WHYY’s Arts Calendar curator Robin Bloom sorts through hundreds of listings each week to find out what’s happening in the Delaware Valley. Here are her picks and listings.
Created by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, the Barnes Foundation was established to promote the advancement of education and appreciation of the fine arts, something Barnes believed could not be found in a museum. In his home in Merion, Pennsylvania, Barnes amassed an astounding collection of 2500 objects, including 800 paintings by such artists as Rousseau, Pinto, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Degas, allowing limited public access. Despite his wishes for his home to remain untouched upon his death, the controversial decision was made to relocate his collection to a new space that will maintain the outline of his home and display each piece as it was in its original location, allowing more accessibility for patrons. The Barnes Foundation has officially moved to its new home on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia with special events May 19-28. Admission: Adults $18, Seniors $15, Students/Youth $10, Members and Children ages 0-5 Free. Advanced reservations recommended.
The Moore College of Art & Design presents “All Together Now,” an exhibit designed to coincide with the opening of the Barnes Foundation, featuring the work of 15 Philadelphia-based artists who reinterpreted Albert Barnes’ famous “wall ensembles,” on view May 18 through July 28. Featured artists include Gabriel Boyce & Preston Link, Sarah Burgess, Kara Crombie, Steven & Billy Blaise Dufala, Joy Feasley, Mark Khaisman, Nick Lenker, Jacque Liu, Matthew Osborn, Hiro Sakaguchi, Anne Seidman, Kate Stewart, Stacey Webber and Mauro Zamora, at 20th Street and the Parkway, Philadelphia. Opening reception on May 18, 5:30-8pm. Admission is free.
The Center for Art in Wood, formerly The Wood Turning Center, presents two new exhibits on the theme of sea life: “Hooked on Wood: The Allure of the Fish Decoy,” showcases old and new fish decoys, some dating to the early 1900s. The history and craft of the decoys are analyzed with more than 100 pieces on display, including ice-spearing decoys—handmade tools often shaped in the form of fish used to lure in other fish through a hole in the ice—decorative piscatorial portraits, fishing lures and baits, many elaborately designed with different paints and materials to bring life to the pieces. “Life Aquatic” features the new work of six artists inspired by water, sea animals and plants to create sculptures, wall hangings and imaginative creatures, including three fish with “two-part eyes” turned on a lathe—a tool often used to produce objects with symmetry—made of mammoth tusk ivory, a horn and dark wood. Exhibits on display May 18 through July 21 at 141 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia. Free admission.
The Wharton Esherick Museum presents “Poplar Culture: the Celebration of a Tree,” an exhibit featuring more than 40 pieces of woodwork honoring the late Philadelphia-born wood artist Wharton Esherick, on view May 21 through June 10. Each of the pieces in the exhibit, ranging from large pieces of furniture to small spoons, were made and crafted from a single tulip poplar tree that stood outside of Esherick’s studio and home in Chester County, now a part of the museum. Esherick built his home around the poplar tree and in 2009 the tree was taken down due to damage and its pieces distributed to contemporary artists to create their works. Admission free. Preview party on May 20, 2-5pm, Lincoln Building at the Historic Yellow Springs, 1685 Art School Road, Chester Springs, PA.
The South 9th Street Italian Market Festival, called the oldest, largest open-air market in the United States, is Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20, 10am-5pm, rain or shine, with live entertainment, Procession of Saints, family fun zone, and of course, food, along South 9th Street, from Fitzwater to Federal Streets, South Philadelphia.
The Mann Center hosts Philadelphia on Parade: A Free Family Arts Festival, Saturday, May 19, 11am-5pm, with a diverse line-up of music, children’s pavilion, food and more, on the grounds in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Free event and families are invited to picnic. Raindate Sunday, May 20.
Tuckerton Seaport hosts special events: Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival, Sunday, May 20, 11am-5pm with crafts, vendors, food, family activities, demonstrations, decoy carvers, boat building, boat rides and more; Privateers and Pirates Festival, Saturday, June 9, 11am-5pm; Baymen’s Seafood and Music Festival, Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, 11am-5pm; Tuckerton Creek, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ.
Wilma Theater concludes its season with the Tony Award winning epic “Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches,” by Tony Kushner, directed by Blanka Zizka, opening Wednesday, May 23 through July 1, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $39-$66
Johnny Brenda’s hosts concerts and events: R5 presents Ty Segall, White Fence, TeenAger, Friday, May 18, 9:15pm; Hillbilly Blues and Country Ham, Saturday, May 19, 11am-3pm; CrossFaded Bacon & 215hiphop.com presents It’s the Year 1991, Saturday, May 19, 9pm; R5 presents Damien Jurado, JBM, Marc Wolfson Pinansky, Sunday, May 20, 9pm; Sailor Jerry’s presents Mariachi El Bronx, Two Gallants, Tuesday, May 22, 9pm; JJL, Belgrade, The Peace Creeps, Friday, May 25, 9:15pm; 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. Tickets $0-$12
Drexel University hosts the annual Week of Writing, May 21-25, featuring fifteen events with writers, editors, and performers discussing a wide range of topics, including Pulitzer prize winners Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, New York Times bestseller Michael Capuzzo, David Wondrich, expert on the history of the American cocktail, in the Creese Student Center, Chestnut Street and other venues around Drexel University.
The Wagner Free Institute of Science hosts “Electrifying Philadelphia: Pageantry, Progress, and Power in the City Beautiful,” an overview of the city’s electrical history, Wednesday, May 23, 5:30pm, at the nineteenth century exhibit hall, 1700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia. The Institute is open until 7pm and houses an extraordinary collection of natural history specimens including William Wagner’s personal mineral collection and fossil collection. Free and open to public with suggested donation.
Other events and listings happening throughout the Delaware Valley:
The 3rd Annual Schuylkill Banks Art Stroll, “Art in the Open Philadelphia,” is May 18-20, a new public art event inviting visitors to outdoor studio spaces to walk among artists, observe their process of creation and craft and even make their own art at locations along the riverbank path from Fairmount Water Works to Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia. Family Day, Saturday, May 19.
The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 19, noon-5pm rain or shine with live music, food, children’s activities and more at 19th Street & Walnut in Philadelphia.
Delaware River Waterfront hosts concerts and special events: Delaware River Day, Saturday, May 19, 12-6pm, Penn’s Landing Marina, kicking off National Safe Boating Week, May 19-25; Israel Independence Day Celebration, Sunday, May 20, 1-5pm Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia.
The Historical Society of Delaware presents “A Day in Old New Castle,” Saturday, May 19, 10am-5pm, the oldest home and garden tour in the United States, featuring tours of the Read House and Gardens, 42 The Strand, New Castle, DE, guided historical walking tours along with period music, dance and more. Tickets $15 adults ($20 day of event), $5 children (ages 7-12) at Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green. Free parking.
Salem County’s 4th annual “Arts in Bloom” is this Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, 10am-5pm, showcasing new work by over 70 artists including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, glass art, ceramics, furniture making, woodworking, leatherwork, fashion design, fiber arts and more, along with activities including the Family Fun Tour at eight locations in Alloway, Elmer, Elsinboro, Pilesgrove, Salem and Upper Pittsgrove, NJ. Free
Mullica Hill’s 4th annual Antiques and Collectible Street Fair is this Saturday, May 19, 10am-5pm, with more than 40 vendors offering antiques, collectibles, vintage jewelry, pottery, and more, including appraisal opportunities, Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ. Rain date is Sunday, May 20.
The 2012 Burlington, NJ Home & Garden Tour is Saturday, May 19, 1-5pm, a walking tour of 18 beautiful home and garden sites in the historic Yorkshire neighbourhood, covering a five block area in Burlington, NJ. Tickets $18 in advance, $20 day of tour at Philip’s Antiques, 307 High Street and Historic Burlington Antiques, 424 High Street. Rain date Sunday, May 20.
The Wilmington Children’s Chorus performs their annual spring concert, Saturday, May 19, 7pm, P.S. DuPont Middle School, 701 W. 34th Street, Wilmington, DE. Free with donation suggested.
Historic Batsto Village hosts a Decoy Show, Sunday, May 20, 9am-4pm, in Southern New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, Wharton State Forest, 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ. Batsto dates back to 1766, during the Revolutionary War years, when it manufactured supplies for the Contintental Army. Today, more than 40 sites and structures remain in the village and guided and self guided tours are available.
The 28th annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival takes place May 21 through June 2, with regional and national talent in the literary, visual and performing arts, featuring literary discussions, workshops, music showcases, film screenings and more along with activities for the whole family at various locations around Philadelphia.
New City Stage Company closes its 6th season with the world premiere of “Asymmetric,” written by Mac Rogers, directed by Russ Widdall, through June 10, Second Stage at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $10-$35
On view at Woodmere Art Museum is “Salvatore Pinto: A Retrospective Celebrating the Barnes Legacy,” a comprehensive exhibition on the career of one of Philadelphia’s great 20th century artists. Pinto was born into a family of artists, studied under Albert Barnes and Henri Matisse as well as at other celebrated institutions, and went on to develop a distinctly American repertoire of subjects. The retrospective coincides with the opening of the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this month and is on display through July 15 with lectures and panel discussions at 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. A free Open House is Saturday, May 19, 1-4pm. Admission: adults $10; seniors $7; students, children and museum members free. Lectures and discussions are $15, $10 for museum members.
Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times, one of the most complete and detailed collections of ancient artifacts from Israel ever assembled, has arrived in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute, with more than 600 items on display, including twenty of the historic scrolls found near the Dead Sea, including the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible, and four never-before-seen scrolls. The artifacts span thousands of years, displaying the customs, beliefs and traditions of the ancient Israeli society, including a three-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, limestone capitals used in architecture for Jerusalem’s administrative centers dating to 1006-586 BCE, limestone Ossuaries (containers to hold bones of the dead) from the early Roman period, and much more through October 14 at 222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia. Daytime admission: adults $31.50, children ages 3-11 $25. Evening admission (after 5 pm): adults $19.50, children ages 3-11 $12.50.
“East African Encounters: Contemporary Art from Kenya & Tanzania” is on display at Indigo Arts Gallery, introducing Philadelphia to the fascinating modern artwork and artists of both countries, on view through September 1. Featured Kenyan artists include “Sane” Mbugua Wadu (pictured), Kivuthi Mbuno, known for his color pencil drawings of rural tribal life in the Makueni district, Kamau “Cartoon” Joseph, noted for creating work that even trained artists could not produce, and much more. The Tanzanian works include pieces by Edward Saidi Tingatinga, creator of the “Tinga Tinga” painting, using Masonite and high-gloss bicycle enamel to depict wildlife, animals and African customs, George Lilanga, and more at the Crane Arts Building, 1400 North American Street, #104, Philadelphia. Admission is free.
The Gershman Y calls attention to environmental issues with an Eco-Art exhibition “Turn Here: Artists Promoting Environmental Awareness,” in the Borowsky Gallery and “History of the Future: Photographs from the Canary Project,” in the Open Lens gallery, through August 12 at 401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The artwork of Patrick Connors is on display at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, through May 28, and in a group exhibition, “The View from 915,” at the Center for Architecture, The AIA Building, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia through May 31.
The South Jersey Museum of American History presents the art work of students from area colleges, through May 26 at 123 East High Street, Glassboro, NJ. The Museum was established in 1993 to preserve South Jersey’s history and to exhibit it in connection with American History. $4 adults, $3 children
“Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story,” takes to the stage at Walnut Street Theatre on May 15, directed and choreographed by Casey Hushion with the music and lyrics of Buddy Holly, through July 15, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $10-$95
Onstage at Arden Theatre Company is “Robin Hood,” by Greg Banks, extended through June 24, directed by Matthew Decker, with an athletic take on the fabled story including trickery, disguises, swordfights, live music and audience participation, for children 5 and older at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $12-$32
Onstage at Passage Theatre Company is the World Premiere of the comedic thriller “Slippery as Sin,” by David White, directed by Adam Immerwahr, through June 3 at the Mill Hill Playhouse, Trenton, NJ. Tickets $25-$30
Dance Celebration presents the grand finale to its season with the internationally acclaimed dancer-illusionist ensemble MOMIX in “reMIX,” under the direction of founder, choreographer and director Moses Pendleton, through May 20 at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $30-$70.
Music for Youth Company commemorates the 75th anniversary of George Gershwin’s death with “You Got Rhythm,” a three day festival and competition for young musicians dedicated to his music. The festival features a U.S. premiere performance by jazz pianist Daniel Kramer (pictured) and a guest appearance by Francesca Gershwin, the composer’s grand-niece, Friday, May 18, 8pm, Philadelphia Ethical Society, Rittenhouse Square ($75). The juried competition is open to the public on Sunday, May 20, 1-6pm at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia.
The State Theatre of New Jersey hosts concerts and events: Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Friday, May 18, 8pm; Michael Feinstein, Saturday, May 19, 6pm; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Sunday, May 20, 3pm; 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ. Tickets $20-$88
Cape May Stage presents “Uncle Jacques’ Symphony,” written and performed by Dominic Hoffman, through June 15 at The Robert Shackleton Playhouse, corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets, Cape May, NJ.
The historic village of Smithville hosts MayFest! With over 100 crafters, international food court, live music, children’s activities and more, Saturday, May 19, 10am-5pm; 615 E. Moss Mill Road, Smithville, NJ.
To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pamela Seaton and Kelly Hagerty contributed reporting to this week’s guide.