherlock read a few of his poems and received tremendous applause and positive feedback from guests, who also said Mural Arts did a great job reinterpreting murals and creating engaging art experiences.  Complimentary Italian food and wines as well as the Journeys South book – a 128 page tome with vibrant photography and background information – were on hand for everyone to enjoy.

Although much of the artwork will be removed, Journeys South will still have a permanent effect on the people in the community because it educated people on their own backgrounds as well as other people’s history, while giving the community and visitors an in-depth look at the diversity of South Philadelphia.

Sponsored By: The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, through the Heritage Philadelphia Program

– Mercedes Lee, intern

Photos By Lexi Brown, intern

Last updated: Mar 21, 2016

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