With Art Philadelphia: Top Picks For April 2014 Art Happenings In And Around The City

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 Penn Museum alongside smaller galleries and art organizations. (Photo by E. Mencher for Visit Philadelphia)

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.

While the rain, rain might not go away, that doesn’t mean your April can’t be awash with beauty. Drown in admiration for the arts with our top picks for arts happenings this month.

PAFA In Bloom: Preview, April 3, 5:30-9 p.m., Exhibit, April 4-6, PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad Street. If you’ve given up on finding an outdoor spring, PAFA defies the weather with an indoor alternative. Working with 15 garden clubs and 45 national floral designers, the museum space goes wild with a three-day showcase of floral finesse.

Serge Levin: First Works: Opening April 3, Gershman Y’s Open Lens Gallery, 401 S. Broad Street. Self-professed introvert and self-taught street photographer Serge Levin brings his new work to the Gershman Y. Look through the lens and gain a perspective on human connection through the 26-year-old’s societal narrative.

Marks of Vanity: Opening April 4, Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 S. 18th Street. In the crossfire between event photography, party photobooths, and smartphone selfies, artist Sarah Coote explores the line between spectacle and the self. Through a series of event-inspired collages, art strikes a pose to pose a question on human interaction.

PHAIR: Opening April 5, South Street Headhouse District, 2nd and Lombard streets. The Philadelphia Open Air Market moves to the Queen Village neighborhood this spring, bringing an artisanal avenue to spice up your South Street strolling. Along with a rotating selection of jewelry, photography, fashion and more, gourmet food trucks roll in every weekend.

10th Annual Fairmount Arts Crawl: Sunday, April 6, 2-6 p.m., Fairmount Avenue. Outdoor strolling, bar hopping, live music, and arts adventures — why not roll all the best parts of spring into one? For the tenth year in a row, Fairmount Avenue bars and restaurants will transform themselves into temporary galleries. With live arts demonstrations and performances by local singer-songwriters, it’s a culture-lovers paradise.

Art Unleashed: April 9-15, University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad Street. Unleash the next generation of artists into the world with an exhibition and fundraiser in support of UArts’ Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship Fund. Featuring work from students, faculty and alumni, the range of mediums on display gives you a multitude of ways to support.

How to Stage a Bloodbath: Gladiators at the Roman Arena: Saturday, April 12, 2 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South Street. This April, the Penn Museum gives props to the gladiators — literally. A lecture by Penn State Professor of Ancient History Dr. Garrett Fagan discusses the theatricality behind the ancient Republic’s favorite spectator sport.

Young Professionals: Music and Muses: Friday, April 25, 7-10 p.m., The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Who has better style — you or the collection? It’s time to break out your professional panache with a mix-and-mingle soiree at the Barnes Foundation. Ticket prices include drink specials and late-night exploration of the collections, while a VIP reception for Contemporaries members gives a 6:30 p.m. head-start on the fun.

Philly Puff Inflatable Sculpture Contest: Saturday, April 26, 2-4 p.m., Portside Arts Center, 2531 E. Lehigh Avenue. If you’re a veteran of block parties and blow-up castles, then the inflatable sculpture contest at this year’s Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival will breeze you back into childhood. Philly Puff pits local artists in a juried contest, where the winner does more than just bring the house down — he blows it down Big, Bad Wolf style.

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love: Opening April 27, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Everybody loves the Eighties again, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Relive the era when the first rules of fashion were to make it colorful and make it fun with a retrospective on the collections of Patrick Kelly, the Mississippi-born designer who took Paris by storm.

Overflowing: Through April 27, Crane Arts, 1400 N. American Street. InLiquid presents a solo installation by painter and fiber artist Linda Celestian. Drawing inspiration from the ocean and childhood lakeside visits, the exhibition flows through deep blues and ghostly whites, bringing a briny beauty to the indoors.

Artist-Designed Bike Racks: Through June 13, Art Gallery at City Hall. Last summer, The Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy launched a competition in conjunction with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Artists from around the world were asked to design bike racks both functional and expressive. These racks will be installed in public locations around the city, but the exhibition offers a last chance to see all nine of the winning designs in one location.

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