Delaware Art Museum Offers Expanded Literary Programming
The Delaware Art Museum is quickly becoming the literary heart of Wilmington, Delaware, expanding on the success of its wildly popular Wilmington Writers Conference to create a wealth of free literary programming for Delaware’s growing community of writers and readers.
Those Delawareans still mourning the closing of Wilmington’s Ninth Street Book Shop, rejoice! The Delaware Art Museum Store is now an official independent bookstore, offering a variety of books in addition to its usual assortment of gifts and souvenirs. As members of the American Booksellers Association, the Store recently celebrated its first Indie Bookstore Day. The Store also commemorated Banned Books Week by offering a variety of banned books chosen by members of the Museum Associate team as well as the Museum’s Librarian and Archivist, Rachael DiEleuterio. In addition, DiEleuterio and the Store team collaborated to offer custom journals and ephemera modeled after books in the Museum’s astounding collection of more than 3,000 rare, decoratively bound books.
The Store is also thrilled to host a chapter of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club in partnership with the American Booksellers Association and One Village Alliance. Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance hosts monthly gatherings discussing Young Adult books chosen by the Well-Read Black Girl team. The club is also a part of One Village Alliance’s “Girls Can Do Anything!” initiative.
“It’s been such a privilege for One Village Alliance to partner with the Delaware Art Museum Store to bring a national reading initiative to Wilmington,” says Pitts. “Well-Read Black Girl is directly in line with ‘Girls Can Do Anything!’ in that it not only celebrates, supports, and inspires Black girls, but it includes all genders, ages, and ethnic/racial backgrounds. It creates such a fun space to get to know a diverse group of people in a comfortable environment that fosters a lifelong love for literature.”
The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club meets once a month in the Store and is suitable to anyone age 13 or older. The inaugural meeting featured a read-aloud and lively discussion led by Pitts. The Store’s Instagram page, @delartstore, posts check-ins and periodic updates on the club, and the Store offers the titles for this book club at a 20 percent discount.
The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is just one of the book clubs flourishing at the Museum. The DelArt Readers is a monthly book club that discusses literature connected to art, often drawing on the Museum’s collections and special exhibitions for inspiration. One 2020 title is Circe by Madeline Miller, which provided inspiration for artist Angela Fraleigh’s latest work, Sound the Deep Waters, currently on view at the Museum through April 2020. Another pick, In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block, features short stories by such literary heavyweights as Megan Abbott, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King. A selection of DelArt Readers books will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
The Museum is wrapping up its literary programming for 2019 with the End of Year Writers Gathering and Open Mic on Thursday, December 12. Guests will meet fellow writers, learn more information about literary events, and hear a variety of poetry and prose at the Open Mic. The last event featured slam poetry, a reading from former Delaware Poet Laureate JoAnn Balingit, and even juggling! Participants are encouraged to register in advance and arrive on time to snag a reading slot.
“It’s really unique to see a community bookstore within a museum,” says Jessa Mendez, the Lead Museum Associate who works on literary programming alongside Store Supervisor, Jeanie Robino. “Jeanie and I are so excited to be a part of this literary evolution through our work in the Museum Store. I began my relationship with the Museum through literary programming, so it’s amazing to see how much the writing community has grown in this time. We’re creating an inclusive space and encouraging conversations around literature and art, and I’m so grateful to be a part of this vision.”
Plans are already underway for the fourth annual Wilmington Writers Conference, which includes a full day of breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and a keynote on a summer Saturday. More details will be announced in spring 2020.
About the Delaware Art Museum
For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.
Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.
Thank you to Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, The Delaware Art Museum, for the content of this post.
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Philadelphia, PA – Hot Bed and James Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA presents Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise, a solo exhibition featuring renowned photographer and installation artist Amie Potsic. With a focus on climate change, California wildfires, and gender equality, the exhibition includes a new large-scale silk installation, photographic prints, and mixed media works. In addition to the exhibition, HOT•BED will host a Climate Reality Presentation and Artist Panel Discussion, after which One Tree Planted will plant a tree for every person that attends. The exhibition is on view from September 14 through November 20. There will be a Closing Reception with the artist on Saturday, November 16 from 2:00 – 5:00pm. The Climate Reality Event will be on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. Both events are free and open to the public and rsvp is encouraged. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 PM and Saturday from 1:00 – 8:00 PM or by appointment.
Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise is a solo exhibition of new work by Amie Potsic addressing climate change through the complex viewpoints of girlhood, deforestation, and Magical Realism. With site-specific installations, photographs, and mixed media works, Potsic collaborates with HOT•BED, a unique fine art and horticulture gallery, to produce an incarnate exploration of female identity, the forested lifeblood of our planet, and the fate of humankind.
“In tandem with the incredible upsurge in Climate Change activism and brave examples set by youth leading the charge, this exhibition delves into the complexity and opportunities involved in the issues and provides paths for action,” says Amie Potsic.
After photographing her daughter in the lush forests of the northeastern United States, the artist traveled to Paradise, California and surrounding forests (located upwind from her extended family’s home) to photograph the complete devastation caused by the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. Personal experience underscoring the urgency of climate change, Potsic intertwines visions of girlhood in a magical environment with nature’s unprecedented destruction caused by wildfires.
Unfortunately, the number and severity of wildfires in California continues to grow with recent fires burning out of control as recently as one week ago. Harnessing the power of imagination and urgency, Potsic’s work is a call to action. Visitors will find shared resources for taking environmental action in their own lives.
The exhibition has been extended to host a discussion and presentation on the positive impact of the arts on the Climate Change movement and how creativity and storytelling can create change: “The Story of Art and Climate: Creating Change Through Art & Action.”As part of the 24 Hours of Reality, an international day of Climate presentations offered by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, HOT•BED will host an artist panel discussion and climate presentations with scientific experts. One Tree Planted has committed to planting one tree for every attendee at this presentation.
The artist panel will include Amie Potsic, Ana Vizcarra Rankin, Marguerita Hagan, and Deirdre Murphy. Each artist’s work looks at climate change from a unique perspective: Potsic deals with deforestation and wildfires, Rankin addresses human migration and humanity’s impact on the planet, Hagan explores ocean life and interrelated ecosystems, while Murphy integrates scientific experimentation and bird migration.
Climate Reality Presenters, Al Morales and his 17-year-old daughter Alana Morales, are presenters trained by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. They will provide facts and opportunities highlighting the impact of climate change on the planet and humanity.
Dr. Erik Cordes, Professor & Vice Chair of Ecology and Integrative Biology at Temple University and Alexis Weinnig, a graduate student in the Department of Biology at Temple University will share information on their research, which focuses on understanding the areas of the deep sea that support the highest biomass communities: deep-water coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents.
On November 20–21, the world is coming together to talk about the climate crisis with:
One Tree Planted has committed to planting one tree for everyone that attends one of the international presentations: https://onetreeplanted.org/
Amie Potsic, MFA is an accomplished photographer and installation artist living in the Philadelphia area whose work addresses cultural, personal, and natural phenomena through the lens of climate change and social responsibility. Potsic has exhibited her work internationally at the Art Park in Rhodes, Greece; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia; Medfoundart di Cagliari, Italy; the Royal College of London; the Museum of New Art in Detroit; The Woodmere Art Museum, The National Constitution Center Museum, The Painted Bride and James Oliver Gallery in Philadelphia; Mission 17 in San Francisco; and 626 Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, Art Matters, The Photo Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Potsic received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA’s in Photojournalism and English Literature from Indiana University. She has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Ohlone College, and the San Francisco Art Institute and has been a guest lecturer at The University of the Arts, Ursinus College, and The International Center of Photography.
Potsic is currently the CEO and Principal of Amie Potsic Art Advisory, LLC providing visionary and advisory support to artists, collectors, businesses, and institutions with expertise in Legacy Planning and Fine Art Appraisals. She is also Chair of the Art in City Hall Artistic Advisory Board to the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia.
Bridging James Oliver’s (James Oliver Gallery) eye for contemporary art and Bryan Hoffman’s (Hoffman Design Group) passion for horticulture design, HOT•BED is an ultra-collaborative gallery and event space that explores the relationship between our intrinsic connection to nature (biophilia) and art in new and exciting ways.
HOT•BED andJames Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA present Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise, a solo exhibition featuring renowned photographer and installation artist Amie Potsic with a focus on climate change and gender identity. The exhibition runs from September 14 through November 20. The exhibition will host a Closing Reception on Saturday, November 16 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM and a Climate Reality Event on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.
Philly Welcomes A Centennial For Women’s Rights, New Hotels & More In 2020,Major Art Exhibits and Epic Anniversaries
Philadelphia and The Countryside® will give visitors many reasons to visit in 2020. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will complete phase one of its dramatic renovation—and unveil its new spaces in concert with an exhibition of works by Jasper Johns, which will occur alongside a complementary mirror exhibition of Johns work at the Whitney. The entire region is getting behind the 19th Amendment’s centennial with Women 100 programming throughout the year. In other anniversary news, the Philadelphia Orchestra has planned a weeks-long musical celebration to mark Beethoven’s 250th, and PHILADANCO wraps its 50th year of innovating in dance with must-see performances. Hotel openings include the city’s first W Hotel and a luxurious revival of River House at Odette’s in New Hope, Bucks County. All these new events are amazing, but in truth, Philadelphia and The Countryside has enough amazing annual events, visiting is great any time of year.
Here are some of the major events and openings to cover in the new year:
Philadelphia Museum of Art – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s landmark circa 1928 institution unveils the completion of its Core Project, a major redesign by architect Frank Gehry. The last phase of the project will welcome 23,000 square feet of new gallery space, reclaiming space beneath the East Terrace (site of the Rocky steps) for galleries of early American, modern and contemporary art. It will also reveal the renovation of the West Entrance and Lenfest Hall, create a major gathering space called the Forum (replacing Van Pelt Auditorium) and reopen the southern portion of the Vaulted Walkway.
Fall 2020. In addition, the museum is partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art on simultaneous exhibitions of the work of Jasper Johns, considered the country’s most significant living artist. The unprecedented collaboration chronologically shows paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, books and costumes that mirror the other’s display, creating an immersive exhibition that itself, is a study in Johns’ fascination with reflections. October 2020-February 2021. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
BeethovenNOW – The Philadelphia Orchestra marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in two epic celebrations. The first invites pianists Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov and Emanuel Ax to perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos (January 23-February 8, 2020). Next, the Fabulous Philadelphians spend four weeks juxtaposing Beethoven’s nine genre-transforming symphonies with contemporary works from composer-in-residence Gabriela Lena Frank and her diverse composers from the Creative Academy of Music. March 12-April 5, 2020. January performances, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street; following performances, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
PHILADANCO’s 50th – The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) continues its 50th anniversary celebration by hosting the 32nd International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Merriam Theater and SEI Innovation Studio, as well as the DoubleTree Philadelphia, Cambria Hotel Philadelphia and The University of the Arts (January 14-19, 2020). The company’s season culminates with Fast-Forward, a look at the future of choreography in a co-commission with Toronto’s Dance Immersion, Vietnam’s Thang Dao, Broadway’s Ray Mercer and choreographer Kathy Smith. April 17-19, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 387-8200, philadanco.org
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The Women’s Professional Golf Association (PGA)’s second-longest running tournament—and one of five majors on the tour—brings 156 of the world’s best golfers to Delaware County’s circa 1896 Aronimink Golf Club for the first time. Aronimink’s course was designed in 1926 by renowned Scottish architect Donald Ross. June 23-28, 2020. 3600 St. Davids Road, Newtown Square, (610) 356-8000, KPMGWomensPGA.com
100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment:
Votes for Women: A Visual History – The Brandywine River Museum of Art displays and explains century-old political cartoons, plays, posters, parades and fashion that formed the visual culture of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Drawings, illustrations, photographs of marches and rallies, clothing and accessories—especially sashes—re-create and contextualize this time of tangible art and physical action, long before social media or television. February 1-June 7, 2020. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
WomenNOW Concert Series – Women who are composers, conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists star throughout the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season. Through June 6, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
19th Amendment – The National Constitution Center’s upcoming exhibit about the movement for women’s voting rights will expand on the permanent exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The new exhibit explores constitutional arguments for and against women’s rights and offers fascinating historical context, spotlighting multiple generations of advocates and exploring the complex debates surrounding rights for African Americans versus rights for women. Summer 2020. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
Women 100 – This series of programs and events that celebrates American women and sparks new ideas about the path to gender equality, presented by Drexel University’s Vision2020, is the largest centennial celebration in the United States honoring the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. women100.org
Seat at the Table – A free, seven-day-a-week, interactive art exhibition by Dome Collective invites the public to experience women’s representation in places of power (seats at tables) through 3D infographic furniture, while a wall of interactive screens introduces gender barrier-breakers throughout women’s history. March 1-September 2020 (exact date TBA). Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, domecollective.com
SHE Leads Road Rally – Race car drivers pull an all-night, roundtrip road trip from East Falls in Philadelphia to Seneca Falls, New York, site of the first Women’s Rights Convention. (Buses also available.) June 19-20, 2020. Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 W. Queen Lane, women100.org
Toast to Tenacity™ – Independence Mall honors the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women—Women’s Equality Day—with midday speakers, live music and glasses raised to suffragists. August 26, 2020. 599 Market Street, phlvisitorcenter.com
Celebrating Women – This 2,500-person celebration of American women begins with a ceremony featuring music, performance segments and a salute to 100 women who have blazed trails for others to follow in a multitude of fields. September 16, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, women100.org, kimmelcenter.org
W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia – Center City will welcome two 52-story, side-by-side Marriott properties. The vibrant, modern W Philadelphia (the city’s first W hotel) will have 295 luxurious rooms, along with a bar terrace, Living Room lounge, lap pool and 22 meeting rooms. Philadelphia’s rapidly expanding, wellness-focused Element (another first for the region) will have 460 rooms. Early 2020 (dates TBA). W Philadelphia, 1439 Chestnut Street, w-hotels.marriott.com; Element Philadelphia, 1441 Chestnut Street, element-hotels.marriott.com
River House at Odette’s – The site of Bucks Country’s beloved cabaret greets a 38-room boutique hotel overlooking the Delaware River. Cabaret queen Odette Myrtil’s legacy remains in the vaulted-ceilings Piano Lounge, luxurious textiles, amazing views, a members-only rooftop bar, spectacular river view ballroom for weddings and events of up to 200 guests and a resurrected Odette’s, known for whiskey cocktails and local menu. Spring 2020. 274 S. River Road, New Hope, (215) 682-2022, riverhousenewhope.com
The Hyatt Centric Hotel – Philadelphia firm DAS Architects is behind the rustic modern design—and targeting LEED Silver certification—for 13-story, 332-room new construction one block from Rittenhouse Square. The Hyatt Centric will offer a second floor restaurant and onsite underground parking. Summer 2020 (date TBA). 17th & Chancellor Streets. hyatt.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
Thank you to Cara Schneider, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, for the content of this post.
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I am a Philadelphian and an artist with an upcoming exhibition in Old City Philadelphia at MUSE Gallery, “Look Me In The Eye: Portraits of Homelessness” is a show of large art quilts and oversized hand embroidered drawings that use personal stories of homeless individuals, Philadelphians, to inspire empowerment and create visibility of those who have been left behind by our society.
My work combines art and action to produce meaningful social impact. The implementation of portraiture within quilting serves to empower the persons depicted, enabling them to see themselves through their own stories rather than qualifiers such as “jobless” or “homeless”. Through conversations and active listening, I learn about the individual stories of these overlooked and ignored community members. The large scale work forces the audience to confront images of people they would rather not see, and bear witness to the stories behind them.
This work is extremely relevant to the times we live in, and I am grateful to The Puffin Foundation for providing me with a grant in support of my work. The Artist Reception will take place at MUSE Gallery, 52 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia, on Friday, November 1st from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition runs through the end of November; Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 12-5.
Mission: Established late in 1977, the Muse Gallery is an artists’ cooperative dedicated to encourage and promote its members’ artistic expression through abstract, conceptual and representational forms. Reflecting an aesthetic that awakens awareness, the Muse Gallery affirms the shared experience of art between the artist and the community. Please see the membership page to view a detailed history of Muse. To join the Gallery: Muse Gallery is always interested in potential new members. We are often fully staffed and maintain a waiting list. Please visit our membership page.
Thank you to Carolyn Harper for the content of this post.
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Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020
Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021
The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker and the Art Institute of Chicago following its presentation in Philadelphia.
Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, fresh ideas.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the future, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”
Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed.
“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”
The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources, visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in 2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the human footprint on the environment. The section titled Generations will explore ways in which the choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
In Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
Intimacies is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
Foods contains projects that explore the future of the human diet. Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter, by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
Additional sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while Power willlook at how design may affect our citizenship and help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices, and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data acknowledges and questions the different ways that information might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and asymmetries, to shape different futures.
Futures Therapy Lab
As part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs, many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Centered on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate the design context within broader historical, social, political, and aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
The primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan, with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson, Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour, Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman, and Eyal Weizman.
Designs for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
The curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; at the Walker Art Center, Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.
Kathryn B. Hiesinger is The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form inMotion (2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001), Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design since 1945 (1983).
Michelle Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017).
Emmet Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding, publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in 2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia University, New York. She is the author and curator of Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and performance.
Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019) and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of architecture and design on society.
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