On view November 14, 2013—April 6, 2014, “Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts,” is the first major museum exhibition to present the evolution of community-engaged art-making over a 30-year arc, including the Philly Painting project by Haas&Hahn. 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. Organized in conjunction with the Mural Arts Program’s 30th Anniversary in 2014. Opening reception: Thursday, November 13, 2013, 6:30-8:30pm. $10 for guests in advance / $15 at the door (based on availability). RSVP at community.pafa.org/beyondthepaint or call 215-972-2077
The exhibition features 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 Program projects and initiatives, including some still in process. A large mural making studio offers the public an opportunity to meet muralists and participants, and contribute to a current project. Highlighting themes that have emerged over thirty years of working with communities and organizational partners all over the city, Beyond the Paint celebrates the people, the places and the projects that have participated in the hundreds of public art projects that have been part of this city-wide art program.
In addition, the exhibition highlights 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 will produce new works that amplify and expand the program’s art practice in both form and approach. New York–based artist Josh MacPhee will design a series of street newspapers using content collected from different communities that will be collaboratively screenprinted in a studio in the gallery, installed in the exhibition, and shared with communities in Philadelphia.
Participatory programming is central to the spirit of the exhibition and is encouraged by Free Sunday admission, throughout the run of the show. The opening weekend will kick off a series of thought-provoking talks, films, and workshops with Who Shapes Our City?, a panel discussion that will offer 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. Additional programming will include family art-making workshops, visits for school groups, artist talks, a book launch, and much more.
The exhibition has been 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.