Immerse Yourself in Philadelphia Art This Spring

Philadelphia is a world-class city when it comes to art. It’s not only home to one of the biggest art museums in the country, it’s also home to a few creative events. This spring, take a look at the works of great artists from the past and the present.

When you think of springtime in Philly, what comes to mind? You might see yourself enjoying a baseball game, strolling along the Schuylkill or having your first taste of water ice for the season. However, spring is also a big time in the Philadelphia art scene. From enjoying great weather during a local arts festival to taking in a major exhibition at one of Philly’s top museums, there are plenty of ways to enjoy art in the city this spring.

Witness Pedal Power

Depending on who you ask, Kensington is an up and coming neighborhood in Philadelphia. It’s home to a fun and creative annual arts festival, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, now known as the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Arts Festival. The festival, now in its 10th year, features around 200 local artists and vendors.

A highlight of the one-day event (May 16 this year) is the Kensignton Kinetic Sculpture Derby. In this case, a kinetic sculpture is similar to a parade float, except that it needs to be powered by a human. Usually, bicycles make up the backbone of the sculptures on display along the derby’s route. Since the derby began nine years ago, more than 159 sculptures have made their way along the route, seen by more than 15,000 spectators. Anyone who wants to participate can, as long they sign up by May 1st and successfully build a sculpture. There are workshops throughout the spring to help you out.

Be Impressed by the Impressionists

Don’t see the appeal of building your own kinetic sculpture? There are still plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy Philadelphia art this season. Head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to catch its newest big exhibition, “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting,” which opens on June 24. The exhibition not only traces the development and rise of Impressionism as a style, it also looks closely at the role Paul Durand-Ruel, an art dealer, played in celebrating the style at a time when many turned their nose up at it. Timed tickets are available to the exhibition, which guarantee admission during a specific block of time only.

See Legos in a New Way

You might not think of “art” when you think of Legos, but “The Art of the Brick” exhbition, on view at the Franklin Institute this spring and through the summer, will change that. The exhibition shows that Legos are much more than just toys for kids. Artist Nathan Sawaya has built original sculptures from the plastic bricks and has created reinterpretations of famous works of art, such as the Mona Lisa and The Thinker, using only Legos.

Art Star

It’s not spring without the annual Art Star Craft Bazaar, which takes place every year over Mother’s Day weekend, rain or shine. Put together by Art Star, an independent art and craft gallery and retailer, the fair features a number of artists and crafters selling their handmade wares. Visiting the fair not only gives you a chance to see what local artisans are making, it also lets you enjoy a day at Penn’s Landing, looking over the Delaware River.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy art in the city this spring. Take the time to check out a museum you’ve never visited before, or check out one of the many art-focused festivals around town.

Image Source: Flickr/NKCDC Philadelphia

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