Top Picks For Art Exhibits And Events In Philadelphia This May

Philly's art scene blooms with watercolors, 3-D exhibitions and more....

Philadelphia art galleries and museums have an array of fascinating works on display this May.

With influences past, present, and future, exhibitions this month will question your perceptions of what it means to be a work of art, to be a legend, to define a culture.

See ancient materials and modern-day tech, classic watercolors and futuristic 3-D, all from the comfort of your own city.

Expect the unexpected with our top picks for arts happenings this month, below:

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

A Garden in Nassau, 1885. Winslow Homer, American, 1836 1910 | Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection

The smooth and studied portraits created with watercolor are inextricably linked with America, where the medium first earned its place as an expression of the fine arts. Now an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates the artists who got it there: Homer, Sargent and more.

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Through May 14
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:$25, adults, $23, seniors, $19, students and kids 13-18; free, kids 12 and under

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Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie at the Barnes Foundation

Photo courtesy The Barnes Foundation

Did you know that a feeling you get when wandering through city streets has its own name? Fifty international artists are celebrating flanerie in all its forms through public performances, scavenger hunts, social media expressions and so much more. Everything comes together in the central display at the Barnes Foundation.

Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie at the Barnes Foundation

When:Through May 22
Where:Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:$25, adults; $23, seniors; $10, youth/students

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116th Annual Student Exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

PAFAPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

For over a century, students at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) have had the chance to curate, install and show their works in the storied halls of the PAFA galleries. Explore the tradition for yourself, along with the work of the next generation of Philadelphia-based fine artists.

116th Annual Student Exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

When:May 12-June 4
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), 118-128 N. Broad Street

www.pafa.org

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq at the Penn Museum

Penn MuseumPhoto courtesy Penn Museum

The Penn Museum and the Smithsonian Institution have teamed up to explore the devastating effects of war on the cultural heritage of a country. An ongoing exhibition uses pieces from the museum’s Near East collection to document the evolution of Syria and Iraq’s history and peoples, while works by a contemporary Syrian artist shed light on the present.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq at the Penn Museum

When:Ongoing
Where:Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:Free with general museum admission

www.penn.museum

Opening Reception for Circadian Rhythm

Natural rhythms can be captured in music and dance, but the artists in InLiquid’s latest exhibition at Park Towne Place have discovered they can also be found in sculpture and painting. The artists, exploring the body’s form and imitations of nature, have layered materials like bronze and paint into pulsating expressions of life and longing.

Opening Reception for Circadian Rhythm

When:Wednesday, May 17, 6-8p.m.
Where:Park Towne Place, 2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

www.inliquid.org

Looking Out & Seeing In at Metropolitan Gallery 250

Metropolitan Gallery 250 has teamed up with Broad Street Ministry on what might be the feel-good show of the season. On view through June, anyone can stop in on Saturdays and Sundays to see a mixed-media show of artwork created by Broad Street Ministry’s guests, marginalized Philadelphians. More importantly, the show is a fundraiser for a weekly Therapeutic Arts Program, which enables Broad Street Ministry’s homeless and marginalized guests to engage with a variety of mediums and access a creative outlet.

Looking Out & Seeing In at Metropolitan Gallery 250

When:Saturdays and Sundays, May 20-June 11
Where:Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 S. 18th Street
Cost:Free

blog.metropolitanbakery.com

Bob Gruen’s Rockers

Photographer Bob Gruen’s work has graced the covers of Rolling Stone and been featured in exhibitions and permanent collections around the world, while the subjects of his work – rock and roll stars – have graced the pages of immortality. Legends like David Bowie, Blondie, John Lennon and more, caught in onstage glory or in intimate cameos, now grace the walls of Leonard Pearlstein Gallery through May.

Bob Gruen’s Rockers

When:Through May 26
Where:Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, 3401 Filbert Street

www.drexel.edu

Myths of the Marble at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

It’s an exhibition that took two countries to put together. The year-long collaboration between Alex Klein (curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art) and Milena Hoegsberg (curator of Norway’s Henie Onstad Kunstsenter) culminated in an exhibition that explores all the wonders that modern technology has opened up to the world of art, from virtual reality to 3-D animation.

Myths of the Marble at the Institute of Contemporary Art

When:Through August 6
Where:Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street
Cost:Free

www.icaphila.org

Invisible Reality

Mirror, mirror on the wall... Enchant yourself with an exhibition of broken glass and shattered reality. The fragmentary, reflective works of Rob Wynne capture hidden meanings in text, in the work and in you.

Invisible Reality

When:Through May 13
Where:Locks Gallery, 600 S. Washington Square

www.locksgallery.com

Author of the Quixote

If you’ve ever wanted to see medieval works in person, this exhibition brings you pretty close. Artist Zorowar Sidhu painstakingly reproduces works in sculpture and linen using the original materials that brought them to life.

Author of the Quixote

When:Through May 14
Where:Marginal Utility, 319 N. 11th Street

www.marginalutility.org

Object Temporarily Removed

Photo by N. Santos for Visit Philadelphia

Lenka Clayton's current exhibition at The Fabric Workshop and Museum calls to mind works she has seen and historical reactions to such work, like an unanswered letter to the chief curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1978.

Object Temporarily Removed

When:Through July 9
Where:The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street

www.fabricworkshopandmuseum.org

Anahata

James Oliver Gallery delves into science fiction this May. An exhibition of photographic works combines virtual explorations and experiential installations by John Singletary, wearable tech from Bela Shehu and so much more. See everything the future has in store for the arts — all in one room.

Anahata

When:Opens May 6
Where:James Oliver Gallery, 723 Chestnut Street

www.jamesolivergallery.com

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