The Mural Arts Program has become a staple of Philadelphia throughout the years, and this fall it has teamed up with curators and artists of the Monument Lab Project to create significant pieces across the city.
Kenneth Lum, the Chief Curatorial Advisor and Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke with high regard about the project. Along with his co-creator, he wanted to come up with an idea that “solicit[ed] a dialogue about public space and have Philadelphian’s have some say and some effect in terms of shaping their own future in terms of what values they believed were most important.”
He also talked about the decisions on picking artists featured in the exhibit, including Tyler School of Art Professor Karyn Olivier.
Olivier, who is an Associate Professor of Sculpture, created a twenty-foot monument at Vernon Park in Germantown that encases an already standing monument dedicated to the Battle of Germantown. She says her idea for crafting “The Battle Is Joined” stemmed from wanting to “do [something] to make you see what you don’t notice anymore.” The sculpture is reflective on all sides, allowing visitors to see themselves at any angle and goes from “being this grand object to being very humble and one that reflects our humanity.” Feedback to the monument has been positive, with Olivier saying members of the community feel as though people are paying attention to Germantown again.
The exhibit runs until November 19th and allows people to interact at sites all over the city. People can contribute what they think is a good monument to represent Philadelphia in its current state.