It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a new sculpture

A new sculpture installation will soon open at Lenfest Plaza combining two disparate concepts.

A former Cold War-era anti-submarine Naval plane is being painstakingly reconstructed and turned into a harbor for nutritive and medicinal plants by Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts graduate Jordan Griska.

“It was mostly about changing the function of the airplane from something disruptive to something productive that generates life,” said Griska, 27. “The airplane is grounded, so it no longer has movement in that sense, but growth creates movement in another way.”

Griska was selected by a committee at PAFA to create the first of a series of one-year exhibitions at Lenfest Plaza’s west end. He bought the decommissioned plane on eBay five months ago and had it trucked up from Alabama.

“I was already interested in recycling and green concepts, so I combined that with my body of work,” he said. The plants will be maintained by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and donated to its City Harvest Program, which provides meals for low-income families.

“It’s great, because former pilots are really enthusiastic about this type of plane,” said Caryn Kunkle, director of the Philadelphia Salon, which helped fund the project. “A lot of them were pulling up lawnchairs and watching as we installed it.”

Satellite law flies through Council

In the latest chapter of Councilman Darrell Clarke’s ongoing satellite bill saga, perennial citizen opponent Earl Lively conceded during public testimony Thursday. The bill passed with a unanimous vote after being amended four times.

“The community has spoken in support,” said Lively, who testified at Council three times against the legislation. He said that he polled about 100 residents and that the majority of them were in agreement with the bill.

“I thank Council for listening to me last week versus the BlackBerrys that take up a lot of your time,” he added.

The law will require satellite installers to put new dishes on the roof or rear of a building, rather than on its facade. If the front of a building is the only place where there is adequate signal strength, companies must provide written proof to L&I and paint dishes to match the facade. Existing dishes are grandfathered and will not require modification.

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