[With so much happening on 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 smaller, alternative galleries and art spaces, as well as at the city’s major art institutions. Be sure to check them out!]
The easiest way to avoid the April Fool stigma is by staying one step ahead of the game. Spring on top of the cultural curve with our picks for art happenings in the city this month.
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts: Ongoing through April 27, various venues. Dance your way through the big bang, fly beyond the sun with Icarus, time jump from Napoleon to the last man on earth, all in the course of a one-month festival. Then close out your adventures with the return of the Ferris Wheel on Broad Street at the Street Fair on April 27.
Colossal the Small: Ongoing through May 4, James Oliver Gallery, 723 Chestnut Street. He’s populated the streets with wild, hybrid animals. He’s stolen color and landscape from your dreams and set them loose in real life. He works with crocodiles, sharks and polar bears in his spare time. All from the safety of the 2D realm, of course. Visit the world of street artist and University of the Arts alum Yis Goodwin (a.k.a. Nosego) in his solo show this month at James Oliver Gallery.
Murder! Film Series: Wednesdays in April, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It’s easy to imagine that Alfred Hitchcock never had a boring Wednesday. Now the master of suspense himself, along with a few other fetching-in-fedora detective film greats, will get you through the worst of your hump day blues with the Murder! Film Series at the art museum. Featuring Rear Window (1954), Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the question won’t be “Who dunnit?” It’ll be “Why aren’t you there?”
Artist Talk: Sue Coe: Thursday, April 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street. Art gets aggressive this April with an artist talk on activist Sue Coe. Learn what inspires Coe’s work, and why PAFA is so inspired to collect it.
The Song of the Silken Mermaid: April 4-6, Skybox, 2424 E. York Street. The siren song is calling you to Skybox at 2424 Studios this weekend, as storm clouds are being gathered by experiential artist Jason Hackenwerth. Lay those dreams of flying to rest as you travel through illuminated cloud caves made from ultra lightweight plastic – no superhero powers necessary.
Surface Viaducts of Fashion Fundraiser: Friday, April 5, 5-9 p.m., Cityspace, 2200 Walnut Street. Fashion at a Victorian mansion doesn’t always equal pocket watches and bustles. Sometimes it means shibori hand-dyed clothing from Philadelphia Fashion Incubator alum Melissa D’Agostino and women’s apparel from Bela Shehu — all still perfectly effective for Jane Austen-style courting over wine and hors d’oeuvres.
No Place for Cucumber Trees: Opening April 5, Arch Enemy Arts, 109 Arch Street. If you’ve ever been stomped on by a giant foot, traveled through time with Sean Connery or been cornered by a killer rabbit, then you probably know what it feels like to be trapped in the world of Terry Gilliam. And on the unlikely chance you’ve never done any of the above, you’ll have the chance to find out at Arch Enemy. This month’s exhibition is a tribute to the American-born member of Monty Python.
The 2013 Mütter Ball: Mad Men & Medicine: Saturday, April 6, 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street. Mad science meets Mad Men at the annual Mütter Ball, as the era of the spy gadget takes over the home of the medical conundrum. With ticket price ranges that include a dance party, the exclusive Peppermint Lounge and a gourmet tv dinner, you’ll be able to satisfy your inner Sixties swinger at every level, whether you’re a whiskey-drinking Don Draper or a gourmand with a Scooby-sized stomach.
Rome’s Birthday: Sunday, April 21, 1-4 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street. It’s time to break out the Russell Crowe pecks you’ve been working towards all winter with a festival of gladiatorial proportions at the Penn Museum. On Rome’s birthday, you won’t be asked to wear an embarrassing birthday hat, but you will have the chance to try on helmets and shields and try your hand at some Colosseum-style combat.
The Art of Science: Cellular/Molecular: Opening April 25, Science Center, 3600 Market Street. Local artists may not need an electron microscope to break down the world around us, but the drive to explore runs deep for the creative and the analytical alike. Even Sheldon Cooper would approve of an art show exploring biology and organic chemistry.
De Chirico’s High Seas: The Pirate in the Barnes Collection: Friday, April 26, 6-7 p.m., The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. While you’d expect to find a pirate at a rum bar, running into one at an art museum might be a little more surprising. Cast away your expectations with Emily Braun, art history director at Hunter College, who will lead a discussion on the metaphysical works of Giorgio de Chirico, including his 1916 piece The Pirate.
Asian Arts Initiative 2013 Benefit Banquet and Auction: Friday, April 26, 6 p.m., Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street. So maybe you’ve already had an eight-course meal at Ocean City Restaurant — just because the food was so good you couldn’t stop yourself. This time, you can eat up for a good cause with the Benefit for the Asian Arts Initiative, which fosters neighborhood development and arts programs in Chinatown.