Interview with Locust Moon Comics owner Josh O’Neill

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I have been putting together pictures and video for Locust Moon Comics in order to create a promotional video series for them in exchange for their gallery space for our charity event. I had the pleasure of filming an interview the other day with one of the owners Josh O’Neill (UPenn ’08) for their promotional series, as well as taking some pictures of the store for their own social media uses. Here are some of the pictures I took over the course of the past few weeks.

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Visit the Parkway with the family on St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Many people see St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend before it an excuse to go drink in an Irish bar, get drunk, and…..well that’s pretty much it. But the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation have some family friendly activities planned during the day to keep you and your family busy (and away from those having a bit too much fun).

 The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting a Harry Potter themed Scavenger Hunt on March 16 beginning at 2pm. Search for themes and characters from the magical world in art hanging in the galleries, and enchanted objects from the Harry Potter series. (This scavenger hunt is not an addition to or variation of Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a bridge to wonderful works of art). Children ages 10 and up must be accompanied by an adult. The price for the scavenger hunt is $30 for children, $36 for adults (which includes admission to the museum). If you or a loved one is a Harry Potter fan, you don’t want to miss out. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also has an entire Sunday planned for you and your children full of family friendly activities. Beginning at 10:15am, there is an Early Bird Read and Look that meets in the West Lobby (recommended age group 3-5). Preschoolers and their parents can enjoy picture books and art projects in the galleries of the museum. (Tickets are free with admission, but you do need to reserve them when you enter the museum). From 11am to 2pm there is a Medieval Art Stop in the Great Stair Hall Balcony, where children who love history can learn the secrets behind making armor, stained glass, masonry, and painted panels. (Free with admission). There are also two family tours of the museum beginning at 11:30am. The Family Gallery Tour (recommended age group 6-10) covers the Modern Marvels of the museum, and the Tours for Tots (recommended age 3-5) is a moving tour of the museum, complete with arts and crafts, hands on activities, and designed for preschoolers and their families. Both tours meet in the West Lobby at the Family Cart, and you do need to reserve your free tickets when you enter the museum. And from 12pm to 3pm, families can meet in Gallery 169 for Drawing Together (all ages) to test out their drawing skills or just have some fun. Artists on hand will provide art supplies for you to doodle or create a masterpiece for the fridge.

The Barnes Foundation also has family friendly events on March 16th and 17th. Artsee Activities are fun arts and crafts sessions that will teach your children how to make friendship key bracelets, designing a bag, and assembling an “unlock the mystery” storybook. The Saturday, March 16th session is from 11am to 1pm, and the Sunday, March 17th session is from 1pm to 3pm. Tickets can be bought at the admissions desk. If you have time, take a stroll around the museum as well.

All in all, you can make a full weekend for the family with any of these activities. Get your kids interested in art and culture early, that appreciation lasts a lifetime.

First Friday, or as it’s now called, First Weekend

The beloved pastime of First Friday in Old City Philadelphia is now extending itself to become First Weekend. Gallery hopping on the first Friday of every month will still happen, but now Saturdays in Old City will be filled with activities such as the Flower Show Scavenger Hunt, (inspired by the Philadelphia Flower Show on March 10), which begins at 11am tomorrow. There are also a few select galleries that will be holding special events tonight, such as First Friday Weekends Old City (Part of the Old City Arts Association) is having an opening reception for First Friday at 301 N. 3rd Street. Bluestone Art Gallery at 142 N. 2nd Street also has a fresh exhibit to check out. And of course, if you’ve never experienced First Friday, just head up 2nd street past Market and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Who can say no to wine, art, and people watching? If you’re busy tonight, here are a list of locations that are participating tomorrow for the Flower Scavenger Hunt, and the prizes you can win if you find the missing flower(s).

Arden Theatre Company — 40 N 2nd St.
ITEM: Name the flower that was in the title of the Arden’s musical last spring
PRIZE: First three correct answers given to the Box Office will receive 2 tickets to the Arden show of their choice. All correct answers will receive a piece of seeded paper they can actually plant to become flowers!

The Betsy Ross House — 239 Arch St.
ITEM: Lily of the Valley
PRIZE: Buy One Get One Free Admission

The Center for Art in Wood — 141 N 3rd St.
ITEMS: Flower Bracelet in museum store / Ron Fleming’s Cerus, Frank Knox’s The Wood Rose, Flower Turnings, and Vase with Flowers all in the museum collection gallery
1ST PRIZE: 3 free books and 20% Off One Reg priced item.
2ND PRIZE: 3 free books and 10% Off One Reg priced item.
3RD PRIZE: 3 free books.

More Than Old — 144–146 N 3rd St.
ITEM: Lily
1ST PRIZE: 20% off next purchase coupon.
2ND & 3RD PRIZE: Merchandise gift.

Old City T-Shirts — 233 Church St.
ITEM: Flower arrangement printed on a white t-shirt.
1ST, 2ND, & 3RD PRIZE: Philadelphia designed T-Shirt

3rd Street Gallery on Second Street
58 N. 2nd St.
ITEM: “High Spirited”
1ST PRIZE: $10 off a selected framed work in Members Gallery.
2ND PRIZE: $5 off a selected unframed work in Members Gallery

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar — 10 S. 2nd St. 
ITEM: Travel to Old Havana where our staff will be adorning themselves with this edible kind of flower.
1ST PRIZE: $50 gift certificate.
2ND PRIZE: $25 gift certificate.
3RD PRIZE: $15 gift certificate.
All correct answers will receive a free dessert with purchase of entrée.

Snyderman-Works Galleries — 303 Cherry St.
ITEM: Placement on Norma Minkowitz’ fiber sculpture (figure)
Prize: Nice mug

Humphrys Flag Company — 238 Arch St.
ITEM: Narcissi in Blue
1ST PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 24 x 16 in.
2ND PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 18 x 12 in.
3RD PRIZE: Narcissi in Blue, 12 x 8 in.
All correct answers win a 4 x 6 in. USA flag!

Scarlett Alley — 241 Race St.
ITEM: Forget-me-not
1ST PRIZE: 25% off coupon & candy bar.
2ND PRIZE: 20% off coupon & candy bar.
3RD PRIZE: 15% off coupon & candy bar.

Three Sirens Boutique — 134 N 3rd St.
ITEM: Daisy
1ST PRIZE: $25.00 Gift Certificate.
2ND PRIZE: 20% Off One Reg priced item.
3RD PRIZE: 10% Off One Reg priced item

Wexler Gallery — 201 N. 3rd St.
ITEM: Portraits of Post Industrial Americans: Large Bouquet (Flower bouquet made from brass screws, brass and bronze)*
PRIZE: 15% discount

And on Sunday some galleries and shops will be giving discounts to people who had brunch in an Old City restaurant. Sadly I don’t have a list on participating venues at this time, but check it out anyway. Have a great weekend!

Graffiti or Art? Both Seem to Coexist in South Philadelphia

Philadelphia is well known as the mural capital of the world, housing over one thousand murals throughout the city. The Mural Arts program began as the Philadelphia Anti Graffiti Network in 1984, and has since successfully combatted the graffiti problem all over Philadelphia. The Mural Arts program helped artists create a name for themselves by immortalizing their art on walls and leaving their own distinct mark on the city. By influencing these artists to use their creative vision on blank walls in Philadelphia, it gave many sketchy neighborhoods a feeling of unity and artistry. Not to mention the value the murals add to whatever building or wall they are depicted upon.

  

There are quite a few murals in South Philadelphia, the Magic Garden on South Street being one of the most prominent and well known. Also a few murals off of East Passyunk, and down by the Schuykill Expressway. You can even find some murals just walking down Snyder or one of the other main streets in South Philadelphia. However, in the huge chunk of residential buildings in the entirety of South Philadelphia, there are a few walls that are not big enough for such majestic murals, and have begun to generate graffiti of all shapes and sizes. Some graffiti is just the simple, illustrious tags, but others are on a much grander scale.

  

Many people of the Philadelphia community find graffiti a troublesome issue. After all, graffiti tags are ugly, and most artwork created by spray paint is not considered art at all. Merely a mark left by a struggling artist on someone else’s property. However most graffiti in South Philadelphia (at least the artistic ones) are left on buildings that are abandoned, or community buildings that just have a blank wall they would like to fill. The Mural Arts Program only makes a few murals a year throughout the city, and they have to go through the process of finding the right artist and project for the right blank wall, not to mention finding funding and community support for such a mural. It can be a tiresome process, one that many people hoping to reach out simply do not have to time to go through, or don’t know where to start. But if a graffiti artist happens to make his or her mark on a blank wall that a person was looking to fill anyway with some sort of paint, and it adds culture to the area, and saves the Mural Arts Program money and hard labor. Tags that are made with one stroke of spray paint should not count as graffiti, but as someone crying out for attention. But if a tag is created with enough artistry and integrity, why shouldn’t it be left up and enjoyed by the community?

A good portion of graffiti in Philadelphia is done on big pieces of stickers that can be printed at any Kinko’s, and slapped on any wall the artist likes. The stickers come down with time from weather and wear, and don’t bother anyone in particular. If a graffiti sticker offends someone, they rip it down, with little if any damage to the building. This, well not new, but safer way to create graffiti is less offensive to property owners, and doesn’t really cost them anything to remove. With the exception of a little labor to take the sticker off the building. And really, who doesn’t like free art that doesn’t last anyway?

The moral of this article is, in a way, to forgive those graffiti artists that are trying to brighten the somewhat gritty areas of South Philly. An artist must create, otherwise what good is s/he? Letting a few artists vent in this slowly recovering economy and bring some culture to the community isn’t a bad thing. Being open to the new ways graffiti artists try to better South Philadelphia will help the entire area flourish. By all means take small graffiti tags down, but leave the real art up for all to see. And if you can’t see it my way, think about this: you can’t argue it doesn’t add some tourism through the Graffiti Tours of Philadelphia.

Welcome to IAC!

Welcome to Independent Artists for Charity’s official website! IAC is run by artists in the Philadelphia community that want to give back to those less fortunate, and to help fellow independent artists get their work seen by the public in a gallery setting. We understand it is difficult when artists are first starting out be noticed for their work. So we at Independent Artists for Charity have taken it upon ourselves to help those independent creators get their work shown in a professional gallery, while raising money for various charities. Each event will function like an art auction and will sponsor two charities, one local and one national/international. After artists submit their artwork, they will have the option on what event their submission will be shown at, and once their artwork is sold, what charity they will be supporting (or if they will be supporting both). Any unsold artwork will be returned to the artist, and may be submitted again for a future event.

At this time we do not have any events planned, but please keep checking back for updates. We hope to have gallery events in the late spring, summer, and fall, all for different charities.

We help the creative help the world, and would love for you to be a part of it.