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.
Unlike those promises to spend more time at the gym or tackle the clutter on your office desk, there are some New Year’s resolutions you can keep.
Promise yourself more art in 2014 with January’s top picks for arts happenings, below.
• On the Ground: Four Corners: Opening January 3, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street. The current Painted Bride show highlights artists in the neighborhoods of Mantua, Frankford, Germantown, and Camden, reprising a program by Flying Kite Media. Throughout the year, On the Ground transformed underused spaces into popup news desks, and now the exhibition transforms the Bride into a popup celebration of local creativity.
• Gay, Jewish, or Both: Opening reception January 3, 6-10 p.m., NAPOLEON, 319 N. 11th Street, Second Level. The dining room is set – but not for murder by candlestick. Through a scene staged by designer Bernardo Margulis and artist Leslie Friedman, parody and pattern break down the social mannerisms of stereotyping.
• Eco + Fashion: Opening reception Wednesday, January 8, 5-7 p.m., Art Gallery at City Hall, Room 116. There’s much more to eco-fashion than Captain Planet leotards. The work of over a dozen artists at City Hall combines sustainability with wearable art in an exhibition that turns Mother Nature into Model Nature.
• Focus 2013: Ongoing through January 18, LGTripp Gallery, 47 N. Second Street. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to let the world flash by faster than a 90s GIF. The current exhibition at LGTripp brings you back to focus through the work of seven photographers. Slow down your shutterspeed and open your lenses to the visual art that surrounds you every day, translated and frozen forever by the camera.
• Adult Class: Reptile Sketching: Wednesday, January 22, 6-9 p.m., Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. If music tames the beast, perhaps art can tame the reptile. Learn for yourself with a sketching class at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where you’ll be able to draw live reptiles with the assistance of academy staff.
• Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk: Opening January 24, The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and the Parkway. Whether or not you believe that punk is dead, punk and post-punk graphic design is alive and calling at Moore. On display through March 15, clash your way through several hundred posters, fanzines, record sleeves and more.
• Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders: Opening January 24, The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. If revolution had a color, it would be rainbow. Just take a look at the works of anti-establishment artists like Yinka Shonibare, a British artist of Nigerian descent, whose riotous colors light a fire at The Barnes Foundation through April 21.
• World Culture Day: Chinese New Year: Saturday, January 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street. With calligraphy workshops, language classes, and martial arts demonstrations, New Year at the Penn Museum gives you the chance for new experiences. The day-long festivities end with a Lion Dance Finale, ushering in the Year of the Horse.
• What Oozed through the Staircase: A Winter Afternoon of Surrealist Writing and Music: Sunday, January 26, 2-4 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and the Parkway. Break out your Dali mustaches and your Van Gogh ears for a mind-melting evening of Surrealist poetry and music. The evening features poets Kenneth Goldsmith and Tracie Morris, as well as composer and experimental turntablist Marina Rosenfeld.
• Claes Oldenberg at 85: Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, 118 S. 36th Street. From lipstick to hamburgers, he’s been turning everything you love into giants for 85 years. And no, he’s not a magician. ICA presents a film screening highlighting Claes Oldenberg, who you might know as the sculptor behind Paint Torch in Lenfest Plaza and Clothespin at Centre Square.
• (Un)Comfortable Stand-ins: Ongoing through February 1, Grizzly Grizzly, 319 N. 11th Street, Second Floor. Memory test and art show all-in-one, the exhibition of work by sculptor Trevor Amery shifts over time. Separate the line between observation and participation with a reception on January 3.
• Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts: Ongoing through April 6, PAFA, 118 N. Broad Street. Murals hibernate indoors this winter at the current exhibition at PAFA. Celebrating 30 years of the Mural Arts Program with the inclusion of archival and documentary material, wall yourself inside the curated library or the custom-build studio for an immersive exploration of this Philly favorite.