The first exhibition of its kind at the Museum, Philadelphia Assembled joins art and civic engagement. Initiated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, together with hundreds of collaborators from across the city, the project explores Philadelphia’s changing landscape and tells a story of radical community building and active resistance. Challenging, inspiring, and as expansive as the city, Philadelphia Assembled asks: how can we collectively shape our futures?
Philadelphia Assembled tells a story of active resistance and radical community building through the personal and collective narratives that make up Philadelphia’s changing urban fabric. These narratives will be explored through a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a team of individuals, collectives, and organizations as they experiment with multiple methodologies for amplifying and connecting relationships in Philadelphia’s transforming landscape
Artists, makers, storytellers, gardeners, healers, activists, and other community members will work together to explore social issues that resonate in “The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.” Within this project, these urgent concerns are organized around five principles:
Reconstructions: How can we rewrite histories?
Sovereignty: How can we share resources?
Futures: How can we reimagine our tomorrow?
Sanctuary: How can we create safe spaces?
Movement: How can we share knowledge and stories?
Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local.” Her long-scale community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and pedagogy in order to enable communities to take control of their own futures.
Van Heeswijk’s work has been featured in publications and exhibitions worldwide, including the Liverpool, Shanghai, and Venice biennials. She received the 2011 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, the 2012 Curry Stone Prize for Social Design Pioneers, and in 2014 was awarded the inaugural Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center for Curatorial Studies and Human Rights Project at Bard College. She lives and works in Rotterdam and Philadelphia.