PIFA For Art Lovers: Interactive Art Exhibits, Photography Exhibits And Hands-On Art Projects

PIFA's art exhibits and art-related events are at locations all around the Greater Philadelphia area and allow guests to visit a PIFA event on their own schedule. (Photos, clockwise from top left by J. Fusco for GPTMC, courtesy the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, by James B. Abbott, courtesy Woodmere Art Museum)

A number of museums, galleries and other Philadelphia art attractions have dedicated space to the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, allowing lovers of visual arts to check out PIFA offerings on their own schedules.

Unlike performances and major events, PIFA exhibits run all day long at their respective locations.

If you haven’t had the chance to attend any PIFA events yet (or your busy schedule doesn’t allow it) be sure to pay a visit to one of the art installations at any of the locations around the city — and online.

Our top picks of PIFA art exhibits, below.

We Make the City: Philadelphia, the Dawn of a New Century: Create a collaborative model of Center City at this PIFA experience. While it is not an exhibition or gallery show, per se, it is a hands-on, interactive event with many available time slots perfect for those looking to get a little crafty. Attendees start out exploring and learning about some of Center City’s most popular sights like the Wanamaker Building and City Hall. After the tour, guests have the opportunity to create a collaborative and lively Center City model — incorporating architecture, public art, street life and more. The piece of art will be on display for the last two weeks of the festival.

When: Through April 21
Where: Tier 2 Lounge in the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost: $5

Berlin: Landscape of Memory: The Center for Emerging Visual Artists plays host to a photography exhibit that centers on the subject of the Berlin Wall. The photographs in the collection reflect both a present day look at the area that once was the Berlin Wall and the area at the time of the fall. Emotions of all sort come alive through this extensive exhibition.

When: Through April 26, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: CFEVA Gallery, 237 S. 18th St.
Cost: Free

The Promise of Peace: Violet Oakley’s United Nations Portraits: From March 31 to April 27, Woodmere Art Museum hosts an impressive collection of portraits by Philadelphia native Violet Oakley who attended meetings at the UN in its beginnings in 1946. The portraits display some of the most influential people in early UN history. Some items from the collection haven’t been on display for more than a decade.

When: Through April 27
Where: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue
Cost: Included in price of general admission

Time Travel Plaza: This year’s artistic symbol of PIFA is the massive, 100-foot interactive time machine at Time Travel Plaza located in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza. The interactive art installation is free and open to the public Sunday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, allowing for ultimate flexibility for those with busy schedules. The plaza also boasts live musical performances at certain times throughout the week.

When: Through April 27
Where: Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost: Free

From Seneca Falls to Philadelphia: Fourth of July 1876 and the Women of the Centennial: The Athenaeum of Philadelphia hosts this PIFA-inspired exhibit until May 18. The exhibit brings guests back in time to 1876 Philadelphia when Susan B. Anthony and other members of the National Woman Suffrage Association bound together and presented the Declaration of the Rights of Women of the United States in front of Independence Hall. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for the Book and delves into the Athenaeum’s accumulation of materials relating to the Centennial and also offers opinions from authors on the themes of Susan B. Anthony, The Centennial, Woman’s Suffrage and Fourth of July 1876. Bonus: This is a free exhibit.

When: Through May 18
Where: The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 South 6th Street
Cost: Free

Suffering Heroes: Enjoy the benefits of PIFA without even leaving the comfort of your home. Digital artist Kara Crombie created an online masterpiece for this year’s PIFA events. Suffering Heroes is an interactive piece that tells the story of a young African-American slave in 1864 who witnesses the terrible happenings at Ebenezer Creek during General Sherman’s march to the sea. Alphabet Soup, a musician and slave is also brought to life in the story. The interactive piece is broken into three short acts and the viewer chooses which story to hear after the introduction — choose your own adventure into the character’s future or the past.

When: Through July 31
Where: www.karacrombie.com/pifa


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