Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia

1/2: 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.
2/2: Philadelphia City Hall courtyard, 2014. Photo courtesy of Paul Farber.

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.

Michael Orlove currently serves as the director of artist communities and presenting & multidisciplinary works for the National Endowment for the Arts and has responsibility over the NEA’s international programs.


In January 2009, Tanya Bowers came on as the director for diversity at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

This month in Fellows Friday news: Uri Caine receives rave reviews for his Philadelphia Freedom Festival commission, Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s exhibition at Locks Gallery is a Critics’ Pick on Artforum, and much more.

Scribe Video Center premieres Muslim Voices of Philadelphia, an oral history media project that explores the rich and diverse history of Muslim communities in the region.

Built in 1836, Laurel Hill was one of the country’s first rural cemeteries. In the 21st century, the cemetery attracts visitors to musical programs, tours, photography programs, and more.

Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre creates performance with a focus on devised work that often includes forays into pop culture, political satire, and the human condition.

The Preservation Alliance promotes the importance and appropriate use of historic buildings and landscapes in the Philadelphia region.


Jan Howard was appointed curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2000.

The first film series on this scale dedicated to the sexual revolution, Free to Love will present more than 40 commercial and underground films, along with lectures and discussions, over a period of a month.

This project allowed Cliveden to adaptively re-use Upsala (a historic home on the site of Cliveden) for office space and community programming.

Edmunds, executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, is The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s first visiting scholar. Paula Marincola, the Center’s executive director, spoke with her about the opportunity.

Asian Arts Initiative hosts a Pearl Street Block Party to celebrate the rich cultural diversity and artistic community in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North neighborhood.

The Brandywine River Museum planned for a 2015 exhibition by Los Angeles-based conceptual photographer James Welling, whose work takes inspiration from and pays homage to 20th-century American artist Andrew Wyeth.

Christophe Cherix is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

María Teresa Rodriguez is a media artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.

Barbara London, Camille Norment, Ed Osborn, and Richard Garet visit the Center for a conversation about the curation of sound as an artistic vehicle.


Chris joined Portland Center Stage as artistic director in May 2000. Before coming to Portland, he was artistic director at Actor’s Express in Atlanta, a company he co-founded in 1988.

This exhibition at the Galleries of Moore College of Art & Design will critically re-examine the emergence and development of unorthodox, artist-driven, and collective artistic practices in Mexico City in the 1990s.

Williams and Tsien have distinguished themselves in the field for their attention to materials, surfaces, tactility, and craft. We ask them about art-furniture designer Paul Evans, whose Center-funded retrospective is now on view at the James A. Michener Art Museum.

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.


Mark Beasley is a curator and writer from the United Kingdom who is currently curator-at-large at Performa in New York.

Published in 2006, What Makes a Great Exhibition? is vital reading for arts professionals, art and curatorial studies students, art historians, practicing artists, and anyone curious about exhibition-making today.

Benjamin Schachter is a musician and a 1999 Pew Fellow.

This exhibition, which will be the Eastern State Penitentiary’s first to focus on the current state of incarceration in America, will shed light on this critical contemporary subject.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is the city’s public library, with 54 locations serving more than six million users annually.

In fall 2011, the Association for Public Art was featured in USA Today Travel as “the main reason Philadelphia is now said to have more public art than any other city.”