Look no further than our monthly With Art Picks for your best bets on the local art scene in Philadelphia, including events at major institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art alongside events and openings at smaller galleries and art organizations. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)
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.
October is the month when every one breaks out his/her inner makeup artist, costume designer, and interior decorator for one day of monster mayhem, which also makes it the best month to celebrate creativity.
Zombie crawl your way to our top picks for this month’s art happenings:
• Repertoire Revised: Ongoing through November 2, Crane Arts, 1400 N. American Street. Girdles, giant fish, a tree of knowledge bursting with records instead of apples. Enter the weird world of Karl Jones, where American pop culture and allegories emerge from whimsically gigantic installations.
• PAFA After Dark: Masters of the Universe: Thursday, October 3, 6-9 p.m., PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad Street. The time has come to talk of many things, like cocktails and kings, to be precise. Give the first After Dark of the season a royal welcome with Martha Graham Cracker and a Kir Royale cocktail. Listen to the history of the universe in faster time than even Mel Brooks can deliver with a ten minute talk by PAFA faculty member Kevin Richards. Craft your own crown and mingle with Philly royalty – aka Isaiah Zagar, master of the Magic Gardens.
• Wandering the Waters: Opening October 4, Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Avenue. If you liked it, then you should have put a note on it. The current show at Highwire invites guests to comment via small papers tacked to the wall. Your mini art critiques will be shared via social media, and possibly in a future publication.
• Heiroglyphic Pumpkin Carving: Friday, October 4, 8-9:30 p.m., The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Learn how to approach pumpkin carving with the confidence of Edward Scissorhands. Slice and dice with Creative Director Shawn Feeney, all while using the hieroglyphics in the collection as your candle of inspiration.
• The Art of Shadow Puppets: Saturday, October 5, 10-11:30 a.m., Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street. It’s time to graduate from finger gestures and flashlights. If you plan on scaring the neighborhood kids with a bit of well-timed shadow play, then learn how to turn it into an artform with a workshop on the Chinese tradition of shadow puppetry.
• Locust Moon Comics Festival: Saturday, October 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street. Break your old comic book stash out from under the bed. Celebrate illustration as art with panels, workshops, and local talent. Then stick around for a post-con pancake breakfast.
• Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST): October 5-6 and 11-12, various locations. Draw a red line across the Philly map, Indiana Jones style. While you may not need a plane to hop back and forth across the city, you’ll be able to cover an impressive amount of creative mileage with open tours of artist studios and creative workspaces.
• Goblets of Fire II: Tuesday, October 8, noon-5 p.m., Gravers Lane Gallery, 8405 Germantown Avenue. If the upcoming Harry Potter Festival isn’t enough to release your excitement over the announcement of a new film in the works, then a themed exhibition should satiate your thirst. Drinking vessels of all kinds, from goblets to chalices, will be on display – and you won’t have to face a dragon to see them.
• Time Produced Non Better: Opening October 10, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, 1216 Arch Street, 5A. Pinups, plant creatures, and cosmic renewal — just your basic art show featuring everything under the sun. Thanks to 20th century artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s obsession with genius, his work offers a little something for everyone.
• Philly Photo Day: Friday, October 18, all day. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and locations throughout the city. Everybody is a photographer on Philly Photo Day. Just snap a killer shot of the city from your camera or phone, upload the image to the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center website, and the shot could be one of thousands to be included in the final exhibition this November and December.
• All Along the Watchtower: Saturday, October 19, 6-9:30 p.m., Pterodactyl Philadelphia, 3237 Amber Street. It’s sympathy for the diabolical with the current show at Pterodactyl. Explore villainy, from daily life to daily comic strips, and the dual nature of the art of artifice.
• Penn Museum Open House: Wednesday, October 23, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street. Everybody knows how to walk like an Egyptian, but it takes significantly more skill to write like one. Community night at the Penn Museum offers classes in Cuneiform and Hieroglyphs, a Middle Eastern Drum workshop, African Mask arts and crafts, and much more. Take a trip around the world — for free.
• Art After 5 Ciné-Cabaret: Friday, October 25, 5-8:45 p.m. at Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Tramp your way over to the art museum for Charlie Chaplin films and vaudeville performances. Ride the live music of the Ghost Train Orchestra back to the silent film era.