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Cosmic Terrarium / Motion Painting Project Kicks Off Philadelphia Live Arts Festival



A Column by Michael J. Fino

Philadelphia is a city that values community. That was certainly evident on Saturday, Sept. 4th, as hundreds of passersby witnessed the inception of Cosmic Terrarium / Motion Painting Project on 5th Street in the Northern Liberties region of Philadelphia. A mural is being painted to mark the commencement of the 14th Annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Each year, the Live Arts Festival chooses a visual project to complement and signify The project at the beginning. Source: http://www.liveartsfringe.org/details.cfm?id=14569the artistry demonstrated in the featured performances. This year, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was selected to transform a vacant, weed-ridden lot into an artistic statement with mixed designs and bright colors. Every inch of the lot, including the ground will be covered; and it is the one component that throughout the festival is constantly in flux. This mural is particularly fascinating, as there is no predetermined design. The creation is only limited by the imagination and skills of the painters as they progress.

Sean Stoops, local curator, was hired to oversee the project. He recruited four talented artists to work on it, each with a different artistic background in painting and each with a unique contribution: Dan Murphy, Alexandre “Psyckoze” Stolypine, Paul Santoleri and Josh “Le Josh” Smith.

“Part of the art, itself, is the process of creation,” noted Stolypine. “Usually when people see art, they only see the finished product. In this case, the process is part of the art.”

The transformation process and the final outcome of the space is indeed only half theAnd AFTER the transformation. Photo by Mike Fino. story. Still pictures are being captured by video-recorder every day the team works. Ultimately, a digital-video experimental animation film will be produced for City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to later be released for public viewing. Tom Buildmore, a local film creator, was contracted to manage this portion of the project. The object is to show the sequential creation of new layers as the process is happening. Stoops further explained that the end-product will be roughly 2-3 minutes in length; music and ambient sound will also be added during editing to give an aural feel. It is to be completed by Oct. and anticipated to be shown in later this year in the fall.

The viewing of this film will be open admission to the public, as is the Terrarium / Motion Painting Project (631 N. 5th Street across from the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival-Philly Fringe Box Office). Painting is to be completed by Sept. 18th.


About The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival celebrates the work of local artists, as well as those worldwide by bringing them together at venues throughout Philadelphia. Suitable for family entertainment or friendly gathering, any audience is sure to be riveted by the gutsy combination of musical styles in the Bang on a Can Marathon: Philadelphia, by the creation of cardboard and stop-animation in the mystical theatrical performance of Cankerblossom and by the choreography of Lucinda Childs in Dance to name a few features.

The core mission is to produce a festival that accomplishes three basic objectives: to entertain, excite and provoke thoughtful discussion among patrons; to create global dialogue among today’s top performance artists around the world; and to establish the City of Philadelphia as a destination on the map for performance art. This year, there are 15 live performances running for sixteen days from Sept. 3rd - 18th. Performances are typically between 1 and 2 hours in duration and range everywhere from family-friendly to adult-themed. Ticket prices are affordable for all, generally $25 or less. Group and student rates may apply to some shows.

For more information about featured performances in the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, review the 2010 shows and pick your passion.

If you know of a festival you would like Mike to cover, contact him at mikefino@verizon.net