Benjamin Volta

2015 Pew Fellow

1/8: Benjamin Volta, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/8: Benjamin Volta, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/8: Benjamin Volta, We Are All Neurons, 2013. Print on a SEPTA subway car. Created with youth at Volta’s studio in partnership with the The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Damon Landry.
4/8: Benjamin Volta, Amplify, 2014. Mural for the Union Transfer music venue in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. Created with young adults at my studio in partnership with The Restorative Justice GUILD / The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Steve Weinik.
5/8: Benjamin Volta, Written in Wood, 2012. Mural for The Center for Art in Wood in Old City, Philadelphia. Created with young adults at my studio in partnership with The Restorative Justice GUILD / The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Steve Weinik.
6/8: Benjamin Volta at the Moscow Cultural Forum, 2014. Courtesy Benjamin Volta.
7/8: Benjamin Volta, Micro To Macro, 2014. Mural for the Morton McMichael Public School in the Mantua neighborhood of Philadelphia. Created with youth in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Steve Weinik.
8/8: Benjamin Volta, Coordinates of Play, 2014. Print installation for Pleasant Playground, created with youth from Amy Northwest Middle School and The City of Philadelphia Percent for Art Program. Photo by Steve Weinik.

“Unexpected things can happen in a space where art not only beautifies but dynamically forges a new unity and strength.”

Benjamin Volta (b. 1979) creates intricate public murals and sculptures through participatory methods, often involving education, restorative justice, and urban planning. His practice stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them. Volta models his practice after what he calls the “education as medium” philosophy of mentor Tim Rollins, founder of K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), which began making art with at-risk students in 1982. Volta studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited at The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC and Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, among others, and his murals have been seen throughout Philadelphia on trains and in train stations, and at the Philadelphia International Airport, Union Transfer music venue, The Center for Art in Wood, and several public schools, including the Morton McMichael Public School where he recently worked with students, teachers, and community members to install a 12,000-square-foot mural. Recent partners include the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, New Jersey Transit, and Philadelphia’s Percent for Art program.

References

Collaborators & Colleagues

In 2010, Laura Hoptman rejoined the curatorial staff at the Museum of Modern Art as curator of the department of painting and sculpture.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ana Janevski is Associate Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art. In 2015, Janevski served as an LOI panelist in Performance.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Karen Getz is a dancer, choreographer, and theater artist with comic flair.

Mural Arts and SEPTA’s “Love Train,” featuring Stephen Powers’ Center-funded Love Letter project, received national media coverage from news outlets including CNN and MSNBC.

Located in Independence National Historical Park, the Independence Visitor Center is the official visitor center of Philadelphia and the region and is the primary point of orientation for Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia, and the Southern New Jersey and Delaware River Waterfronts, as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania.

The New Year brings to the region an exciting array of Center-funded projects that promise to inspire, inform, and captivate audiences—from interdisciplinary works that blur boundaries in imaginative ways to unique commissions from international artists.

An opening reception for Ann Hamilton’s multi-venue exhibition habitus will be held at two locations: The Fabric Workshop and Museum and Municipal Pier 9.

Grants & Grantees

Megawords (run by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, both Pew Fellows) is self-described as “an experimental media project” that takes the form of a biannual photography magazine, as well as related installation projects and public events.

Development of a preservation plan considered Fleisher Art Memorial’s historic buildings on Catharine Street in South Philadelphia.

Saxophonist and Pew Fellow Matthew Levy on what motivates his multi-faceted practice as a musician, composer, and commissioner/producer of new music, his daily art-making routine, and more.

Grants & Grantees

Dave Burrell is a pianist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

In 2016, our Pew Fellows brought an abundance of new projects to fruition, as they performed and exhibited their works across the nation and around the globe.