Window shopping for creative stimulation

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We’re certainly not in Kansas anymore… in fact, we are in the City of Brotherly Love, on Race Street to be more exact. 

Recently, The Galleries at Moore debuted a new exhibit— “Always Chasing Rainbows” where Artist Jonathan Santoro reimagined “The Wizard of Oz.” To meet new standards set by the City of Philadelphia to help slow down the curve of COVID-19, Moore has created this exhibit so art-lovers and curious minds can take a peek without having to step foot in their building. As of recently, all other internal programs and public events scheduled to take place have been canceled or reimagined in a virtual space for Moore, and as new information becomes available, any changes will be communicated through social media and Moore’s website. So, for now, the new exhibition will be displayed in the Goldie Paley Gallery window, which can be seen from Race Street and is free and open to the public. 

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Santoro is local to Philadelphia, and his work has continuously taken notes from pop culture, existential theater, and other modes of psychology to help create exhibits and “paradoxical images where nothing is what it initially appears to be.” Viewers may have also caught his work at High~Tide, Bodega, Lord Ludd, Brooklyn Army Terminal for Kara Walker Presents: The Colossus of Rutgers, EFA, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery at UArts, Vox Populi, and the Woodmere Art Museum. He has also curated exhibitions at Pilot Projects and Icebox Project Space. He most recently received his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University this past year. 

The new window-gleamed exhibit is ideal for fans of the classic film, or for those who just wish to see a bit of art during a time when so many galleries, museums and other forms of creative entertainment have had to cease operations until at least next year. 

According to a release, in reexamining the franchise through the lens of both personal and cultural memory, “Always Chasing Rainbows” transforms Dorothy’s oddly matched companions into an assortment of visual misnomers and objects associated with suburban lawn décor, property protection, and spectated punishment. Here, The Galleries at Moore’s Race Street window becomes both a voyeuristic stage and a security arena.

“Always Chasing Rainbows” uses “The Wizard of Oz” as a vehicle to examine a bygone American dream, exploring ideas around nostalgia as both a sickness and a symptom of an increasingly fervent nationalism, spectacle, surveillance capitalism, and dysfunctional familial relationships wherein even love becomes a tool of control. The film has always represented loyal friendship, self-actualization and the virtues of home. In the evergreen American fairytale “The Wizard of Oz,” the nostalgic yearning for home resounds as a primary theme. Like any good classic, “The Wizard of Oz” is woven deeply into our cultural consciousness and acts as a reflector of societal values—as well as its blemishes. 

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“Always Chasing Rainbows” will be on display in the Goldie Paley Gallery window, which can be seen from Race Street now through Jan. 9, 2021 at The Galleries at Moore. For more information, Philadelphians can check out moore.edu

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