The best $5 you can spend in Philadelphia

May 12, 2007 at 3:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I ended up at a really interesting place last weekend when J & J played a show at the Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum on Hamilton Street in the Powelton Village area of Philadelphia. Powelton Village is an artist and activist friendly, community oriented area of the city not far from the Art Museum and University City.

The museum is located in the former home of Philadelphia arist Ellen Powell Tiberino, and includes works by her husband Joseph, her children, and other local artists and family friends. The backyard of the Tiberino home on Hamilton street is full of mosaics and murals, and extends to include the adjoining yards of several properties on Hamilton as well as the adjacent yards on Spring Garden. Being in the outdoor space as well as inside the many galleries gave me an overwhelming sense of community. Housecats freely roamed the space, a pulpit sits in the middle of the courtyard, Joseph Tiberino’s al fresco studio displayed a work in progress, an outdoor bar served beer and wine across from a couple selling homemade jewelry. Neighbors, friends, and supporters of the museum mingled and chatted as bands and vaudeville style acts performed. Being in that space and seeing the artwork of the Tiberino family and friends I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of the experience as well, if only for one night. One thing that becomes obvious from the get-go about the Tiberinos is that they are a group of people who are truly connected- not just through family ties, but through their art and activism.

I spent a majority of the night looking at the family’s March of America mural, pictured above with a link to the article, that is the prominent artwork of the courtyard space. 3-D figures and objects, bright colors, and an homage to America’s many different faces made it impossible to feel like I had seen every part of it I really wanted to before our night there was over.

If you ever have a chance, go visit 3819 Hamilton Street in Philadelphia. The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until five, and a $5 donation is suggested, and well worth it.

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