The Fairgrounds Rock!
On Friday, October 5th, a new set of sculptures were installed at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds. This sculpture series entitled “Ancient Structures for a New World” was created by the Cultural Arts Center at the Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation. The Cultural Arts Center at the PDDC strives to foster creativity, self-confidence, and community connections for adults with developmental disabilities through classes in visual arts, music, dance and theater, outings to cultural venues, and opportunities to work with other artists and arts-based organizations. This particular project was spearheaded by PDDC employees and Philadelphia based artists Emily Royer and Emilia Brintnall, and involved over 80 artists and participants.
The installation is made up of three sculptures, two that were constructed on the PDDC campus and transported to the Little Berlin Fairgrounds, and one that was built on site. The two cone-shaped sculptures that were built at the PDDC are a mosaic of colorful painted rocks, hand-made ceramics, glass and other objects created by the PDDC Cultural Arts Center artists over a period of a few months and bound together in cement. The third sculpture is a pyramid composed of bricks that were gathered by the PDDC artists during a few field trips to the Little Berlin Fairgrounds and the surrounding Kensington neighborhood. The artists decorated the gathered bricks with painted designs, and a colorful pyramid was erected! Before sealing up the pyramid, PDDC staff member and artist Michael Gerkovich included certain items of cultural significance such as books, CDs and video tapes, inside to be sealed like a time capsule and preserved for future discovery.
The creation of this sculpture series was an amazing effort by many people to create a collaborative, community-based public art piece. These structures are built as monuments to human creativity and community, and a way to give new life to the old and ruined structures in the neighborhood.
constructing the pyramid, photo: Matthew Reed
The finished installation! photo: Laurence Kelley
A huge amount of physical effort was involved in the creation, installation and transportation of these sculptures, so Little Berlin would like to thank PDDC staff Emily Royer, Emilia Brintnall, Michael Gerkovich,Siobhan Koslap, Sarah Smothers, Matt Reed, Madeline Reyes, Cody Lutz, Sharay Ragsdale, Valerie Watson, Caleb Dunn, Chanel Green, Darcel Jamesfor all their creativity and hard work to make this happen.
Little Berlin would also like to thank PDDC participants for their amazing art work:
These sculptures are the most colorful installation at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds and we hope they will serve as a way to brighten the space and offer some artistic inspiration to the surrounding neighborhood.
On September 22nd 2012, Little Berlin hosted the EverNever Night Market, a pop-up interactive art space held for one night only at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds. The EverNever Night Market was organized and curated by Kathryn Sclavi and Melinda Essig, and consisted of art, performance and culinary exhibitions held inside of box trucks and vans, and included one bicycle! To be a guest at the event felt like attending a secret, magical night-time carnival. The EverNever Night Market was not announced publically, the invitations were spread by word of mouth with the location given only 24 hours before the event, so it was an exciting secret that many of the guests stumbled upon by chance. The concept of the Night Market is a product of New York event producers Mark Krawczuk & Kevin Balktick. Their original Lost Horizons Night Market has been wildly successful and reproduced in other cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and Detroit. The EverNever Night Market at Little Berlin was the first time that such an event has been organized in Philadelphia, and was an amazing success! Despite the rainy weather, there were approximately 150 people in attendance, including many of the kids from the surrounding neighborhood.
Heidi Kay and Rachel Brennesholtz promised the “Happiest Day of your Life”, a box truck that featured a collection of over 10 different wedding dresses for participants to try on, model for glamour photos in their favorite dress, and celebrate with wedding cake. Lance Pawling and Messopotamia Lefae set up a mini-van-theater puppet show that included characters made out of recycled materials with elaborate set changes and costumes. Isaac Seidman and Scott Cumpstone created the “Outside-In Picnic Truck”, creating a lovely outdoor picnic atmosphere inside the truck using faux grass and pillows to sit on, guests were invited to relax in a picturesque world with blue skies, green grass, and rolling hills. Chef Scott served up some amazing noodle soup and Banh Mi for everyone to enjoy! Ana Vizcarra-Rankin and Danielle Payne created a unique visual experience by projecting a video onto a painting inside of a truck, which was being filmed and projected on a screen outside. Alex Ciambrello created a giant spin-art machine, and encouraged participants to create their own beautiful works of art powered by the pedals of his bicycle. Laura Deutch of “messages in motion” offered a comfort station inside of a van where participants were able to record video messages that would be emailed to themselves or someone else at a future date of their choice. Gus Depenbrock created a kite flying truck where participants could fly their own kite in a grassy field with the wind created by a giant fans inside of a truck. Angela McQuillan transformed a truck into a life-size kaleidoscope that participants could sit inside and create their own psychedelic experience among glowing orbs and neon objects. Nicole Connor made “Peace and Politics”, a truck divided in half, one section decorated with peaceful imagery where people were invited to light candles, pray and reflect, while the other half was decorated with political imagery where participants were encouraged to vent their frustrations. Scott Beibin, Lizzie Cole, Edward “Azi” Cragg, and Rikke Rasmussen created the “Groucho Fractal Mobile” which featured 3D printing and 3 varieties of Kombucha Tea.
The EverNever Night Market lasted for 4 hours, and throughout the evening a diverse crowd of people came through. The most fun was watching the neighborhood kids experience the magic of the exhibition. Here is a video of their commentary which sums up the experience in a nut-shell:
EverNever night market curators Kathryn Sclavi and Melinda Essig, enjoying the “happiest day of their lives” in the wedding dress truck created by Heidi Kay and Rachel Brennesholtz. photo: unknown
making some beautiful crayon artwork on the blue skies inside the “Outside-In Picnic Truck” created by Isaac Seidman and Scott Cumpstone. photo: Mark Krawczuk
Another view of the ambience inside the “Outside-In Picnic Truck”. photo: Mark Krawczuk
a glimpse of the performance inside the mini-van theater puppet show created by Lance Pawling and Messopotamia Lefae. photo: Mark Krawczuk
sitting inside the life-size kaliedoscope truck created by Angela McQuillan. photo: Angela McQuillan
flying kites with the wind powered from the giant fans, inside the kite truck created by Gus Depenbrock. photo: Mark Krawczuk
the messages in motion van where all the video messages were filmed, created by Laura Deutch. photo: Mark Krawczuk
the entrance to the “happiest day of your life” truck. photo: Mark Krawczuk
Alex Ciambrello’s bike-powered giant Spin Art machine in action. photo: Mark Krawczuk
photo: Mark Krawczuk
photo: Mark Krawczuk
Little Berlin would like to send out a huge thank you to Kathryn and Melinda for organizing the event and bringing their terrific ideas and vision, all the exhibitors in this show, who did a great job creating amazingly innovative truck exhibitions, and all the wonderful guests and participants who came out to the show, despite the rainy weather! Thank you!
Little Berlin and The Cultural Arts Center at the PDDC would like to present “Ancient Structures for a New World”; a sculptural installation at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds.
PDDC’s mission is to provide programs and services that support people to be included in the community, attain the highest level of independence, and live lives with maximum satisfaction. The Cultural Arts Center at PDDC offers adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to express themselves through the creative and performing arts. Classes in art, music, movement, theater, and ceramics, as well as visits to cultural venues and partnerships with other artists and art organizations, round out a comprehensive and dynamic approach to increasing self-confidence and enhancing self -expression through the arts.
The installation will be composed of various structures where the artists will juxtapose permanence and impermanence. These structures are monuments to nature, human creativity and community. Composed of paintings, clay tiles and wheat pasted art-works, the personal mythologies and unique perspectives of many individual artists will live together on display. The artists of the PDDC have gathered materials such as bricks and cinder blocks from the neighborhood surrounding the Fairgrounds and in doing so give new life to materials that are currently part of the community’s old and ruined structures. Many of the Cultural Arts artists enjoy exploring cultural motifs and themes in their artwork. The pyramid shape of the installation’s structure will reference an ancient form that has resonated with many cultures throughout the world, including the Mayans, Incans, and Egyptians.
Opening Reception: First Friday October 5th 2012 6pm-9pm at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds, 2011 Coral st. Philadelphia PA 19125
For more information, visit www.arcpddc.org
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our Groupon Grassroots Fundraiser to raise money for seating in our Fairgrounds! We are very proud to say that we were able to reach our goal and will be providing information shortly about our upcoming endeavour of creating and installing park benches in our space!
Without the following donors, this project would not be possible. THANK YOU so much for all your support!
Sarah A. Stulga
The McMillin Family
Janet D Amato
Stephanie Lee Jackson
Megan Alyse LeCluyse
Rebecca Simon Miller
Donald E Walter
Shelly and Bob Waldman
The Matsuura Family
Bruce M Beyer
Michele Rajsic Mucellin
Patricia L. Putz
Susan N. Wright
In addition, we would like to acknowledge a special donation in the amount of $100 from Carol in memory of Gerry Staniewicz Schwab, who passed away at a young age from Alzheimers. Carol has fond memories of spending time with Gerry at the corner of Coral st. and York st.
Less than a week left to submit proposals for the Fairgrounds performance event to be held September 15th (raindate, 16th). Send them our way! email@example.com