As Penn has been preparing for the Time to Shine festivities tonight, we’ve been watching a chalk artist’s work take shape at the 34th and Walnut entrance to Locust Walk.
Here’s what we spotted on Tuesday morning:
By Wednesday, it had evolved into this:
And then yesterday evening, we finally got to see the completed piece:
The artist’s name is Hani Shihada, and this isn’t his first time making art on a sidewalk. Shihada’s website features numerous examples of his past work, and here he is drawing Spongebob on a New York City sidewalk:
Ah, to be a student again. Clever editing, a giant snake and a Harry Potter tribute? I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in this video, but I like it.
The University put out a simple request last week: “Show us a day in your life at Penn.” They asked students, faculty and staff to “help us illustrate a single day on campus and at Penn around the world” by snapping and submitting photographs on Nov. 14, 2012. More than 800 photos were posted to the University-wide project, Day in the Life of Penn. You can see the full album on Flickr, but here are a few images that caught our eye, presented in (roughly) chronological order:
Early morning on Locust Walk. (Photo by Luis Cornejo)
12:45 p.m.: The dancing satyr statue, which overlooks the Penn Museum’s Warden Garden.
1:17 p.m.: Drs. Julie Clark, Jessica Midence and Jeffrey Runge perform a minimally invasive colonoscopy on a dog in the Ryan Veterinary Hospital’s minimally invasive surgery suite. (Photo by John Donges)
3 p.m. in the Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library. (Photo by Rafiat Kasumu)
Penn students visiting a market in Zürich, Switzerland.
6:52 p.m.: Theater Arts students rehearsing in the Annenberg Center. (Photo by Iris Leon, Office of the Vice Provost for University Life)
1L reading (Photo by Zahir Rahman)
Also, in case you missed it, here’s the Flickr album from the first “Day in the Life of Penn” event this past April.
In my mind—which I’ll admit does not speak for all minds—puppets and musical theater should be at the top of any Great Things list. It was pretty exciting, then, to see the two combine in the Penn Players’ performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this past weekend. In a twist I’ve never seen before, the show used a large, body-worn puppet to portray Rocky, Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s latest creation. Here’s a (somewhat blurry) photo of Puppet Rocky flexing his biceps:
And here’s Rocky cowering from the criminologist:
Puppet Rocky came from Alisa Sickora Kleckner, a theatre artist who has designed costumes, puppets and masks throughout the Northeast and who serves as an adjunct faculty member and resident designer at Arcadia University.
For further Penn Players/Rocky Horror fun, check out the flash mob that cast members staged on Locust Walk leading up to performance weekend:
Photo by Molly Petrilla
In 1911, fresh from their success with the New York Public Library, noted architects Carrère and Hastings turned their attention to Philadelphia. Known for their Beaux-Arts creations, the New York-based duo was asked to design a new house of worship for the First Church of Christ Scientist. The result was the Rotunda – a striking building that still stands at 4014 Walnut Street, but now with a very different mission.
After purchasing the building in 1996, the University transformed the Rotunda into the thriving and diverse performance space it is today. Both students and community members perform and attend a variety of arts events there, from concerts and film screenings to dance and theatrical performances.
Gina Renzi, the Rotunda’s director, was kind enough to meet with me to discuss the 100-year-old space’s history, architectural elements, and cultural offerings. Here is the resulting video, chock full of photos and interesting facts:
Also, if you happen to be in Philadelphia this weekend, the Rotunda is presenting three performances of Le Dada Va Gaga dans 2011 — a site-specific dance/video work created for the Rotunda’s rarely seen sanctuary (seen in both the video above and the photo below). You can find all the relevant details on that performance here.
Photo by Molly Petrilla
At 8:30 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, WHYY airs its Friday Arts program, which includes a segment called “Creative Campus.” Guess which university’s cultural centers have been featured back-to-back in the last two months. (Though I guess the name of this blog and the screenshot above are slight giveaways…)
First, this segment on the Kelly Writers House aired in December (it’s chapter 4 in the video).
Then this month, Creative Campus spotlighted the Morris Arboretum (chapter 2).
Earlier last year, Creative Campus also highlighted the Institute of Contemporary Art and WXPN/World Cafe Live.
Enjoy your virtual visit to each!
It seems Scott Ordway — a Benjamin Franklin doctoral fellow in the Music Department — had an even busier day on Dec. 12 than I’d realized. While I mentioned the performance of his Sextet: Water Music in my post and video from the Penn Composer’s Guild concert, it turns out that wasn’t the only time his music was performed that day.
Just a few hours before the Composer’s Guild concert, Ordway — the composer-in-residence at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Philly — conducted his commissioned choral composition Missa Brevis for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The singers included St. Mary’s choir, along with professional singers and guest musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Learn more about the piece here, and check out the University’s video below:
What’s new in the music composition world these days? Funny you should ask. A quartet of graduate students from the University’s music department unveiled their recent compositions at a Penn Composer’s Guild concert this past weekend.
The performances took place inside Fisher-Bennett Hall’s Rose Recital Hall and ran the gamut from vocal to solo piano to a sextet. The composers themselves were equally diverse:
- Melissa Dunphy Gr’13, who wrote Tesla’s Pigeon to reflect the unusual relationship between scientist/inventor Nikola Tesla and his favorite white dove, has had her choral work The Gonzales Cantata featured on The Rachel Maddow Show and reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Harper’s Magazine, among others.
- For Treasure Box, Ke-Chia Chen Gr’13 wrote a set of short pieces for solo piano designed to explore the technical facility and musical characteristics of the piano. Chen’s compositions have been performed throughout the country, and her orchestral work, Broken Crystal, won the Indianapolis Symphony’s 2009 Marilyn K. Glick Young Composer Award.
- Tony Solitro Gr’13, composer of Impromptu & Rondo featuring piano and violoncello, writes both acoustic and electroacoustic music. He won Penn’s Helen L. Weiss Award for vocal compositions for his piece War Wedding for piano and tenor, commissioned by American tenor Justin Vickers.
- Sextet: Water Music, by Scott Ordway Gr’13, closed the concert, described in the program as “fast, colorful, occasionally virtuosic and rhythmically motivated.” Ordway has conducted more than 30 world premiere performances in recent years, and previously served as music director of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His works range from symphonies to chamber pieces to vocal music to collaborations with sound and video artists.
I recorded some of the performances and put them together in the following video. Maybe one of these young composers will become the next Grammy-winning Penn grad.
The Daily Pennsylvanian — Penn’s student-run newspaper — is a source for all manner of campus news, including arts-and-culture-related fare. As the week wraps up, I wanted to highlight three arts-related stories that appeared in the DP this past week. (I also added some bonus Arts Blog footage to the summaries and links.) I won’t call this a weekly blog feature, but I will promise to do it again from time to time.
- On Tuesday, there was an interview with Matt Kap C’97, whose band, Moving Picture Show, has a song on Rock Band, available for download. While he was at Penn, a very busy Kap played in a ska band called The Benevolent Security Men, performed in student plays, appeared on a TV show called Locust Walk and sang with Penn Madrigals a cappella choir. He also designed his own major, which focused on music composition.
Bonus blog footage: A video of the song on Rock Band’s “expert” setting.
- Remember Ben Stiller’s somber, track-suit-clad children in The Royal Tenenbaums? The older one was played by Jonah Meyerson C’13 — a Mask and Wig cast member who’s currently interning for 30 Rock.
Bonus blog footage: Jonah in a recent “Above the Influence” commercial.
And with Ben Stiller as young Uzi Tenenbaum (right):
- More than 100 people gathered in the ARCH auditorium on Thursday night for a performance by comedian Eliot Chang. The event was hosted by the Asian Pacific Student Coalition and Sangam, and included performances by Penn Masti, the Excelano Project and Simply Chaos. Following his standup performance, Chang led a discussion on “Asians in the Media.”
Bonus blog footage: A sample of Eliot’s standup.
…All You Need Is Love. And maybe a little help from Penn vocalists.
Canadian couple Todd and Meaghan recently planned an extended layover in Philadelphia while on their way to France in order to take the Mural Arts Program’s Love Letter Tour. Todd contacted the tour office to let them know he wanted to propose to Meagan on the tour, and MAP suggested the idea seen below: A romantic serenade by members of Penn Singers Light Opera Company and Penn Glee Club.