A new hybrid temporary and permanent public art installation has transformed an entire city block in the Mantua section of Philadelphia.
A Place to Call Home
, a project of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
, is a multimedia presentation that culminates at 3828 Melon Street.
Over 200 people showed up for last week's dedication of A Place to Call Home, which addresses the specific issue of homeless youth.
While there are about a thousand children without a permanent address in the city, Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden says, "We don't think about these kids, hiding in plain sight. They experience tremendous problems when they're not able to feel a sense of security."
A Place to Call Home is actually divided into three parts: Pathway to The Art House is a series of small murals, executed by Shira Walinsky, adorning neighborhood walls, pointing to the 3800 block of Melon. That entire block has been transformed through a Community Mural by artists Ernel Martinez, Damon Reaves, and dozens of schoolchildren who painted house facades in a rainbow of colors. Finally, The Art House, located at 3828 Melon, is a site specific installation in which each room of a formerly abandoned house holds a different art work. In the front room, walls, table and chairs are adorned with thousands of words derived from youth stories.
Elisabeth Perez-Luna of WHYY
created a sound mural for the house. "It was an eye opener for me," says Perez-Luna, who conducted 20 interviews with kids who live in what she terms a parallel world, invisible to many.
Guests are welcome to wander the premises and gaze upon the overgrown back yard from an open doorway in the kitchen. "I like the concept of each room of a house affecting the whole, each family member affecting the whole, and ultimately the whole house being affected by the outside world," says artist Shira Walinsky.
Free to the public, Art House Tours
will be held on the afternoons of Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25. At the end of the exhibit, the Art House will be renovated for residential use.Source
: Jane Golden, Shira Walinsky, Mural Arts Program; Elisabeth Perez-Luna, WHYYWriter
: Sue Spolan