Look no further than our monthly With Art Picks for your best bets on the local art scene in Philadelphia, including major players like the Philadelphia Museum of Art alongside 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.
More than just the fire is delightful this December, thanks to art fairs, awards ceremonies, and parties on the Parkway.
Chimney hop through this month’s top picks for art happenings:
• #GivingTuesday at Crane Arts: Tuesday, December 3, 7-10 p.m., Crane Arts, 1400 N. American Street. InLiquid’s Juvenile in Justice exhibition wraps up at Crane Arts on December 12, but not before a series of events on December 3 in conjunction with #GivingTuesday, a newly established national day for giving back to the community. The month-long exhibition about the need for juvenile justice reform and diversionary arts programs culminates with such engaging events as a morning panel discussion with local and national members of the justice community and an evening fundraising party and arts awards ceremony.
• RAWards 2013: Philadelphia Semi-Finals: Thursday, December 5, 7:30 p.m., Lit Ultra Bar, 460 N. 2nd Street. Celebrate three years of RAW arts shows with an awards ceremony celebrating Philadelphia artists in nine categories. The last show produced by Director Fred Calalang, the evening kicks-off a national competition where local artists will contend with the best burgeoning visual talent in the country.
• Searching for Philadelphia: Opening December 5, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S. 6th Street. A stroll through Philadelphia can reveal architectural treasures to delight even the most inexperienced eye. But with this show of photography by David S. Traub, all of the work is done for you. Discover a side of the city you may have been missing, where the buildings worth knowing are the ones with character.
• PAFA After Dark: Winter Is Coming: Thursday, December 5, 6-9 p.m., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad Street. It’s not the undead that make the walls in Philadelphia famous — it’s the murals on the walls. This After Dark event celebrates the recently opened Mural Arts exhibit at PAFA, Beyond The Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts, with live rock jazz and a tour by museum staff. This winter, the only ice you’ll have to worry about is the cubes in your cocktail.
• The Lure of Unknown Regions beyond the Rim of Experience and Synecdoche: Opening December 6, Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Square South. New York artist Rob Wynne pours nature and history out of glass with an installation at Locks Gallery. Sliding through the elements, classical imagery and time with a whimsical yet skilled hand, Wynne’s works accompany the paintings, drawings and prints of Nancy Graves. Graves takes the abstract through a scientific lens, drawing inspiration for her pieces from technology, mapping and space.
• MicroCosmic: Opening December 6, Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Avenue. Highwire Gallery wraps the work of three artists into one MicroCosmic exhibition. Get lost in the labyrinthine linework of Joshua Gabriel, introduce yourself to the fierce and fantastical heroines in the paintings of Rochelle Marcus Dinkin, and mesh yourself between magic and psychology with the mixed media works of Rachel Isaac.
• Santa Interventions: Friday, December 6, 6-9 p.m., Bahdeebahdu, 1522 N. American Street. Whether he’s in the middle of a boxing ring, or pointing fingers at Adam from a lofty vantage point, at this exhibition Santa Claus will be slipping in and out of various works of art with the same ease he applies to chimney space. Limited works by Ed Wheeler will be for sale, with light fare, libations and red clothing optional.
• First Friday! Philadelphia Artist Spotlight: Friday, December 6, 6-10 p.m, The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Celebrate creative Philadelphia without the need to hop from place to place. First Friday at The Barnes serves up a pastiche of musical talent, poetry, dancers, and visual and performing artists. The best part? Drink specials are included with admission.
• Well Hung: The Print Center Annual Auction: Saturday, December 7, 5-8 p.m., The Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street. If you find yourself torn between giving presents and giving to your favorite charitable organization, then The Print Center auction is a way to do both. The early ticket price of $25 gives you access to the works of over 125 artists, while the slightly pricier Champagne Preview ticket gives you access to a party catered by Jose Garces.
• Unwrapping the Mummy: Hollywood Fantasies, Egyptian Realities:Saturday, December 14, 3:30 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street. If you’d prefer not to unwrap bodies, then unwrap the mystery of mummies instead, with a lecture by Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith. The archeologist and consultant on the 1999 remake of The Mummy will be digging through the movie myths and unraveling the true stories revealed by objects buried in preparation for the afterlife.
• Caroling Through the Galleries: Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. When you’re searching for the proper background for a good round of caroling, you won’t find any halls decked out better than those at the art museum. Join the Pennsylvania Girlchoir in a sing-a-long tour of the medieval and Renaissance galleries.
• Art Star Holiday Market at Waterfront Winterfest: Ongoing through December 31, Waterfront Winterfest, Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Columbus Boulevard. If you can’t imagine enjoying Art Star Craft Bazaar without the sunshine, perhaps this holiday spin will have you thinking twice. The machinations of Jack Frost are more than made up for by a dozen craftspersons from the Philadelphia region and beyond set up every weekend, a huge warming tent, pine tree oasis, fire pits and warm beverages.