The exhibit is housed at The Perelman building and is actually five distinct exhibits rolled into one! The works touch on design, architecture, sculpture, textiles, fashion and photography from African-born artists.
If you visit the exhibit, I suggest starting with the “Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art,” found in the space just inside the Perelman front doors. Somehow my husband I did this section last (Insert joke about "how many 32 year old art enthusiasts does it take?" here!) and I definitely think this section provides rich context about the history of African objects that would be helpful to see before the more contemporary portions of the show. This space is filled with traditional wooden and metal figures and masks. This is where you’ll see dozens of carved wooden “power figures” which are smaller-scale human forms that were created to protect or heal their owners. As a teacher, I like the way the curators broke up the space by asking essential questions, like "Can an ancient art space really ever be recreated?" or "What evidence can you find of how this object was assembled?" I thought it was very kid-friendly and I noticed that several of the younger visitors were absolutely mesmerized by the ancient collection.
And you can’t miss Kéré's mega-colorful art installation, “It Takes a Village,” which he created for the atrium area in front of the gallery entrances. It’s a series of day-glow parachute cords, hanging in hut-like groups from the ceiling, that visitors can walk through. Yes, all you hands on artists, your are allowed to walk through the cords which creates a sensation I would describe as ticklish spaghetti! The best part is, the design of the strings is inspired by the city layout of our own fair city. William Penn would have loved!
Sunny is an art teacher who is living the dream. The only thing she enjoys more than her curious students are the adventures she has with her loving husband and cat in the fabulous city of Philadelphia!
Artful Artsy Amy
The Department of Making + Doing
The Philadelphia Museum of Art