Sneak Preview Of The Artblog’s Safari

Shelley Spector looking at Richard Rigg’s water-drip sculpture photo: Nathaniel Popkin

Hidden City went along on The Artblog’s inaugural “Art Safari,” which traveled to Temple Gallery, Little Berlin, and Rebekah Templeton Contemporary Art on Saturday. The Safari revealed just how much art is informed by the life of the city, and vice versa. The Temple Gallery show, curated by Gallery director Rob Blackson, begins with “questions you don’t have an answer to,” in this case about Philadelphia’s relationship to its many contexts, among them water, soil, and history. The show is meant to use art for exploration.

That’s the just the idea behind the Art Safari, which beginning March First Friday, will take a dozen or so people to places in the city where art feels vital, personal, and necessary. That was certainly the story at Little Berlin’s “The Big Idea” and Zine/Book fair, where a dozen or so small book and zine authors and self-publishers spent the weekend selling their work. “It’s a heroic act,” said the collective’s Beth Heinly of the act of book making.

Roberta Fallon looking at Timothy Belknap’s Moving Toward Entropy photo: Nathaniel Popkin

The last stop of the day was to the small husband-wife Rebekah Templeton gallery on Girard Avenue for a terrific show of work by Philadelphian Timothy Belknap. Surely the highlight was a lawnmower Belknap dissected, the part lifted into the air like a technicolor dream.

See our Rob Armstrong at Temple Gallery this Tuesday at 6:30 for “Reclaiming Nature in an Industrial Age,” a lecture on the history of Fairmount Park, part of the Gallery’s exploration of the city’s relationship to water and related to Richard Rigg’s sculptural installation, “This One, The Next, and the One After That.”

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



1 Comment


  1. Hey Nathaniel, nice story! And glad you could come along with us! We are very excited about this. Look for a video capturing the safari moments to pop up on NewsWorks some time this week.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Big Gun Bollards & Philly's Lost Street Cannons

Big Gun Bollards & Philly’s Lost Street Cannons

June 22, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on an exploration of the cannons that once graced Philadelphia's landscape, many of which were used as street fenders for 150 years > more

Pride And Prejudice: Honor LGBT History With Rizzo Statue Removal

Pride And Prejudice: Honor LGBT History With Rizzo Statue Removal

June 21, 2018  |  Soapbox

For Pride Month, Ali Roseberry-Polier takes a look at Frank Rizzo's legacy of aggression towards Philly's LGBT community and opines why his divisive monument should be moved > more

Docomomo PHL To Host

Docomomo PHL To Host “Wake” For Modernist Store

June 18, 2018  |  News

Modernist architecture advocacy group will hold a demonstration to protest Philadelphia's historic preservation crisis. Michael Bixler has the details > more

The Rise, Fall, & Revival Of North Broad's Opera Palace

The Rise, Fall, & Revival Of North Broad’s Opera Palace

June 14, 2018  |  Vantage

Rob McClung takes us on a journey through the turbulent history and present reawakening of the mighty Metropolitan Opera House at Broad and Poplar > more

A Brief History Of Race & Contested Space In West Philly

A Brief History Of Race & Contested Space In West Philly

June 11, 2018  |  Vantage

Mariam Williams dives deep into the social evolution of Malcolm X Park to unearth the history of race and economics within a neighborhood space > more

Italian Market Project Puts Fresh Eyes On A Philly Staple

Italian Market Project Puts Fresh Eyes On A Philly Staple

June 8, 2018  |  Vantage

The Italian Market Project mixes a walking tour with Philly-accented theater in a fun, immersive experience. Mickey Herr has the details > more