May 23, 2017

Revolutionary Art Exhibit Debuts In Philadelphia's Historic District

Conrad Benner-Curated Show Features 13 Works In Old City, Society Hill & Along Delaware River

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"You Belong Here" by artist Nero, installed at Franklin Square. Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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"Se Siente El Miedo" by artist Michelle Angela Ortiz, installed in an Old City District Office window. Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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"Transition 3" by artist Joe Boruchow, installed at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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VISIT PHILADELPHIA® today announced the launch of Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition, featuring 13 works of art that interpret the spirit of revolution at 13 locations in Philadelphia’s Historic District—an area of the city that runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. On view from May 25 through July 4, 2017, the exhibit, curated by founder and editor Conrad Benner, gives locals and visitors 13 more reasons to explore the city’s most iconic neighborhoods this summer.

“Philadelphia has always known a thing or two about revolutions,” said Meryl Levitz, president & CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “That’s why an exhibition centered around revolution in the headquarters of the American Revolution makes perfect sense for the Historic District this summer. It’s a great opportunity for local artists to push the boundaries and make positive statements about change, and it gives locals and visitors a fun, free and interesting reason to explore the neighborhood.”

Artists, Artworks & Locations:

The selected street artists—one for each of the stars featured on the original American flag—will feature new and existing works that challenge the social and political status quo during the exhibit’s run. Works will appear both indoors and outdoors in all corners of the District. Kid Hazo’s poster, “Dear Street Art Lover,” on display at Art In The Age, serves as the opening message for the exhibit and plays on VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® campaign, celebrating the city’s street art riches.

“All revolutions have one thing in common, and that is people looking at the world around them with a critical eye, wondering if there’s more they can do and attempting to create a world that’s better for themselves and their neighbors” said Conrad Benner. “For this exhibit, I picked artists who were using their art to challenge the political and social status quo.”

Here is a list of participating artists, a description of their works and where they will appear:

  1. Artist: Yasmine Mustafa & Monica O
    Title & Description: Birth Lottery
    A foam-board poster of a stork flying over houses that depicts the random starting point of a person’s life
    Location: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
  2. Artist: Nero
    Title & Descriptions: You Belong Here
    A stenciled banner with a welcoming message (You Belong Here) that promotes inclusivity and tolerance
    Location: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
  3. Artist: Emily Smith Satis
    Title & Descriptions: Out To Sea
    A painting that shows the artist caught in the undertow of the ocean after the 2016 presidential election
    Location: FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard (inside)
  4. Artist: Shawn Theodore
    Title & Description: A Reminder
    A large-scale banner featuring the portrait of a modern-day African-American woman in a period headwrap and illustrating the nation’s history of oppression
    Location: Elfreth’s Alley, 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley (Bladen’s Court)
  5. Artist: Nick Cassway
    Title & Description: Tripartite
    A wallpapered window installation featuring sequential drawings that examine the balance of power in the three branches of government
    Location: Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd Street (inside window)
  6. Artist: Carlos Lopez Rosa
    Title & Description: Abriendo Camino
    A portrait of Nina Gualinga, a young indigenous leader from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon, painted on a machete that explores the struggle for liberation and change
    Location: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street (inside gift shop)
  7. Artist: Lisa Kelley
    Title & Description: Epidemic
    Fabric weavings knotted and woven together, then threaded onto and suspended from sticks to show the struggles and hopes of addiction
    Location: Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street (inside)
  8. Artist: Karina Puente
    Title & Description: Papel Picado: Oil Spill Consciousness
    A large-scale installation rooted in the traditional Mexican folk art called Papel Picado (cut paper), uplifting the stories of marginalized communities and shining a light on obstacles that impact the environment
    Location: La Colombe, 100 S. Independence Mall West, #110 (inside windows)
  9. Artist: Zoë Cohen
    Title & Description: Shkoyach
    A projection of watercolor portraits that show off diverse women engaged in acts of bravery
    Location: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East (inside)
  10. Artist: Michelle Angela Ortiz
    Title & Description: Se Siento El Miedo
    A painted portrait of a Philadelphia man who had a trying experience with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and now lives in fear in what was once a city of hope for him
    Location: Old City District Office, 231 Market Street (inside window)
  11. Artist: Ishknits
    Title & Description: I Will Answer Injustice with Justice
    A knit and crochet installation featuring quotes from Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen and addressing injustice
    Location: Shambles at Headhouse Square, 200 Pine Street
  12. Artist: A Brilliant Dummy
    Title & Description: Fearless
    A series of five photographs that expresses what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made
    Location: Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard (inside)
  13. Artist: Joe Boruchow
    Title & Description: Transition 3
    A papercut wheat paste installation that depicts people ignoring the alarm bells ringing around them and being lulled back into the hypnotizing torrent of a daily routine
    Location: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Exhibit Programming:

VISIT PHILADELPHIA will run an Instagram contest from May 25-29, 2017. Participants who take a photo of their favorite piece in the exhibit and post it to Instagram using all three hashtags (#visitphilly #historicphilly #revolutionaryart) will have a chance to win one of five signed copies of the poster Birth Lottery. Conrad Benner will review the photos with the most likes and select the winners.

In addition, an artist panel discussion will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at the National Constitution Center to explore the exhibit’s revolutionary theme.

Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign, from VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, showcases the city’s incomparable place in early American history and the still vibrant neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront. The campaign celebrates America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, the initiative runs through September 2018.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Philadelphia’s Historic District, go to and