Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia

1/9: The crowd gathers at the late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard, on the opening day of Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
2/9: The late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument at City Hall Courtyard, the central meeting place for Penn Institute for Urban Research’s Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
3/9: A member of the crowd brainstorms a monument at the Monument Lab “storefront” space in City Hall Courtyard, the day of the project’s opening. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
4/9: A senior from Masterman High School performs at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
5/9: The crowd at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
6/9: Monument Lab co-curator Paul Farber speaks at the project’s opening in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
7/9: Monument Lab co-curator Ken Lum speaks at the project’s opening at City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
8/9: Jane Golden, Director of Mural Arts, speaks at the opening of Monument Lab in the City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
9/9: Terry Adkins, Blanche Bruce, and the Lone Wolf Recital Corps perform The Last Trumpet as part of the Performa Biennial 2013. Photo courtesy of the Estate of Terry Adkins and Salon 94, New York.

This project will pose the question: What does a 21st-century urban monument look like? The centerpiece of this exploration, overseen by curators A. Will Brown, Paul Farber, and Ken Lum, will be a temporary monument designed by the late, award-winning artist and University of Pennsylvania professor Terry Adkins, to be installed in City Hall’s central courtyard in the spring of 2015. Adkins’ monument addresses the traumatic wave of Philadelphia school closings that occurred in 2013. A Center City storefront “lab” also located at City Hall, which also opens in the spring of 2015, will serve as project headquarters, where participating artists, curators and Philadelphia citizens will brainstorm and instigate ideas for the appropriate monument for contemporary Philadelphia. This project will precede a planned Philadelphia monuments festival, to take place in 2017.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Elisabeth Sussman is curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Most recently, she co-curated the 2012 Whitney Biennial.

Made up of over 100 local Quaker Meeting communities in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Delaware, and Eastern Maryland, the Arch Street Meeting House is a regional hub for the Quaker community.

Grants & Grantees

History and Reconstruction will pair formerly incarcerated African-American individuals and at-risk youth with public historian Phillip Seitz and a team of professional historians and psychologists.

Grants & Grantees

Cheryl Hess is a media artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

W.D. Ehrhart is a poet and a 1993 Pew Fellow.

The James A. Michener Art Museum conducted research for a retrospective exhibition on the work of designer-craftsman Paul Evans (1931–87).

Grants & Grantees

Wyck will evaluate its current programming in advance of writing a new business plan that results in audience-centered programs with the potential to attract new visitors.

Frank Sherlock is named Philadelphia’s new poet laureate, William Daley receives a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and poets Teresa Leo, Pattie McCarthy, and Jenn McCreary release new books.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko is the President and CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, which presents the history and cultures of the Wabanaki people. She served as a panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation in 2015.

Whitney Kimball, Vox Populi Gallery’s third AUX Curatorial Fellow, presents “The Videofreex Pirate TV” and a Q&A with Skip Blumberg and Nancy Cain, the third program in the “Schmart World” series.

We asked our 2013 No Idea Is Too Ridiculous project facilitators, Kathleen McLean and Mark Beasley, to reflect on where they see constraints to doing creative work.

The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change will perform a pop-up concert at Bluebell Triangle Park.