Philadelphia, PA—The Fairmount Park Art Association announces the award of a generous grant of $476,850 from the William Penn Foundation in support of New•Land•Marks: public art, community, and the meaning of place. New•Land•Marks is an award-winning program of the Art Association that brings together artists and communities to plan and create new works of public art for Philadelphia. The 36-month grant will support the installation of three new public art projects for diverse communities, as well as design development activities to prepare long-range plans for implementing two additional projects.
“We are thrilled by this vote of confidence from the William Penn Foundation,” said Penny Balkin Bach, Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Art Association. “We are now closer than ever to our fundraising goal for installing the next three projects.”
Projects To Be Installed:
- Workʻn Progress by John Kindness with the Friends of Elmwood Park for Elmwood Park, 71st and Buist Streets. Developed for a park in Southwest Philadelphia, this project commemorates the neighborhoodʼs working class and celebrates the contributions of organized labor nationwide, while building on community efforts to revitalize the park. The project will include Work Button Table Tops illustrating important events in national labor history and a Gallery of Labor with historic photographs of local workers.
- Dwelling Place by Lorene Cary, Lonnie Graham, and John Stone with the St. Elizabethʼs Focus Area Group and Project H.O.M.E. for the St. Elizabeth Focus Community Center, 23rd and Berks Streets. This project celebrates the accomplishments of local residents in revitalizing their neighborhood and provides a symbolic spiritual focus for continued efforts. Five interconnected elements will be located at the former site of St. Elizabethʼs Church. A Sanctuary, Gathering Place, and Inspirational Gateway will transform the lot where St. Elizabethʼs once stood. A Common Room and Community Archive will provide community meeting facilities and opportunities for local youth to develop a neighborhood history archive.
- Manayunk Stoops: Heart and Home by Diane Pieri and Vicki Scuri with the Manayunk Development Council for the Manayunk Canal Towpath. This project seeks to reconnect members of the Manayunk community with the Canal, an important recreational amenity and natural asset as well as a crucial part of community history. It calls for a series of “stoops” or front steps for locations along the Manayunk Canal Towpath. Made of cast concrete with inset tile mosaics, the Stoops will provide a place to pause along the Canal.
Long-Range Planning Projects:
- Baltimore Avenue GEMs: Grand Planters, Earthbound Crowʼs-Nest, Midsummerʼs Fountain by Malcolm Cochran with Baltimore Avenue in Bloom for Baltimore Avenue from 43rd to 49th Streets. The project proposes a series of functional artworks to unify the streetscape and enhance urban greening initiatives along Baltimore Avenue. Steel and iron elements with a lattice motif would refer to historical Philadelphia ironwork. The trellis-like sculptures would support flowering vines, which community gardeners would plant and maintain.
- Perseverance by Todd Noe with the communities of Kensington and Fishtown for Frankford Avenue from Delaware to Lehigh Avenues. Named for the worldʼs first steam-powered ship (built in the area), Perseverance proposes a series of functional elements reflecting the neighborhoodsʼ rich history. Proposed works would be located on reclaimed lots and include: the Hat Bandstand recalling the local Stetson Hat factory; the Baseball Bench evoking the A. J. Reach Company, which once provided baseballs to the American League; and other elements commemorating the neighborhoodsʼ heritage of shipping, shipbuilding, and fishing.
Last year, the Art Association completed two New•Land•Marks projects: I have a story to tell you… (2003) by Pepón Osorio for Congreso de Latinos Unidos and Embodying Thoreau: dwelling, sitting, watching (2003) by Ed Levine for the Pennypack Environmental Center. Visit www.fpaa.org for more information.
New•Land•Marks has also been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Independence Foundation, the Claneil Foundation, the Leeway Foundation, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, a grant program of The Pew Charitable Trusts administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia.
The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen childrenʼs futures, and deepen connections to nature and community. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance a vital, just, and caring community. Learn more about the Foundation online at www.williampennfoundation.org.
Chartered in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association is the nationʼs first private, non-profit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. The Art Association works to promote the appreciation of public art through programs and advocacy efforts that commission, interpret, and preserve public art in Philadelphia. More information is available at www.fpaa.org.