April 12: COMPANION (PASSING THROUGH) | Hunting Park’s Logan House | Arts in Chinatown North | Praise for The Circuit

Happy Friday Streeters! 

World renowned artist KAWS installed his larger than life, 16-foot COMPANION (PASSING THROUGH) sculpture in 30th Street Station yesterday. The traveling sculpture is based on KAWS smaller, limited edition toys and resembles a grayscale Mickey Mouse with his head in its hands. KAWS, a New Jersey native, sat down with the Inquirer to talk about the sculpture, which was initially on display in Hong Kong. He explained that the sculpture is not sad but “just hanging out,” and he says he is amazed that “we are at a point where Amtrak is able to collaborate with someone who has a background in graffiti.” This fall the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine arts will install another KAWS sculpture on the facade of the historic Frank Furness building at Broad and Cherry Streets. 

Hunting Park’s historic Logan House, built in the late 18th century by the grandson of William Penn’s secretary James Logan, is available for lease as part of the Hunting Park Revitalization Plan, reports Philadelphia Neighborhoods. Residents hope a tenant will be able to both restore the home and provide a safe place for youth to spend their free time. Philadelphia Neighborhoods reporter Christine Killion tells the story of how the Logan House came to be and what some call its “conservation by neglect.” That part of the story includes the Fairmount Park Commission walking away from the house in the 1980s after finding it too costly to maintain.  

The Asian Arts Initiative is working to expand and develop Chinatown North‘s presence as a cultural and institutional center. Generocity reports that Asian Arts Initiative, which moved to its location just north of the Vine Street Expressway at 12th Street in 2008, hopes to help Chinatown expand into the former industrial Callowhill neighborhood. The initiative is planning to, among other projects, transform the Pearl Street alleyway into an outdoor gathering space and gallery and launch the Social Practice Lab, which will grant studio space and funding to seven artists whose work aims to engage the community. 

The trails of two cities: The Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) wrote a glowing profile of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh’s trail blazing efforts to build more bike and recreation trails. Calling the cities’ networks “expansive trail systems that are shining models for others to follow,” the RTC article called particular attention to The Circuit, which aims to build and connect 750 miles of trail in southern New Jersey and central Pennsylvania. The profile quotes Tom Sexton, regional director for RTC’s Northeast Office, who said, “This is the most progressive, far-reaching and promising build-out of a trail network in the U.S.”

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