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Things to Do in Philly That Give You A Lotta Bang For Your Buck #1

Six Thursdays out of the year the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia holds PAFA After Dark and I was lucky enough to be available to go on March 21, 2013.

Admission is $10 advanceand $15 at the door. Nearly every Thursday this year I was actually in art class at Fleisher Art Memorial. This one was called “Word Play” and in conjunction with the exhibit “The Female Gaze” focused on women.

Poets Rachel Hadas, Sonia Sanchez, and Marilyn Nelson gave excellent readings. They made me realize I missed language. My first artistic love was “the word.” I am a writer but I am now more focused on being a visual artist.

Ms. Sanchez allowed a young poet to read before her. This poet was a runner-up in the competition for Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate. Glad to see that there is so much encouragement for young poets here.

Available free of charge was a nice spread of cheese, fruit and bruschetta. For $5 you could get a drink ticket for beer, wine or the event-themed specialty cocktail the “Emily Dickinson” which consisted of pomegranate and white cranberry juices with rum.

Also as the musicians played and the poets read you could view art. Now I wanna learn how to do lithographs, collographs and more. I wanna know more about an artist named Louise Bourgeois.

Dr. Robert Cozzolino led a mini tour of the current exhibit “The Female Gaze.” This exhibit showcases only female visual artists from the collection of Linda Lee Alter. Dr. Cozzolino’s mini tour (which was actually unfortunately cut short tonight) specifically showed a few “text-based” works in the collection such as embroidery by Elaine Reichek, a print series by Elizabeth Catlett and others. I cannot wait to go back and experience the entire exhibit.

Even more things happened at this event that I didn’t even get to do. Speed Scrabble. Concrete Poetry. Tours led by middle school docents.

The evening also had a Latin Jazz performance by Suzette Ortiz and her band. They ended the night with a cover of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and I didn’t want the night to end. Looking forward to the next enstallment of PAFA After Dark.

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