Scenes from Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s OPEN SOURCE Exhibit

West Philly’s Chill Moodie moves the crowd, along with DJ Ricochet.
West Philly’s Chill Moodie moves the crowd, along with DJ Ricochet.

BY OMAR HAWKINS
Earlier this year I received a mailing from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program announcing a kickoff event for a new outdoor exhibition called OPEN SOURCE.

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I’m already a fan of the Mural Arts Program, having taken their trolley tours through various areas of the city on multiple occasions.  The mailer boasted of a Friday evening event with outdoor art, skateboard demos, live music, along with food and drinks provided by local food truck operators.  Sounded like a winning combination to me!

Paine’s Park was the venue.  6-9pm on June 9th.  And the subject, Skateable Sculptures.

(Click on the header or the link below to read and see more dope pics from the OPEN SOURCE exhibit.)

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It was great to see such an eclectic mix of Philadelphians in attendance:  families and children, artists and hipsters, rappers, skaters and other action sports athletes, politicians, media and community organizers.  This is what’s so inspiring to me about the arts – on a beautiful Friday evening, people from so many age groups and walks of life gathered together to observe and celebrate an artist’s creativity!

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The name of the exhibition intrigued me. My research revealed that “OPEN SOURCE” refers to computer programs in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.  Open Source code development is intended to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community.

Councilman David Oh and OPEN SOURCE curator Pablo Alonzo share a laugh.
Councilman David Oh and OPEN SOURCE curator Pablo Alonzo share a laugh.
Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh addresses the audience in attendance.
Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh addresses the audience in attendance.

Armed with a newfound appreciation for the concept of OPEN SOURCE, my curiosity was piqued. The project curator Pablo Alonzo referenced this concept during his address to the crowd in attendance.  German artist Jonathan Monk (Berlin) created classic minimalist sculptures and placed them in a skate park, but “the work of art won’t be complete until kids shred on it…”[paraphrased].

Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Executive Director Jane Golden spoke with fire and passion.
Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Executive Director Jane Golden spoke with fire and passion.

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I look forward to the upcoming OPEN SOURCE exhibits and observing how the artists approach the notion of community interaction, use and modification in the development of their pieces.  Check back with us for articles on future OPEN SOURCE exhibitions and events.


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The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (Mural Arts) is the nation’s largest public art program, with over 3600 murals created to date.  Learn more.

OPEN SOURCE is a citywide outdoor exhibition of temporary, site-specific art.  14 trailblazing artists from Philadelphia and around the world will work with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and guest curator Pedro Alonzo to create public artworks that explore and illuminate Philadelphia’s diverse urban identity.

Months of programming, leading up to and throughout October 2015, will include a major launch party, artist and curator Q&As, lectures, talks, film screenings, hands-on workshops for families, and other exciting events  with partnering organizations around Philly.  Learn more.

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Photography by Omar Hawkins.

Copyright 2015 Omar Hawkins

 

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