Artist Rafael Ferrer to Speak in Philadelphia

Press Release

Artist Rafael Ferrer to Speak in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Artist Rafael Ferrer will be the guest speaker at the 141st Annual Meeting of the Association for Public Art (aPA) this Monday, May 13th at 5:00pm. The Annual Meeting will be held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and is open to the public and free for members of the Association for Public Art. Ferrer will be presenting an illustrated talk entitled, “Nothing . . . is what it is,” which will trace his personal development as musician and visual artist over the past 60 years. “Ferrer’s work defies any prescribed ideology and instead is informed by his passion for life and music through syncopation, adaptation and emotional expression. His installations and sculptures, especially, are uniquely responsive to his world and ours,” observes Penny Balkin Bach, Executive Director of the aPA.

About Rafael Ferrer: New York based artist and percussionist Rafael Ferrer was born in 1933 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and lived and worked in Philadelphia for many years. From his early days as a musician and his Surrealist-influenced abstract drawings and conceptual/process actions and installations, to his lush tropical paintings, maps, and works on paper bags, Ferrer’s work defies categorization. His artwork was featured in a major retrospective at El Museo del Barrio in New York City in 2010, and a 2012 survey of his works on paper at the Lancaster Museum of Art, PA. His work is included in the permanent collections of many museums in the US and abroad.

In 1970 he executed Deflected Fountain 1970, for Marcel Duchamp on the East Terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His sculpture El Gran Teatro de la Luna was commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1982 for Fairhill Square Park in North Philadelphia. Ferrer has repainted and restored El Gran Teatro de la Luna for the City of Philadelphia through the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, with funding from the NEA and matching support for the artist by the Association for Public Art. The sculpture was recently reinstalled as part of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation’s site renovations, and a rededication ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 14th at 5:30 p.m.

About the Association for Public Art: The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia. Since its founding in 1872, aPA has worked with artists, communities and civic leaders to make encounters with art a part of everyday life, creating a Museum Without Walls that is free and accessible to residents and visitors. As the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning, aPA has an unparalleled and pioneering history, characterized by artistic excellence, creative initiative, collaboration and civic engagement. Working closely with city agencies, aPA remains today a central resource and contributor to Philadelphia’s enduring reputation as an important place to view and experience the evolution of public art. Through aPA’s free, interactive public programs, website and publications, Philadelphians and visitors are invited to experience civic spaces enlivened by artists and art; to discover the city’s vast collection of public art; and to connect to a shared cultural legacy.

For more information about the May 13th Annual Meeting, please contact Jennifer Richards at 215.546.7550 or

For more information about the rededication ceremony on May 14th, contact the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy at 215.686.8446