PennDesign News

Posted August 18, 2017
  • Terry Adkins’s temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard, 2015

    Photo: Lisa Boughter

Monument Lab Opens September 16

Monument Lab, the citywide public art and history project co-curated by Fine Arts Chair Ken Lum, opens in 10 different locations on September 16, with a kickoff event at City Hall from 1:00 – 4:00 pm spotlighting projects from artists Mel Chin, Tania Bruguera, Michelle Angela Ortiz, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia with support from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Monument Lab invites people to join a citywide conversation about history, memory, and our collective future. 20 artists have been asked the question, What is an appropriate monument for the city of Philadelphia? and their answers range in topic across engagement of public space, equality and social justice,refugee and immigrant issues, opioid addiction and recovery, gentrification and land use, indigenous history, recycling and sustainability, youth voice, Philadelphia music, and neighborhood culture.

Participating artists include Associate Professor of Fine Arts Sharon Hayes, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts David Hartt, Fine Arts Lecturer Shira Walinsky, and PennDesign alumna Kaitlin Pomerantz (MFA’16).

"The range, depth, and breadth of their ideas will have a major impact on the city at a time when it’s more important than ever to have conversations about how we want to be represented in public space," says Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden. 

Monument Lab builds on a successful research and development phase undertaken in the spring of 2015. Conceptualized and led by the same curatorial team, the initial phase included a large installation in the courtyard at City Hall, envisioned by the late artist and Professor of Fine Arts Terry Adkins. Nearly 35,000 people who traveled through or visited City Hall got to see and interact with the sculpture, and thousands more participated in a series of public conversations between local artists, historians, leaders, and thinkers.

Visit the Monument Lab website for more information about each artist, and to stay up to date as the project develops—and follow along on social media with #monumentlab.

PennDesign faculty member Shira Walinsky talks about her vision for her monument.