The 2012 Mummer Parade may be over, but the spectacular pageantry of the nation’s oldest folk parade still marches on through a brand-new Mummers’ exhibit at City Hall.
City and Mummers representatives recently announced a new exciting feature of the 2012 Mummers Parade — Fancy Folks: Art and Mummery — a judged competition and art exhibit coordinated by the city’s Art In City Hall program highlighting the work of artists, designers, and photographers in the region. This visual arts project is designed to celebrate the creative and spectacular visual aspects of Mummery in Philadelphia.
It is a celebration of art and artifacts inspired by the city’s great folk art tradition, the Mummers Parade. Costumes, drawings, creative instruments and works in all media that portray a festive, celebratory spirit are prominently highlighted in exhibit space spanning several floors of City Hall.
The project highlights the accessibility of folk art as a creative expression through an introduction to Mummery, its cultural history and an exhibit about the design process featuring artifacts by long-time Mummers designer Robert Finnegan.
A focal point of the initiative is a Mummers Parade exhibit open to the public in the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy gallery at City Hall in Room 116.
It is organized by the Office of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in collaboration with the Office of the City Representative, Parks & Recreation and the Mummers Museum and the Art in City Hall Advisory Council.
Art in City Hall is a year-round project presenting exhibitions that showcase contemporary artwork by professional and emerging Philadelphia-area visual artists. This municipal program encompasses a variety of mediums, techniques and subjects committed to presenting a diversity of ideas and artistic expression.
Fancy Folks: Art and Mummery is on display now through February 24, 2012 at City Hall. Patricia Masters, Mummers author, Palma Lucas, Executive Director of the Mummers Museum, and Tu Huynh, City Hall Exhibitions Manager, contributed to the narrative of the exhibit chronicling the Mummers’ cultural folk role in Philadelphia.
Part of the effort is a companion project — a kids’ Mummers-themed art poster contest for youngsters, ages 8 to 18 — coordinated through the city’s Parks & Recreation’s Visual Arts Office. Participating young artists are: Emmanuel Manasse (Lawndale); Corin Butts (Southwest Philadelphia); Northeast Philadelphia residents Emilee Bilinski, Alexandra Bedoya, Hector Calderon, Hunter Hayes, Zachary Mercado, Alyson Harvey, and Emely Rosario (Kensington). The entire City Hall exhibition was unveiled on December 19.
Nearly 50 artists and photographers submitted artwork and photos for the adult competition, and 15 individuals’ works were accepted for exhibition in 12 showcases. The selected artists or photographers are: William Thomas Cain (Warminster, PA); Robert Cocozza (Center City); Mina Smith-Segal (Center City); Elliott Curson (Center City); Seymour Mednick (Center City); Ella Drauglis (England, formerly of Philadelphia); Meredith Edlow (South Street West/Graduate Hospital community); Frederick Fedak (Northeast Philadelphia); Diane Hark (Wynnewood, PA); Kathleen Vaccaro (South Philadelphia); Alex Gross (Bensalem, PA); E.A. Kennedy (Jenkintown, PA); Rusty Kennedy (Ambler, PA, Montgomery County); Richard Metz (Erdenhiem, PA, Montgomery County), and Pete Capano (Haddon Heights, NJ).
These participants’ works are displayed on the first, second and fourth floors (Kids Mummers artwork) of City Hall. Mayor Michael Nutter recognized the participants in a news event at City Hall on December 19, followed by a reception for the artists. The mayor was joined by U. S. Representative Robert Brady; Michael DiBerardinis, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Environmental & Community Resources (Parks & Recreation); Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Art In City Hall Program) and Mummers’ representative George Bady III.
The art exhibit and the chosen artwork/photography tell the intriguing story/narrative celebrating the age-old tradition of designers that are uniquely Philadelphia. They chronicle how every day citizens transform into stage performers. The exhibitions were open to professionals, the general public and the Mummers community. The Mummers Museum in South Philadelphia furnished the artifacts on loan for the exhibit and is a great resource for Mummers’ costuming, history and memorabilia.
More visual history on the Mummers Parade can be found at the Mummers Museum, Second Street and Washington Avenue (Contact 215-336-3050 or visit email@example.com. The museum is open year-round, from Wednesdays to Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adults: $3.50/ Seniors/Children under age 12: $2.50).