Despite the rain, about 150 people came out this past Saturday evening to a vacant lot on East Boston Street near Coral in East Kensington recently activated as the “Little Berlin Fairgrounds” for a one-night-only interactive pop-up art carnival called EverNever Night Market.
The lot is adjacent to the art collective Little Berlin‘s gallery space in the Viking Mill.
Most of the artists–and audience members–performed inside the open backs of rented moving vans. Coordinated by Philadelphia-based artist Kathryn Sclavi and Portland-based artist Melinda Essig, the EverNever Night Market (not to be confused with the rotating Night Market Philadelphia), feels like the best underground art carnival you could imagine. Although planned for months, the location was kept secret until the last day and distributed by word of mouth and text messages instead of via social networking.
Each of the ten vehicles hosted its own participatory project, and one artist on a bicycle participated with what could possibly be the world’s largest spin art machine, propelled by bike gears. One truck, lit up, held seven industrial fans so that visitors could build a kite and fly it. Another featured a puppet theater with puppets made entirely out of recycled objects. A professional chef held a picnic on astroturf inside a truck, and served Vietnamese hoagies and soup. Perhaps the most popular exhibit enabled participants to choose among a dozen wedding dresses and be photographed on “The Happiest Day Of Your Life.”
The original concept for the event came from Mark Krawczuk, who originally held it in New York City. Similar events have been held in Detroit, Boston and San Francisco. EverNever Night Market trucks were designed by Nicole Connor, Scott Cumpstone, Isaac Seidman, Angela McQuillian, Lance Pawling, Messapotamia Lefae, Laura Deutch, Alex Ciambriello, Ana Vizcarra-Rankin, Danielle Payne, Heidi Kay, Rachel Brennesholtz, Gus Depenbrock, and Scott Beiben.