Archive for the 'Print' Category

Bringing history to life with art@Bartrams

Art at Bartrams Report cover

The Lindy Institute’s report proposes ways to bring this historic treasure to life through art.

How do you infuse energy and culture into an historic site that’s an island among neighborhoods in the midst of slow revitalization? Here’s how: you make it the next piece of the Schuylkill River trail. And add art. Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation has garnered the vision for Bartam’s Garden, and is now seeking the funding to bring it to life.

I had the pleasure of editing this intensive 28-page proposal, which spans history, urban planning, and some of the best landscape-based art installations in the world.

You might not know: John Bartam (1699–1777) was a pioneering North American naturalist and devoted Philadelphian. His home and grounds are lovely—well worth a visit the next time you’re headed down 95 past the airport or on a trek into deep Southwest Philly. (Head over in the spring and summer for some dreamy and free kayaking and canoeing on the Schuylkill.)

The report was designed with sumptuous visuals by the eminently talented Andee Mazzocco at Whole-Brained Design.

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Summit at Sundance on arts innovation

Last year I wrote a report about an annual gathering of some of the most prestigious names at the forefront of arts and innovation. Americans for the Arts convenes an impressive group each year at Park City’s Sundance Institute (where Robert Redford joins them) for a weekend of sessions of brainstorming and discussion.

Throughout the summit artists, entrepreneurs, and policymakers—many of the talented individuals are all three—presented TEDx-style on initiatives and outreach that are cutting new paths for public art. It was exciting to showcase these new ways to engage audiences around the country.

Highlights from the 2014 event directly addressed the issue of community:

  • Ben Folds and his manager talked about the viral social media campaign to save an historic RCA Victor recording studio in Nashville—at one time the home to Elvis, Dolly Parton, and the Beach Boys and among the first to record African American artists. Folds’s heartfelt outreach via his 1.5 million followers on Facebook and 840K Twitter following—while he was on tour in Europe—started a wave of support to ultimately #SaveMusicRow from demolishing and development. But it also built a community of activism and preservation in the city and beyond.

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Gaining Leverage

I spent much of 2011 helping the Community Design Collaborative to create a book in celebration of the organization’s 20th anniversary. The result is LEVERAGE: Strengthening Neighborhoods though Design, published in September and now available at the AIA Bookstore in Philly (1218 Arch St.) as well as through Distributed Art Publishers and Amazon.com.

LEVERAGE showcases 20 projects that reflect the strong work the Collaborative has done over the past two decades to help neighborhoods and organizations transform themselves in three dimensions, through planning and design services that are entirely pro bono. A series of essays offer national and local perspectives on the impact the organization has made through this good work.

The talented folks at Smyrski Creative designed the book (and check out what they’re doing at the PMA through April 22, in association with the Zoe Strauss show).

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The Hard Work of Being Doggedly Creative

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has been a client for several years, and whenever I’m there I swoon over the collection but also find myself envying the arts students who are talented and passionate enough to attend this prestigious art school.

I just finished work on a brochure about one of PAFA’s most unique programs: the Post Baccalaureate, which provides an intensive year with four dedicated faculty members. The testimonials speak to what it means to come to a place like PAFA to devote one’s self to the hard work of being doggedly creative. And also how transformative even one year can be. I, for one, was inspired.

Helping Philly’s NeighborhoodsNow

NeighborhoodsNow is a Philadelphia non-profit that strives to ensure that all of the city’s neighborhoods remain vital and economically competitive. They needed a brochure that provided an overview of their three primary initiatives, including outcomes to date. They started with a draft, but needed the information to be readily accessible to prospective partners and funders, so that their goals, priorities, and successes would make an impact. And they didn’t have a lot of time.

NeighborhoodsNow bro cover

ARC started with feedback from the executive director, Beverly Coleman, about what she liked and didn’t like about the current draft. We then did a rewrite to break down the considerable amount of information into digestible chunks that would work with the evolving design. We incorporated strong headlines, bulleted lists, and lots of action words to reflect the high level of energy that is inherent to these programs. The manuscript was 1,250 words (about 7 pages), and ARC turned around the rewrite in a matter of days.

Continue reading ‘Helping Philly’s NeighborhoodsNow’

PAFA general information brochure

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) needed a general information brochure that straddled its dual identity as a prestigious art school and a museum housing one of the world’s finest collections of American art. ARC devised the brochure’s organization and wrote all copy. The piece was designed to compete with other rack brochures at the Visitors Center and is also mailed out to the media and other interested parties. The third panel folds in under the three call-to-action headings: “visit,” attend,” and “create.”

PAFA bro cover 2

Designed by Julianne Domm.