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Destination Frankford Schedules Art Gallery Opening




@ the corner of Frankford Avenue and Paul Street | MFL to Margaret-Orthodox

April 19 – June 28, 2014 | weekends

Receptions & block parties: April 19, May 24, June 28

After years of neglect, the 4600 block of Paul Street in Frankford is beginning a new life. Starting in April, Destination Frankford will transform a long- vacant storefront into an energetic art venue.  A new pop-up art gallery, the Destination Frankford Gallery, will take a big step towards accelerating the process of neighborhood revitalization. Located near the Margaret-Orthodox El stop, the gallery will host “Reclaim, Rediscover, Reanimate” from April 19 – June 28, 2014.  Local artists will exhibit their work and the community will gain an opportunity to view contemporary art. Three separate exhibitions will each focus on one part of the theme.

“Reclaim” will include twenty-one members of Philadelphia’s Dumpster Divers, “Rediscover” will involve seven local photographers, and “Reanimate” will present sculptures from members of Philadelphia Sculptors. Each show will have its own reception that will spill over into the street and the pocket park next door. The public is invited to listen to live music, enjoy the offerings of food trucks, and peruse a local crafts market.


RECLAIM | Dumpster Divers

April 19 – May 18, 2014

Philadelphia’s Dumpster Divers are well known for their commitment to making art from what others would perceive as junk. Seeing the possibilities in trash and other under-utilized resources, they bring a new awareness to the concept of “upcycling” as they transform discarded materials into creative new art forms.


REDISCOVER | Photography

May 24 – June 22, 2014

Seven local photographers will use their cameras to explore Philadelphia’s urban terrain, concentrating on less visited locations and new perspectives of familiar imagery.  Using personal viewpoints, they draw attention to small moments, ambiguous settings, and underlying beauty that might be overlooked by the casual viewer.

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An Open Letter From Christine Rojek

Christine Rojek is the artist who won the competition to install a piece of sculpture at Womrath Park.


Dear Frankford Residents:

It was a pleasure to meet so many of you at the community meeting and presentation of the Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture proposals on January 27 th at the Second Baptist Church. Your input, openness to new ideas , and your enthusiasm for the artist’s process of design was encouraging and heartwarming.

My proposal, entitled Confluence, is a cluster of three sculptures that celebrates the evolution of Frankford. My ideas sprung from the two primary reasons that Frankford exists: Frankford Avenue and Frankford Creek. The trail, or road, lead a steady stream of people through the area and the creek created a flow of energy and opportunity . The fast moving water provided the source of industry followed by the birth of the community. The creek was the reason the people stayed.


My goal as an artist is to create one clear icon for Frankford surrounded by a “timeline of images ” that celebrate the evolution of this neighborhood from open land to a diverse community. The large central feature will be a dynamic “Rushing Water Form” as the symbol of the creek and of life. The sculpted water shapes will flow around a brightly colored waterwheel that represents industry, tenacity, and the potential for new growth.


Clustered around the central f eature (Rushing Water with Waterwheel) will be two decorative panels . Together , they will define an area to gather, stroll , and learn. The panel located to the South ( History Panel ) will describe the open landscape, early architecture , and events from Frankford’s past . The panel on the North ( Community Panel ) will describe more recent memories, current events , and urban architecture.


As part of my research for this sculpture, I’d like to invite you to share your memories and impressions of Frankford with me. I plan to interpret y our stories and special images into a large drawing , or graphic design. This design will then be cut into metal to form the decorative panels described above. Below are some of the questions you might consider:

1. How has the natural landscape changed along the road?

2. How has the natural landscape changed along the creek?

3. How was the creek used for recreation in the past and how is it used today?

4. What do you know about the beginning of industry in Frankford? Did any family members work in the mills?

5. What stories have you been told about the construction of the elevated train and how it changed Frankford? What do you remember about your first ride?

6. What stories or images of historic Frankford are most intriguing to you?

7. What is your favorite piece of architecture from early Frankford? Does this structure still exist?

8. What is your favorite storefront or piece of architecture from contemporary Frankford?

9. What parts of the neighborhood do you feel define Frankford today?

Thank you, Christine Rojek

Follow this link for more information and a way to leave your comments and suggestions.


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Destination Frankford Invites Community to Open Meeting

Destination Frankford welcomes all members of the Frankford community to a public meeting on January 27 from 6:00  – 7:00 pm at the 2nd Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow Street.

The five Destination Frankford Womrath Park Sculpture finalists, chosen by a jury of project administrators, arts professionals, and representatives of the Frankford community from 100 applicants, will present their proposals for the park’s new public artwork.

Jake Beckman (Philadelphia,), Pete Beeman (Brooklyn, NY), Jim Gallucci (Greensboro, NC), Robert Roesch (Philadelphia), and Christine Rojek (Chicago, IL) were chosen on the basis of their past work and artist statements by the Destination Frankford selection jury to complete a design for a gateway sculpture in Womrath Park.

Each artist will show images of their proposal and will entertain questions from the audience. Ian Litwin (Project Manager), Marsha Moss (Public Art Consultant), and Leslie Kaufman (Art Director) will be on hand to answer any additional questions.One artist will be chosen by the jury to fabricate and install the winning project, expected to be completed in November, 2014.

A light dinner will be provided, and those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to Leslie Kaufman at by January 22. This will be the only opportunity to see the final proposals before the selection is made, so make sure you are a part of this exciting event!

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Artist Finalists Visit Womrath Park

The five finalists competing for the opportunity to create a sculpture in Womrath Park visited the site for the first time on November 25th.  The weather was ideal but cold as the group, along with city representatives and members of the public, heard some of the history of the park and its present condition.  The sculpture is intended to become the central feature of the park.destination frankford

The group then met at the Globe Dye Works for further discussions.  Final proposals from the five will be presented to the selection committee on January 27th, 2014.  On the same evening, they will give shorter presentations to which the public will be invited. The winning proposal will be unveiled to the public in February.  The contract for the successful artist will be finalized in April and installation is scheduled to be completed by November of next year.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Conveys high artistic quality;
  • Communicates with a wide public audience;
  • Possesses a fresh and innovative approach;
  • Highlights and preserves the uniqueness of the community;
  • Includes an interactive component;
  • Expresses a welcoming spirit;
  • Adheres to specific dimensional and other physical requirements;
  • Pays attention to public safety;
  • Presents resistance to vandalism;
  • Demonstrates durability of materials; and
  • Is environmentally thoughtful.

The finalists are:  Jake Beckman, Pete Beeman, Jim Galucci, Robert Roesch and Christine Rojek.  Click on the names to see samples of their past work.

Funding for this project, the central component of the Destination Frankford initiative, is supported by a grant from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies accelerating creative placemaking across the US

Thanks to Ian Litwin, Project Manager, and the City Planning Commission for making this a reality.


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Finalists Chosen for Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture

art panel

Panel reviewing artists

Destination Frankford is a creative placemaking project supported by a grant from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies accelerating creative placemaking across the US.

Creative placemaking has been employed across the nation by public, private, and community partners to shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood around the arts, cultural activities, and the principles of walkable urbanism. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired. Destination Frankford embodies these principles and welcomes artists to work collaboratively with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the Frankford community. Destination Frankford seeks to capitalize on Frankford’s industrial heritage and its growing arts and design community to create a distinctive, clear image of Frankford as a place for creative, entrepreneurial businesses.

100 artists responded to the Request for Qualifications by the November 1st deadline to participate in the competition to design and install the gateway sculpture.  A review by a panel of experts winnowed the possible finalists down to 18.  At a meeting on November 19th, with input from the Frankford Community, 5 finalists and 1 alternate were selected.

These finalists will now work on a design for the final competition.  They will make a site visit to Womrath park on November 25th at 1PM where the public is invited to meet the artists.  This is an opportunity to talk about Frankford with them and hopefully provide some input to the process.  After the tour of Womrath park, the group will then move to the Globe Dye works for more discussion and light refreshments.

Their design proposals are due on January 25th and will be unveiled to at a public meeting in February.  The installation is due to be completed in November 0f 2014.