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On the Ground: Connecting the 'Four Corners' with an art show

Four Corners

Four Corners

On the Ground exhibit in Camden


Flying Kite spent a year On the Ground around the region, activating temporary community hubs in Mantua, Camden, Frankford and Germantown. An integral part of transforming each pop-up space was an exhibition of work by local artists -- we ended up with the most colorful office around. Now, those individual shows are coming together in one retrospective extravaganza, On the Ground: Four Corners Art Exhibition. The event is a collaboration between Flying Kite, the Painted Bride Art Center and Small But Mighty Arts Grant; the opening reception will be held January 10, 5 - 7 p.m.

"During a year running the On the Ground program, we met residents, artists and community leaders committed to their neighborhoods," says Flying Kite Publisher Michelle Freeman. "After wrapping up the year, I felt the missing piece was attempting to connect all these hardworking, passionate people that we met."

By planting our flag in specific neighborhoods, Flying Kite was able to demonstrate the delightfully diffuse nature of Philadelphia’s art world — there are amazing makers, thinkers and creators in every corner of the city. And those relationships formed remain incredibly impactful.

"We stayed close to the creative communities in each neighborhood we were in,” explains Freeman. “We were able to uncover a rich art scene in each location and showcase it. We got the sense that the general public didn't realize that these neighborhoods had an artistic community.”

Though On the Ground is now on hiatus, Flying Kite wants to keep the spark alive.

"We piloted On the Ground with no funding for one year,” says Freeman. “As we continue to seek funding to continue the program, we plan to cover these neighborhoods through Flying Kite and facilitate these points of convergence between neighborhoods."  

On the Ground: Four Corner Art Exhibition at the Painted Bride Art Center (230 Vine St.); the opening reception will be held January 10, 5 - 7 p.m. The show runs through February 15. Participating artists:

Bonnie MacAllister 
Tieshka Smith
The Think Tank (that has yet to be named) 
Melissa Maddonni Haims 
Carole Loeffler 
Gary Reed 
Liesl Oberfeld 
Andrew R. Walker 
Jill Saull
Christopher Andrew Maier
Rachel Citrino
Spiral Q Puppet Theater
Amir M. Lyles 
William Butler
Timothy Gierschick 
Jenna Hannum
Gina Michaels

Sofya Mirvis
John N. Phillips 
Michael Morgan
George R. Johnson
Susan Mangan
Ebony Malaika Collier 

LEE STABERT is managing editor of Flying Kite and Keystone Edge. 
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