Neighbourhood Mosaics

My former art teacher/mentor (who recently passed away) had a mosaic on the back of her garage, that she would add to over time. I happen to have a similar space on the back of my garage – hmmm….

The mosaic work that Isaiah Zagar is doing in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia sure sounds like fun. I get a kick out of the fact that one of his goals is to:

He says he wants his extraordinary artworks to draw travellers into the back alleys of Philadelphia. ‘There they can meet the locals and have conversations that start with “What’s that?”.



Philadelphia Sculpture Gym

This could be  interesting, the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, sounds a bit like a maker space for sculpture. Unfortunately for me it is located in Fishtown; which isn’t very convenient to my location.

Checking out their list of classes, nothing looks like it suits my purposes. Hopefully they will do well and are an indicator of just how strong sculpture is in the Philly region. I’ll have to keep an eye on them.


Staying Alive

Sounds like Mr. Dupree is still fighting to keep his studio (land) from being seized by the city of Philadelphia. Of course the city is just the lever of power. The real culprit is the developer who just wants what he wants, regardless of the impact on others.

According to the city’s very own redevelopment plan, city agencies own more than 400 vacant lots and properties in Mantua. Build there and let my studio stand. There is no reason to use eminent domain against my property.

The news item mentions a petition to support his studio but doesn’t provide a link. The petition can be found here.

Mr. Dupree has also put up a site to gather support. Spread the word….

One bit of possible good news:

I’ve also taken the redevelopment authority to court. My saving grace could very well be the city’s incompetence. My studio lies on three lots. But the city (only) condemned two. You can’t bulldoze two-thirds of a building.

Never underestimate the incompetence of the current ruling class. They are more than capable of bulldozing 2/3rds of a building and then end up paying a huge multi-million dollar settlement (paid for by the tax-payers); in which only the lawyers benefit. Given all the publicity that Mr. Dupree has managed to raise, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if, in the end, the city bulldozed the wrong building. That is exactly the kind of beast that Mr. Dupree finds himself struggling with.


Philadelphia Condemns Artist’s Studio to Put Up a Parking Lot

If you are a property owner the words “eminent domain” should strike terror in your soul.  Local artist, James Dupree, is having his studio taken by the city of Philadelphia for less than a third of its asking price. Ilya Somin (who runs a great blog called The Volokh Conspiracy) described it as “one of the many economic development takings that destroy more economic value than they create“. Since the city was using a loophole in Pennsylvania’s version of eminent domain, there is a chance that Mr. Dupree can prevail in this matter. I wish him the best of luck….

Dupree Studios