Philadelphia International Art Expo moves to Mt. Airy

This year’s annual Philadelphia International Art Expo will be held in Mt. Airy. In the past it has been held at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia.

The three-day event along the main commercial district of 7100 Germantown Avenue will feature over 150 art and craft exhibitors as well as vendors from 45 states and 6 countries.

In the past it has been called “One of the nation’s largest African American Art Expos.” The event is literally an outdoor marketplace for artisans, musicians and performers.

This compilation of art, music and theatre will be spread along Germantown Avenue (from Sedgwick Avenue to Allens Lane).

The event is produced by October Gallery, located at 6353 Greene St. in Germantown. Mercer Redcross, vice president of the expo committee, is enthusiastic about this year’s expo being in Mt. Airy.

“The expo reaches out to everyone in Mt. Airy,” said Redcross. “We’re a very diverse neighborhood. This is about bringing all the people of Mt. Airy together for a weekend of art – bringing folks from all different persuasions, different ethnic backgrounds – to share in this event.”

Redcross said he has seen the number of businesses in Mt. Airy grow over the last ten years and believes the area has seen a transformation.

“There are no more boarded-up buildings and businesses are growing,” said Redcross. “The expo is a great opportunity to highlight Mt. Airy and its accomplishments.”

Live entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend at 7165 Lounge, located at 7165 Germantown Ave. A live performance from Breakwater, a funk and soul band that formed in Philadelphia in 1971 will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Other performers include Denise King, a jazz vocalist, and the bands Urban Guerilla Orchestra and George Foxx and the G. Foxx Experience. Ticket prices are in the $20 range per each performance and can be purchased online prior to the event.

The Temptations, a jazz, blues and Gospel band will play at one of Mt. Airy’s newest businesses The Black Pearl Restaurant, located at 7200 Germantown Ave., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. all weekend with free admission.

Housed-brewed beers will be featured all weekend after 4:30 p.m. at Earth – Bread + Brewery, located at 7136 Germantown Ave.

Local restaurants will host vending tables featuring multi-cultural cuisine as well as American-favorites including hot dogs, hamburgers and hoagies.

Attractions will vary, ranging from a health and fitness pavilion, an outdoor Zumba class, art, crafts and entertainment. The Wellness Evolution Pavilion will also feature the play Secret Healing of the Lotus: A Womb Awakening, starring Queen Afua. The play will be on held Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at 7165 Lounge.

The expo is also family-friendly, and there will be tables designated for children’s activities.

The expo will be held on Friday October 14 and Saturday October 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday October 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission to the expo is free.

For more information, visit: phillyartexpo.blogspot.com

Traffic advisory: Germantown Avenue, between Mt. Pleasant & Mt. Airy Avenues, will be closed from Friday 6 a.m. until Sunday midnight, as part of the art expo that is taking place this weekend.

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