Founded in 2008, Fresh Artists is a national, award-winning nonprofit that empowers young lives through art by engaging vulnerable children as full partners in philanthropy, by advocating for a quality education for all children by widely exhibiting children’s artwork in highly visible and unexpected places, and by providing art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under-resourced public schools. In their first 10 years, Fresh Artists delivered the value of more than $1.75M in art supplies and innovative free art programs to public schools in 48 states.
Fresh Artists was invited to exhibit children’s art inspired by a catalog of photos from 20 award-winning nature photographers at the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show, illustrating its theme, “Flower Power”. Through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Garden Club of Philadelphia, Fashion District, and SEPTA, Fresh Artists was able to expand the the exhibit to the walls of Jefferson Station as well as to a fully wrapped SEPTA bus. Fresh Artists received 2,254 entries from K-12 children in 43 schools in Philadelphia, Norristown, and Camden. Every single piece of artwork was hung at Jefferson Station March 2 through March 10, 2019 for the viewing pleasure of both Flower Show attendees and regular commuters.
Many pieces of the children’s art will also be invited to become part of Fresh Artists’ signature Corporate Art Collection. Businesses and organizations make donations to nonprofit Fresh Artists and receive large-scale reproductions of children’s art for their offices. Funds donated purchase art materials and innovative art programs, like Flower Power, that are delivered free to schools struggling with massive cuts in arts funding. Huge reproductions of children’s artwork have been installed in corporate facilities throughout the country from Washington to Oregon including Vanguard, SAP, Subaru of America, Yahoo, Comcast, Harvard, Yale and the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show. Hundreds of pieces of hopeful, healing children’s art have been installed in 43 homeless and emergency shelters, soup kitchens and child abuse clinics at no charge.
While the Jefferson Station exhibit was limited to the duration of the Flower Show, the wrapped bus is not. Be on the lookout for #THEMOBILEMUSEUM cruising the streets of Center City and beyond. The children's artwork appears on both the exterior and the interior of the bus so if you spot the bus, you might want to consider hopping on the bus! Let us know in the comments below when and where you see the bus!! You'll be entered to win one of three Flower Power reproductions (note these pieces are not framed).
Fun fact: The artwork on the bus includes [with the permission from PAFA] an image of Charles Willson Peale: The Man in Front of the Curtain.
Throughout his long life, Charles Willson Peale continually strove to improve the civic and artistic life both of his adopted city and the young republic. Besides founding two art academies - including the Pennsylvania Academy - and the nation's first museum, he was the patriarch of an artistic dynasty that carried out his ideals. Peale thus disseminated culture both within the family sphere and in the wider world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the remarkable self-portrait he executed at the age of eighty-one. With more than a touch of the showman, Peale literally raises the curtain to reveal the wonders of his collection, then located in the long gallery of Independence Hall. Peale's museum offered a cabinet of curiosities to instruct and entertain the spectators, from the wild turkey at the lower left, to the skeleton of the mastodon he had exhumed and brought to Philadelphia at the right. Cages in the background display natural history specimens, while above them portraits of American worthies celebrate the heroes of the new country. Significantly, the visitors are in family groups, echoing Peale's commitment to education. Part advertisement, part philosophical statement, "The Artist in His Museum" stands as a triumphant artistic and historical accomplishment.
For more information, visit www.freshartists.org.
And one last time - let us know in the comments below when and where you spot the bus!! You'll be entered to win one of three Flower Power reproductions (note these pieces are not framed).