working with artists from around the globe to bring artistic collaborations to our local community
NEXT ARTIST COMING SOON
When Bainbridge Green approached us about creating something festive for their upcoming fundraiser; Philadelphia artist, Kelly Franklin was our first choice. We knew her signature flowers and colorful fare would be an added compliment to Queen Village.
After 3 long days of prep & painting, Kelly tackled her first sidewalk mural at 4th and Bainbridge just in time for Bainbridge Green's "Dining & Dancing Under the Stars" fundraiser to build a usable park.
You can see beautiful progress shots of this project here.
My Dog Sighs, Calo Buscanigua and Kelly Kozma dropped some amazing work between 3rd and 5th on Bainbridge Street in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia over the 2014 Labor Day weekend.
Our 3 artists beautifully rehabbed these neglected junction boxes as part of our community beautification collaboration with the Queen Village Neighborhood Association.
Afterwards we invited everyone to join us back at Paradigm Gallery + Studio for a fun panel discussion with the artists. Here are some direct quotes from the panel discussion they gave at Paradigm Gallery after completing the boxes...
Paul aka My Dog Sighs
"When Calo and I started chatting, we realized the boxes had something to do with communication.
I use text and lyrics a lot in my work and that has a lot to do with communication. We both were going in that direction, but with a different slant. I knew I was going to do an eye, but I had no idea what text was going to go on it. Every time I walked past the park there were guys sleeping on the benches – it was a space for them. I had my iPod on and a UB40 song came on ‘I am one in 10’, the lyrics go something like, I am a one in ten, a number on a list, I am a one in ten, Even though I don't exist, Nobody knows me, But I'm always there, Statistical reminder of a world that doesn't care.
So there I was walking along and I seeing these guys and thinking …That’s it. I've got my lyrics. So when we started, I got my pencil out and wrote the entire song all over the box. Then I painted over it, most of it disappeared, but for me, it’s always nice to have some link to the space you work in."
"People in El Salvador can communicate through the patterns that they’re wearing – it can represent what town you’re from, if you’re married, what family you're from, etc… We knew that Kelly was doing something related to that with her box – the knitting patterns aspect. So on the front of my box there is a lady from Guatemala, sewing a pattern. The other side of the box represents another form of communication. There is a little girl, she is selling chilies. In El Salvador you don’t have to go to the produce stands, people bring the produce to you. It’s a completely different form of interaction, people come and approach you, they want to interact with you."
"I've always admired the whole yarn bombing movement, so I used the imagery from something that’s knit, to kind of yarn bomb it with paint. I adapted it so it took on a more organic nature. The box is in the park, so I wanted to reference what was growing around it. It has that patterning of the knitting but it also grows and kind of moves in different ways then if it were just on a needle. I wanted to reference the plants that were around it as well, as this idea of paying respect to the yarn bombing art form."
You can enjoy a full range of our pictures from this project at our Flickr.
His unconventional Houdini act of crushing lifeless cans and then transforming them into stunning and often funny portraiture's first caught our attention. These painted faces with haunting eyes full of lifelike emotions do not typically sit on walls like other installs but rather on the ground waiting for attention. They've become his trademark, garnering him a loyal worldwide fan base and international success on the contemporary art scene.
MDS is also known to many for his championing of public art as the founder of Free Art Friday in his hometown of Portsmouth, UK. Free Art Friday is a non-profit project that allows artists the liberty to create work free from the constraints of commerce. Artists create special pieces that get placed outside in random locations to be discovered and taken home. It’s the exhilarating aspect of an unexpected approach to a random walk in your neighborhood that has pushed the growth of his 10 year devotion project on to other cities.
Thankfully we convinced him to make one of the cities, Philadelphia. We waited 3 hours for customs to release him before our Philly adventure could begin. After a little jet lag rest, MDS went on whirlwind wheatpasting tour. We jumped on Instagram and encouraged Philly art lovers to hunt for the wheatpastes and cool cans MDS dropped throughout his Philly travels.
He left so many morsels behind, before moving onto Chicago for his first US solo show. You can relive that hunt and the other moments you missed by browsing Instagram using the hashtags #phillyfreeartfriday #hahaxpara.
You can enjoy a full range of pictures from My Dog Sighs visit on our Flickr.
*Photo courtesy of Conrad Benner
*Photo courtesy of Conrad Benner
*Photo courtesy of Conrad Benner
*Photo courtesy of Conrad Benner
Artists, Amanda Marie and X-O road tripped around the US leaving behind beautiful art installations at every tour leg to bring awareness to their “Beautiful Times” project.
Beautiful Times, raised awareness about the world we live in, the protection of our children, and wild flowers. The tour supported two great causes - the Lady Bird Johnson and The Morgan Adams Foundation.
August of 2014, Philadelphia was a stop on their tour, and we had the pleasure of hosting Amanda and Hyland. They were only in town for a few days, but that was just long enough for us to take them around and find some amazing spots for them to leave their mark.
Amanda Marie aka @seeyouthroughit dropped this dreamy campscape in a lucky Philadelphia Community Garden. While X-O aka @ihyland left behind one of his Lost Objects pieces. His artwork is made of found, recycled objects, which he gathers while roaming streets and then transforms them into striking, geometric assemblages.
Before they breezed out of town, they bombed the popular Philly graff hot spot, Tattooed Mom. We had a blast seeing it all come together and are so happy that they included us as part of their Philadelphia journey.
We've been crushing on their collaborative works since we saw them exhibit at the 2012 Spring Break Art Show in New York. Together they create such imaginative and playful interactive installations. Sarah paints these larger than life scenarios framed in her handcrafted magical creations, which are complimented by the stunning video work of Fall on Your Sword.
Knowing this wasn't going to be the only time we'd be persuading them to show with us, it only made sense to start at the beginning, with the first installation we fell for.
We relaunched the interactive installation we'd seen at Spring Break under a new name. “The Garden of Alternate Histories” showed at Paradigm Gallery, featuring a guided lobotomized mid-century lawn mower, where the viewer controled the action in a darkly cinematic world of alternative thrillers. Part Lynch, part Lewis Caroll, part Haruki Murakami; the piece was a totally immersive FOYS-centric surround sound experience informed by Bereza's paintings, which hung in the space."
It was a cold First Friday in December when we spotted a young woman rearranging paintings in the window of a gallery. She wasn’t familiar but the paintings were – we stepped into the gallery to inquire about them and discovered they were the works of a young Pakistani artist we’d recently read about in the press. As it turned out, the girl in the window was the artist.
After some polite introductions, we found ourselves rearranging Summaiya’s travel plans so she could be our 2nd Artist-in-residence. It didn’t take much convincing. We both realized what an amazing opportunity had just landed in our laps.
Jillani’s work often carries a whimsical Eastern retelling of the influence of western pop culture. Like her famous painting of Marilyn dressed in classic Pakistani attire (Baar baar dekho, hazaar baar dekho).
This was one of our more significant projects in terms of its subject matter and artistic representation of cultural perceptions. Jillani hails from Karachi, Pakistan; at the time the climate between the US and Pakistan was precocious, at best. For Summaiya, it was important to convey Pakistan through a different lens.
Her gallery paintings were recreated as a series of prints and spread around downtown Philly.
This was the first time that did a Q & A with one of our artists. HAHA Mag sat down with Visual Artist, Summaiya Jillani to discuss her views on community art and to figure out how street art is received in Pakistan. You can view our conversation here.
You can enjoy a full range of pictures from Summaiya's visit on our Flickr.
A COMMON NAME
This was the real beginning – the three of us sitting around a small table having brunch, trying to figure out who would be our first Artist-in-residence.
Graphic Designer/Street Artist, Paige Smith’s (aka A Common Name) Urban Geode Project had been on our radar for awhile, only dilemma was that Paige lived on the West Coast. At that point I don’t think we’d considered flying an artist in for the project. But when you want something bad enough – I mean the geodes had never shown up on the east coast before. Suddenly, the idea of it happening was starting to sound like a real possibility. Only thing left to do was ask this incredible artist, if she’d like to fly across the US and stay with folks she’d never met, for a project that was still at its inception.
I don’t get to ruin the ending to this Cinderella story because you know she agreed. Our first day out, we dropped geodes all around Philly with Conrad Benner of Streets Dept who caught amazing photos of all the action.
We kicked off our first Art Scavenger Hunt. The first 2 people who tweeted or Instagramed 4 of Paige’s Urban Geodes locations in Philly using the hashtags #PhillyGeodes and #HAHAxPara won a one-of-a-kind sculpture from Paige. Everyone who participated in that hunt justified what we thought for a long time - Philly has some (not forgetting all those folks who came in from the burbs to play with us) dedicated art fans.
We arranged for Paige to visit the CHAD School where she taught high school students how to make their own geodes, and then she held a free class at Paradigm Gallery for anyone interested in joining. That week with Paige was magical, talking art, and walking around Philly chatting with curious onlookers. A few of the geodes are still hanging around; you'll find a full listing of the geode locations here.
You can enjoy a full range of our pictures from Paige's visit on our Flickr.
PHILLY BEFORE I DIE
This HAHA Mag x Paradigm Gallery collaboration started with an idea – to bring interactive public art projects to Philadelphia that would encourage our communities to engage in healthy discussions about the state and future of arts education.
We choose theBefore I Die project because it resonates with most who encounter this massive bucket list. Before I Die is an interactive public art project created by Candy Chang, which invites people to share their hopes and dreams in a public space. Painted with chalkboard paint and stenciled with the sentence “Before I die I want to _______”, the wall becomes a space where we could learn the hopes and dreams of the people around us.
The Philadelphia Before I Die wall was located on Broad Street, between Pine and Spruce Street.
We were so excited & fulfilled by the positive response to this project, that we made this a full time collaboration that has morphed into HAHAxParadigm.
Find more pictures from the Philadelphia Before I Die Project hosted here.
DUTCH UMBRELLA PROJECT
HAHA Magazine asked The Dutch Umbrella Share Program if they would turn over their classic white umbrellas to five local Philadelphia artists to use as a blank canvas. The results of which were chronicled through five, four minute videos called, The HAHA Mag Dutch Umbrella Episodes. The artist’s umbrellas were exhibited at Paradigm Gallery + Studio for a month and then auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction went toward children’s art programming in Philadelphia.