[With so much happening in Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene, we want to make Uwishunu, in conjunction with sister site With Art Philadelphia, your one-stop-shop for all that’s happening with local art. Every month, we gather our top art picks, featuring exhibits and events at both smaller, alternative galleries and art spaces, as well as at the city’s major art institutions. Be sure to check them out for yourself.]
As Hurricane Sandy approached the city, Mayor Michael Nutter proudly congratulated Philadelphians’ preparedness in the midst of a storm, but Philly’s also shown a knack for weathering the current trends in contemporary art.
Below, find our forecast for November’s best art happenings around the city.
• Elements of Design: Artists Imagine Chemistry at AIGA Philadelphia SPACE: Opening November 2, AIGA Philadelphia SPACE, 72 N. 2nd Street, Free. The Big Bang Theory cast may have a monopoly on reinterpreting science through comedy, but local artists are old hands at giving the mysteries of the universe a creative spin. Originally exhibited at The Chemical Heritage Foundation, this show lifts the periodic table off your musty highschool textbook and onto a series of imaginative prints. An opening reception will be held November 2, 6-9 p.m.
• Japan Night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: November 2, 5-8:45 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, free after admission. Once again, the museum’s weekly Art After 5 parties take on a Japanese flavor, thanks to the Japan Society, New York. Watch the entrance hall come alive with motion in a performance of Kuromari Kagura, the centuries-old celebration of the Kuromari Shrine. This jolting journey rises from the ravaged remains of Iwate prefecture — struck by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami — through a combination of music and dance.
• Portside Arts Center’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party: November 3, 6-9 p.m., Finnigan’s Wake, 517 N. 3rd Street, $50 donation per ticket. If unlimited draft beer and wine along with a three-course meal aren’t enough to pique your curiosity, perhaps murder will finish the job. Put your sleuthing skills to the test as you study some of history’s most famous artworks — not for their cultural impact, but for their criminal ingenuity — as you seek to discover who killed the abstract art. All proceeds go towards Portside’s student scholarship fund.
• Dear Fleisher, 4 x 6 Inches of Art: November 4, 1-5 p.m., Fleisher, 719 Catharine Street, $5 suggested donation. The biennial Fleisher fundraiser adds a bit of game-show flair to art collecting, as artists’ names remain secret until after a purchase is made. The postcard-sized works sell for $50 and feature hundreds of artists from Philadelphia and beyond, perfect for anyone intimidated by the sometimes zero-heavy prices of the gallery scene. A preview party will be held November 2, 6-8 p.m.
Check out the rest of our November With Art Picks, below.
• Scratch Night: November 5, 7-9 p.m., Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine Street, free. The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe Scratch Night returns this November, livening up the first Monday every month with experimental exploits. Enjoy free beer and snacks in exchange for offering your opinions on a range of works-in-progress. This month features a one-man performance of “Shadow Life,” finding fantasy in the everyday, solo piece “P.I.G.,” which delves into the problems of flesh and family, and “Keep It Up,” a story about boys and meteors.
• Second Wednesday Quizzo at the Penn Museum: November 14, 6 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, $12 general adult admission. Tired of quizzo at the corner bar? The Pepper Mill Café at the Penn Museum plucks your brain for prizes on the second Wednesday of every month, along with offering happy hour specials and appetizers until 7:30 p.m.
• VAMPYR at PhilaMOCA: November 15, 7:30 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th Street, advance tickets $12, $15 at the door. In the middle of November, vampires still stalk the night at PhilaMOCA. This silent screen interpretation of the first blood-sucking tale by Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu, who beat out Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 25 years, receives a fresh transfusion through a live electronic accompaniment composed by Steven Severin. A second screening will be held 10 p.m.
• Corpo/Ethereal at PATRAJDAS Contemporary: Opening November 16, PATRAJDAS Contemporary, 1269 Noble Street #105, free admission. See the text-heavy world of metaphysics made physical in this exhibition featuring works by three mind-blowing and body-bending artists. Gallery walls explode with blood and copper through the work of Jordan Eagles, light plays around the glass drawings of Jeff Wallin, and human bodies emerge from depths of bronze and resin through the sculptures of Emil Alzamora. An opening reception will be held November 16, 6-8:30 p.m.
• The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World at PAFA: Opening November 17, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, adults $15, seniors and students $12, youth $10. Catch this collection of 400 works from influential female artists before it leaves for its US tour. This expansive look into women’s influence on the art world reaches across two floors of PAFA, as well as every genre that art has to offer.
• Symposium: Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne — Modernism and Anti-Modernism: November 17, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, general admission $60, members $50, students $25. In conjunction with the publication of the Barnes Foundation’s Renoir catalogue, scholars and curators explore the appearance of the anti-modern in modern art. History hounds will delight in the chance to explore the backwards-bound trends evidenced in works by radical European artists.
• Pop Up and Party: Village Fundraiser: November 29, 5:30-8 p.m., CRED OnSite, 325 South Street, $50 per person, $80 per couple. For anyone unwilling to consign print to a premature death, stop by the fundraiser for locally-based CRED Magazine, the arts and culture mag that highlights work by Philadelphia creatives aged 25 and under. With poetry reading, displays of handmade jewelry, and cocktails made with PhillyEarth herbs, take your arts conversation out of a Victorian drawing room and into the growing arts revival on South Street. Along with a one year subscription to the magazine, you’ll have a chance to try your hand as an artist under the guidance of the CRED team.
• InLiquid @ William Way: A Midtown Village Holiday: November 30, 5-8 p.m., William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street, free admission. This end of November art sale appeals to wallets on a diet, thanks to its under $200 prices. With a gift wrapping station, light refreshments and children’s craft making projects, keep your holiday shopping manageable and fun without having to lose yourself in masses of mall-goers. The event continues on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, noon-5 p.m.