Philadelphia – new art in old city
Monday, May 19th, 2008 – The day starts hectic with Peter rushing everyone to finish up their work and pack for the trip. It is the first day that we are leaving our base camp in the warehouse and move to Philadelphia.
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This day will test us whether we are able to handle it. Before we leave, Peter has to run a few errands in town. As if there were not enough things to worry about he gets into an accident which luckily doesn’t result in any injury or significant damage. After packing all necessary supplies and our personal belongings, the group of four cars and one RV rolls steadily down Interstate 95 and arrives to Philly in about an hour. The Dream Like Reality gallery is located in the heart of the Old City, conveniently accessible from I-95.
The wall that we are painting is located outside of the gallery. The size is much smaller than the other walls we painted so far. It is a challenge for everyone to fit on this wall and come up with a piece that truly represents the spirit of Concrete Alchemy. But challenges make this tour unique and original. It was supposed to rain all day, but the clouds are waiting for us to finish up the wall. We take over the street with paint, ladders, music and art…
The party is scheduled for 6pm. By then the major section of the wall is finished. The artists have time to interact with the audience, talk to them about their work and invite them inside the gallery to view their canvases. Though it is Monday night, the crowd is overwhelming both outside and inside.
The location is fantastic. The old brick buildings form nice background to the artwork being produced here. This is also a part of historical district and it is a challenge to get wall space for murals even for the renowned Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. We’ve been lucky and able to negotiate a deal with the property owner who had many requirements but finally agreed to allow us to use the wall.
Peter missed the day because he had to handle the tour’s business. It is not a tragedy when people do not do what they promise as long as there is a way to fix it. So by the end of the day we had both our RV’s ready for the trip and a place to sleep. It is 10pm, the party is over, people still stand around and admire the work. Slowly everything is cleaned up and the crew is getting hungry.
One of the suggestions is to stay in the city and party for the rest of the night. The other idea is to just move into the place where we are staying and find food on our way. Fortunately, the highways are empty after midnight so it is easy to transport everybody. The leading car makes a sudden exit. As if he didn’t get enough excitement driving today, we end up backing up the RV on I-95.
In the morning we wake up to a rainy day. This is the first time we can look around and see where we are. Tuesday is scheduled to be day with no work and the weather works perfect for it. This slow day is finally spent watching movies, eating and sleeping.