Street Art Is Here

Work by Joe Boruchow

Work by Joe BoruchMay 16 marked the opening reception of I Am Here, a showcasing of some of Philadelphia’s most innovative and groundbreaking street artists – those who contribute to the everchanging visual climate in their communities. The work, purely original and adventurous, just screams “Look at me, I am here!”

“If a city can be defined by its art then Philadelphia is revolutionary with its artistic trail blazers who’ve set the tone with their unleashed self-expression. They bond our communities with shared visceral moments –constantly shaping a culture that defies the trappings of being boxed into idioms that try to define creativity in terms of subversive elements of expression. These artists follow a history of groundbreakers whose actions resulted from a need to be heard,” said Sara McCorriston, Curator of “I Am Here”

Those included in the feature were Isaiah Zagar, Darryl “Cornbread” McCray, Conrad Benner a.k.a. Streets Dept, Joe Boruchow, Jessie Hemmons a.k.a. Ishknits, and Kid Hazo.

Connrad Benner, photographer and creator of Streets Dept, displayed images ranging from anti-street harassment wheatpastes to wild-style graffiti tags. On Benner’s website, you can find more of his street art and urban exploration photography.

Work by Cornbread

Work by Cornbread

Legend and modern day graffiti pioneer Darryl “Cornbread” McCray did not showcase a pachyderm marked up with his moniker. In his heyday, Cornbead garnered much attention for breaking into the Philadelphia Zoo and tagging his name on an elephant. The mischievous nature of his work is still visible in the piece where “Cornbread, The World Is Mine” is scrawled across a stop sign.

Joe Boruchow is known for his vivid monochrome pasted posters. Included in Boruchow’s installation are army green mailbox backs that are used to frame his own tombstone and back-bending contortionists.

“The longer I have been doing uncommissioned public art the more I try to find architectural spaces to frame and add context to my work, ultimately integrating it into the environment,” says Boruchow.

Usually, knitting comes off as a passive and domestic sort of craft. Jessie Hemmons, Ishknits, challenges that stereotype. Hemmons’ yarnbombs, which can be found on bike racks and Frank Rizzo statues, are equally, if not more eye-catching than the brightest stickers or marker drops. The fact that Hemmons’ medium is not often found in public places makes her work that much more outstanding.

Work by Kid Hazo

Work by Kid Hazo

On the contrary, Kid Hazo has the capability of completely blending into his surroundings. Hazo uses standard public sign aesthetics and designs that parody Philadelphia and occasionally mock its residents. The pay phone installation pokes fun of today’s self-centered and technology-hungry society, while reminding viewers what a real “throwback” is.

Isaiah Zagar, the mosaic artisan and creator of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, showcases a tremendous pale pink mosaic exhibiting a robust female figure. Zagar has been working on his large scale work for over 40 years. Many of his mosaics can be found east of Broad Street in South Philadelphia, very close to the Magic Gardens on South St.

I Am Here flawlessly brings the pubic pieces into a gallery space by transferring not only the art but the hardware that makes street art what it is. The exhibition is running now through August 2 at James Oliver Gallery.

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.
Michele Tremblay
Michele Tremblay

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers…

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.…

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.…

Colorful, tactile works inspired by geology and natural forms; exploring experience.
Colleen McCubbin Stepanic
Colleen McCubbin Stepanic

Colorful, tactile works inspired by geology and natural forms; exploring experience.…

Colorful, tactile works inspired by geology and natural forms; exploring experience.…

Colorful, tactile works inspired by geology and natural forms; exploring experience.…

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc of time. Her current work is about our extraordinary historical moment, when climate crisis threatens all life on earth, and climate justice offers the possibility of global transformation to a just and equitable world. Her visual language of a seamless world of people, animals, and place, is the language of the interconnection of all life on earth. Flexer’s paintings speak about climate in a language personal enough for people to hear it. Her goal is to inspire people to action. She hopes to connect people to themselves and each other, so each person can find their place in the mass movement necessary to create a sustainable future. In this way, she sees her paintings aspart of the great web of healing she deeply believes can save our planet.
Mindy Flexer
Mindy Flexer

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and…

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc…

Mindy Flexer makes magical realist, figurative, oil paintings. She uses observation and invention to explore identity and family relationships, and the way personal history resides within the larger arc of time. Her current…

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence of memory, time and place.  The overarching theme of my work is a narrative drawn from personal history, my meditation and spiritual practice, community engagement and interest in the mysteries of the Universe.
Nanci Hersh
Nanci Hersh

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence…

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence of memory, time and place. The overarching theme of my work is a narrative…

Gestural lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work which create a space for the confluence of memory, time and place. The overarching theme of my work is a narrative drawn from personal…

Emilio Maldonado
Emilio Maldonado
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