It’s been exactly two years since we [at Drink Philly] first started holding monthly First Friday art shows at our Old City world headquarters/studio, and we’re celebrating our two year anniversary with a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit fighting childhood cancer. We’ll be holding a silent auction for the art on display, and all money raised will go directly to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. We will also be taking donations at the door as well as raffling off some sweet prizes.
A framed print of the image above, from the Eraserhood blog, will be among the art in their fundraising auction.
Rodeph Shalom, the crenellated limestone redoubt between Green and Mount Vernon Streets, has been one of the unexpected beneficiaries of Center City’s recent surge in population. The stately synagogue has added so many new congregants in the last decade that its Sunday-school enrollment has doubled to 300 and its membership roster stands at 1,150 families. Despite having a location just outside the traditional boundaries of downtown, it now likes to boast that it is Center City’s largest synagogue.
Among such macabre works, it was refreshing to see some panorama photos by Bob Bruhin of the surrounding “Eraserhood,” nostalgically capturing obsolete buildings like the Divine Lorraine Hotel, dilapidated and covered in grime, yet still hauntingly majestic. More than a tip of the hat to Mr. Lynch, these works, along with the mural, also function to campaign against increasing the neighborhood’s gentrification, so that the same eerie character that inspired Lynch may continue to inspire others. As Agent Cooper fromTwin Peaks would say, “it was a damn fine show.”
Less a year after it was defeated by residents, the controversial Callowhill Neighborhood Improvement District appears to be rearing its head again.
A week ago, the Callowhill Neighborhood Association announced a “60 Day Pilot Cleaning Program” would be going into effect in areas “where there was strong support for the 2011 Neighborhood Improvement District.” The cleaning is apparently being funded by a grant from outgoing 1st District Councilman Frank DiCicco, who introduced legislation that would have created the NID, and is being administered by the Center City District, whose Executive Director, Paul Levy, first proposed the NID and has been a strong supporter of it.
Philly DIY community artists flung their arts (and crafts) on the walls of Cafe Lift (428 N 13th St) to the delight of coffee chugging patrons. Sean Riley, lead singer of the culinary rock band Brown Rainbow, curated this exhibition that is running the entire month of July.
Show contributor and Tyler School of Art student, Madison Blyler, shared her thoughts on the show at Cafe Lift:
As thriving artists, we all found this opportunity to be a little too good to be true, at least I did. It’s a liberating feeling to display your artwork outside of the confines of a student setting. I’m far too used to pasting up my work in a hallway at a house show for kids to look at while they wait to use the bathroom. The general public and the city are major influences to my work, therefore they should be the ones viewing it. Sean unofficially named the show a “CHC” show which at first was off putting, however, the particular individuals involved in this give the collective the means of developing it into a broader idea. The most interesting part of the show is how diverse each artist’s work is, but how cohesively everything works together. I think I speak for all of us when I say we couldn’t feel luckier to be displaying our work in such a modern and relevant space.
Seeing how July is not yet over; head over to Cafe Lift, grab a cup of coffee and a plate of food and stare upon the walls.
Artists looking to gather together and organize another show, contact me. “CHC Takes Over Your Momma’s Fridge”…this August?
There’s no question about it, these days there are a lot of hot ‘hoods in Philly’s residential real estate market. And over the past decade, none have been hotter or healthier than Center City’s Chinatown. According to the 2010 Census results, the area more than doubled in population and added almost 1,000 market rate housing units. And now, Chinatown is about to get vertical with its growth spurt as the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) plans to build the 23-story Eastern Tower Community Center.
The Center, to be located in the northern reaches of Chinatown at 10th and Vine Streets, is an urban planner’s dream. The building defines the meaning of mixed-use: retail and recreational space will be utilized on the first two floors, a two-story flexible community center, office space, a possible charter school, and 144 affordable housing units on floors six and up. To top it off, the tower will include a green roof, dwelling units will have operable windows, and silver LEED certification will be sought. Zoning is good to go, approvals have been met, and the PCDC plans to start construction early next year.
As the grey sky turned black on Friday the 13th, the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA) steadily reached capacity. Fans of filmmaker David Lynch crowded into the gallery to commemorate PhilaMOCA’s new Eraserhead Mural, but the event, Eraserhood Forever: A Celebration of all things David Lynch, was sort of considered a semi-official ceremony that would forever dub the contextually bland “Callowhill” neighborhood as the much-preferred “Eraserhood.”