Art in the Open goes from dawn ‘til dusk every day this weekend

Sculptor Miguel Antonio Horn works in front of an audience. | Nick Kulish
Nick Kulish

Don’t be surprised if you see easels, clay, and textiles along the Schuylkill River Trail this weekend.

Along with the materials artists use for their creations, location is another tool. More than 30 artists working with various mediums will use the Schuylkill Banks as their studio this weekend during Art in the Open. Take a riverside stroll from the Art Museum to South St. to learn from local and visiting artists. The event, run by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, makes the process of creation more accessible by enlisting artists to showcase their craft in a public space.

Constructing or strengthening a bond between a person and a space is the primary goal for Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Asis. He walks into a building or approaches a structure form the outside, and immediately looks for the points that tether one vision to another. His background in architecture and love for capturing the unseen parts of cities translates into his focus on using his work to grab an audience’s attention, and then guide their focus to their surroundings.

“I actually hope you start to look at other things quickly,” he says. “My work becomes invisible. I find the lack of transparency between the urban physical world and how it happened bizarre. We just take a lot of things for granted. There are many places and parts, which are critical to how a city works, and the public doesn’t have access to them.”

Asis’s past work in Philadelphia includes installations in 30th Street Station and on the Schuylkill near the Art Museum. He plans to focus on bridge structures this weekend, highlighting how they connect to the land and therefore the people.

At Art in the Open, an artist’s work is exposed to the elements. People visiting the artist inevitably shape inspiration and process, and the weather can affect the final product. Philadelphia artist Christopher Wood will continue his Daydrawing project, or drawing one 9×12 panel every day. Exhibitions of his drawings, such as the one he just had at the URBN headquarters in the Navy Yard in March, show the journey’s progress on a larger scale.

“This is like meditation: you do it every single day,” he says. “It’s a single object that exists in a number of locations as time progresses. It grows beyond what’s easily digestible. One of the inspirations is thinking of an object as being larger than something in front of you or that you can hold.”

If you go:

Art in the Open
Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20
Schuylkill River Trail

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