Fleisher Art Memorial Launches ColorWheels
March 12, 2012
South Philadelphia's Fleisher Art Memorial will launch ColorWheels, a new mobile art studio funded by a prestigious grant from PNC Arts Alive, with a ribbon-cutting and art-making event on Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m. The event will take place in front of the PNC Branch at 8th and Christian Streets in Philadelphia.
ColorWheels is equipped with the supplies and tools needed for Fleisher’s teaching artists to engage children and adults in creating on-the-spot works of art, and will deliver creative learning experiences to community members in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
The vehicle’s vibrant multi-color design and logo were designed under the direction of graphic design Program Director Jody Graff and created by graphic design students at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: Cara Brobst, Aaron Cichowski, Tyler Graham, Philip Gross, Alexa Lareau, Catherine Lewandowski, Ilana Mclean, Scott Robertson and Andrew Stuber.
"Working with Fleisher Art Memorial on the ColorWheels visual identity and branding system was an incredible experience for our graphic design students," said Graff. "It was a unique opportunity to use their talents and training in a philanthropic, community-building endeavor. Their engagement in the project fostered their role as ambassadors for the arts, the academic community, and the City of Philadelphia."
Between April and July, ColorWheels will host 10 events in South Philadelphia gathering spaces, including Mifflin Square Park and the Cambodian Association, with plans to expand to other Philadelphia neighborhoods in the fall.
ColorWheels was developed in response to in-depth research and interviews with community members funded by a Wallace Foundation Excellence Award that revealed the importance of and the desire for arts opportunities to be accessible where participants live, work and play.
“Our intent at Fleisher is to be able to serve people at any stage of their creative life,” said Fleisher Executive Director Matthew Braun. “Part of what we’re aiming to do with ColorWheels is to help people become inspired by and then stay engaged with art-making.”
Fleisher is widely recognized for its exceptional caliber and has been cited as a model of excellence by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities under both the Bush and Obama administrations. In 2011, Fleisher received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in recognition of the thousands of young people whose lives have been transformed at Fleisher. Fleisher was one of only 26 arts organizations in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region nominated for their bold thinking around increasing arts access and engagement.
“The PNC Foundation has a long history of providing grants to non-profit organizations that strengthen and enrich the lives of our neighbors,” said Bill Mills, regional president of PNC for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “We understand the valuable return that investing in the arts can deliver. Today more than ever, the businesses we attract, the jobs we create and the visitors who extend their stay are drawn by what the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region has to offer.”
PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement.
Fleisher Art Memorial:
The Fleisher Art Memorial was created by former businessman Sam Fleisher more than 100 years ago to give children from all economic and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to take free art lessons with professional artists. Today, more than 16,000 people each year experience the transformative power of art by participating in Fleisher’s studio classes, exhibitions and community-based programming. Fleisher’s arts education programming reaches deeply into local schools and community centers, and has brought the organization national recognition and powerful opportunities to advocate for and shape arts education initiatives throughout the region and the country. For more information about Fleisher Art Memorial, visit www.fleisher.org.