Breadboard & MuraLAB, a Mural Arts Program
April 27-June 16 2012
By Joanna Platt
Two Philadelphia artists, Serena Reed, Chris Landau, and two artist collaboratives, Colette Fu and Elisabeth Nickles, Mike Ski and Katie Tackman, were awarded residencies to create site specific public interventions utilizing the resources of NextFab Studio, a collective work space filled with high-tech tools. Without Walls is the result.
Essentially a collection of proposals in the form of photos, models and site plans, the diversity of approaches stands out most. Along the back wall of the space Tackman and Ski’s decorative wallpaper shows images of portholes containing historical photographs of Fishtown residents, alluding to both the past and present of their neighborhood. Landau’s Regeneration Garden is a proposed park permeated with lights that react to the moisture levels of the soil. Using laser cut acrylic, Fu and Nickles have built multilayered sculptures of biological phenomena that cling to the side wall. Reed’s project Greenstand occupies a back room with a multifaceted system for reinvigorating neglected spaces in North Philadelphia. These works don’t seem fully comfortable on the marble floors and white walls of Breadboard, ultimately poised to escape the gallery and engage the public on its own turf, revitalizing neighborhoods.
Joanna Platt is a new media artist living in Philadelphia, currently working as a sculpture technician at Ingalls’ Studio and Independent Casting.