The People’s Emergency Center‘s mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and advance change in West Philadelphia.
“One of the suggestions, which came out of our recent neighborhood planning process, was the desire to turn up the volume on the local arts scene,” said Kevin Musselman, manager of Neighborhood and Resource Planning at PEC. “We believe that installing public art is one of many ways we can do just that.”
Earlier this fall, PEC installed a new sculpture at the corner of 40th Street and Powelton Avenue, at the site of Center Post Village. This abstract artwork, produced by Philadelphia artist Sandra Webberking, uses re-purposed metal to create a flowing piece of public art promoting 40th Street as an important connector between the Market Street subway and the West Powelton and Belmont neighborhoods.
Last year, the 400 block of N. 40th Street, between Baring and Spring Garden, was infused with two additional art installations – a glass and metal mosaic “Tree of Life” sculpture created by Philadelphia metal artists Emilie Ledieu and Bill Capizolli, and a large colorful mural painted by Brazilian artist Eder Muniz.
The need and desire for new public art and arts programming was recently reinforced through PEC’s neighborhood planning process. The new plan, titled the Make Your Mark!, was released in October 2012 and includes such strategies as enhance Lancaster Avenue as a growing commercial corridor and showcase the local arts scene.
“We seek to engage local artists on many future community improvement projects,” Musselman said. “There is so much energy right now around Lancaster Avenue. We see that commercial corridor as a hub for creative place-making.”