Barnes on the Block: Summer fun with the Barnes and Mural Arts

2 minute read
Barnes on the Block is back and bigger than ever. (Photo courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.)
Barnes on the Block is back and bigger than ever. (Photo courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.)

After two successful Barnes on the Block events last year, the Barnes Foundation, in partnership with Mural Arts, has decided to come back bigger and better than ever.

This year the block party has doubled in size, and the family-friendly event will include multiple stations presented by Mural Arts. These include an art installation by local artist NDA, mural painting, chalk art, and bubble projects. Guests can also meet Leroy Johnson, artist in residence at the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes; enjoy food trucks and a beer garden; and watch live glass-blowing demos by East Falls Glassworks and metal forging by Darla Jackson. These live exhibits reference the glass and metalwork in the Barnes collection, and all activities can be enjoyed while dancing to live music by GLBL VLLG, who will end the night with a jam fueled by audience participation.

Kathleen Greene, curator of public programs at the Barnes Foundation, hopes this will help the Philadelphia community engage with the Barnes and can’t wait to see the secret audience talents that pop up at the GLBL VLLG jam. “We’re asking the Philadelphia community to be the spotlight. They get to be part of what’s happening without having to sit back and watch,” she explains. “There’s no better way for community members to connect than over food and games.”

Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, agrees; she is most excited about making art accessible and inspiring others. “When I fell in love with mural painting, I did so because I felt like art should be accessible to everyone; it’s like oxygen… I think it’s a wonderful way to highlight both the indoor collection of art and the outdoor collection of art in our city, and it’s great when institutions come together.”

Barnes on the Block takes place on Sunday, July 14, 2019, from 5pm to 8pm at the Barnes parking lot, Callowhill Street, and Target’s parking lot across the street. The event is wheelchair-accessible. Partygoers can register online or on-site for free same-day access to the Barnes’s collection and a chance to win exciting prizes.

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