At A Glance
Commissioned by the City’s Percent for Art program for a new recreation center built in 2005
Related but not identical, two spiral sculptures (mobiles) and their complementary murals are located at both entrances
The cartoon-like design and kinetic mobiles capture the free-spirited energy and playfulness of the youth who use the center
Kaman created the lighthearted work with children as the intended audience
Created by local artist Kate Kaman with children as the intended audience, these twin spiral sculptures (mobiles) and their complementary murals animate both light-box entrances of the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. The artwork was commissioned by the City of Philadelphia’s Percent for Art program for the newly-built recreation center, completed in 2005.
…the mobiles’ kinetic response to air currents from the entrances reinforce the theme of play and free-spiritedness and play.
Bubbly and cartoon-like, with an African art influence, the murals’ vibrant shapes and floral patterns capture the energy of the recreation center’s activities and the youth who use the space. The mobiles’ kinetic response to air currents from the entrances reinforce the theme of free-spiritedness and play. Like siblings, the two sculptures are are not identical, but related.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Kaman is a contemporary artist who trained as a sculptor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and received a graduate degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Her artwork employs a range of skills, from sculpture techniques to computer manufacturing, and draws inspiration from organic life. Other works by Kaman in Philadelphia include Honey Locust, Cat’s Eye, and Growth Rings. Kaman is also the founder and owner of Phila Lab., an art and architectural fabrication studio in Germantown.