Monument Lab: Philadelphia (Citywide Exhibition, 2017)

Monument Lab was a public art and history project based in Philadelphia built around a central guiding question: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? This line of inquiry was aimed at building civic dialogue and stoking historical imagination as forces for social change. The Monument Lab team was led by curators Paul M. Farber and Ken Lum, and included collaborating artists, scholars, researchers, and students.

From September 16–November 19, 2017, the Monument Lab curatorial team and Mural Arts Philadelphia installed temporary prototype monuments by 20 artists across 10 sites in Philadelphia’s iconic public squares and neighborhood parks. These site-specific, socially engaged artworks were presented together with research labs. Over 250,000 people engaged with the labs and project sites at the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and close to 4,500 creative monument proposals were collected from Philadelphians and visitors. The proposals operate as a creative dataset of public speculation: they were transcribed and presented in a searchable interface on the Monument Lab website and will be uploaded to OpenDataPhilly; were presented in a final Report to the City presented to the Mayor of Philadelphia and the city commissioners; and will be included in a forthcoming publication Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia co-edited by Farber and Lum (Temple University Press, 2019).

Artists: Tania Bruguera, Mel Chin, Kara Crombie, Tyree Guyton, Hans Haacke, David Hartt, Sharon Hayes, King Britt and Joshua Mays, KLIP Collective, Duane Linklater, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker, Karyn Olivier, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Kaitlin Pomerantz, RAIR – Recycled Artist in Residency, Alexander Rosenberg, Jamel Shabazz, Hank Willis Thomas, Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, and Marisa Williamson.

2017 Monument Lab Exhibition

Curatorial Team

Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor
Laurie Allen, Director of Research
A. Will Brown, Deputy Curator
Matthew Seamus Callinan, Director of Exhibitions
Kristen Giannantonio, Director of Curatorial Operations
Justin Geller, Music Director
Maya Thomas, Lab Research Coordinator
Corin Wilson, Project Coordinator
William Roy Hodgson, Exhibition Strategist
Sebastianna Skalisky, Web Design
Conrad Benner, Social Media Coordinator
Justin Spivey/WJE, Structural Engineering

Student Researchers: Alliyah Allen, Molly Collett, Sarah Green, Will Herzog, Jabari Jordan-Walker, and Esme Trontz

Mural Arts Philadelphia Team Members

Jane Golden, Executive Director
Joan Reilly, Chief Operating Officer
Karl Malkin, Chief Financial Officer
Caitlin Butler, Chief Strategy Officer
Nicole Steinberg, Director of Communications and Brand Management
Netanel Portier, Director of Project Management
Zambia Greene, Director of Mural Operations
Ellen Soloff, Director of Tours and Merchandise
Todd Bressi, Interim Director, muraLAB
Chris Newman, Events Coordinator

Operations and Project Managers: Phil Asbury, Nick Gibbon, Maude Haak-Frendscho, Cathy Harris, Judy Hellman, Jess Lewis-Turner, Nicole McDonald, and Gaby Raczka

Communications and Marketing: Laura Kochman, Laiza Santos, and Steve Weinik

Branding and Design: J2 Design

Public Relations Consultants: Cari Feiler Bender and Jan Rothschild

Development: Emily Cooper Moore, Christina DePaul, Naima Murphy, Mel Regn, and Meg Wolensky

Tours and Merchandise: Nancy Davis
and Rachel Penny

Finance: Lissette Goya, Shiffonne Lindsey, and Don Serjani

Crew Members: Gregory Christie, Donovan Freeman, Ryan Spilman, Carlos Vasquez, and Michael Whittington

Lab Research Teams

City Hall
Lab Managers: Pablo Cereda, Joanne Douglas, Samantha Sankey, Yannick Trapman-O’Brien, and Yona Yurwit
Research Fellows: Will Herzog, Georgina Johnson, Caroline Kuchta, Claudia Li, and Donna Mastrangelo

Logan Square
Lab Manager: Preeti Pathak
Research Fellows: Ailisaha Dancy, Cara Navarro, Chiedozie Ndubizu, and Lacy Wright

Franklin Square
Lab Manager: Margaret Kearney
Research Fellows: Percia Billia, Kellie Dinh, Kimberly Muth, Jimmy Wu, and Nancy Zhu

Rittenhouse Square
Lab Manager: Corin Wilson
Research Fellows: Paige Scott Cooper, Lauren Downing, Colleen Heavens, Kaleigh Morrill, Francesca Richman, and Rose Mandel Weinbaum

Washington Square
Lab Manager: Gabrielle Patterson
Research Fellows: Christopher Bechen, Quinn Bowie, Margie Guy, Alexandra Mitrovich, and Lena Popkin

Malcolm X Park
Lab Manager: Mariam Williams
Research Fellows: Faith Danglo, Kayla Johnson, Teresa Salinas, Anthony Simpson, and Ananya Sinha

Marconi Plaza
Lab Manager: Elizabeth Weinstein
Research Fellows: Khin Than Dar Aye, Catheline Phan, Esther San, Esme Trontz, and Alina Wang

Norris Square
Lab Manager: Heryk R. Tomassini
Research Fellows: Samantha Ayala, Corem Correo, Stephanie Garcia, Jocelyn Lacen, Zhenya Nalywayko, and Caseum Wongus

Penn Treaty Park
Lab Manager: Andrew Christman
Research Fellows: Colin Fredrickson, Austin Huber, Nayeli Mejia, Nina Saligman, and Isabella Siegel

Vernon Park
Lab Manager: Sakinah Scott
Research Fellows: Alliyah Allen, Qoura Jones, Sydnie Schwarz, and Raia Stern

Flex Team
Lab Managers: Benjamin Gamarra, Sam Kovant, Eddie Einbender-Luks, Deion Morrison, and Samantha Sankey

Data Team
Artistic Data Research Associates: Heather Emerald Liang, Sidia Mustapha, Ian Schwarzenberg, and Aileen Walsh

Advisory Committee

Tiffany Tavarez (Chair), Vice President, Community Relations and Senior Consultant, Wells Fargo
Alliyah Allen, Haverford College student
Jesse Amoroso, Amoroso’s Baking Company
Sandra Andino, cultural anthropologist
Conrad Benner, Streets Dept
Robert Cheetham, Azavea
Jessica Garz, Surdna Foundation
Bill Golderer, Arch Street Presbyterian Church
Amari Johnson, Africana Studies at Temple University
Malcolm Kenyatta, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Claire Laver, Make the World Better Foundation/Urban Roots
Randy Mason, PennPraxis
Loraine Ballard Morrill, iHeartMedia
Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor
Jenea Robinson, Visit Philadelphia
Amy Sadao, Institute for Contemporary Art
Jawad Salah, Klehr Harrison
Sara Schwartz, Social Worker
Elaine Simon, Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Linda Swain, Swain Entertainment
Max Tuttleman, Tuttleman Family Foundation
Amanda Wagner, City of Philadelphia
Kellan White, Political Consultant
Pamela Yau, Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy

2017 Exhibition Partners, Supporters, and Sponsors:

Lead Monument Lab Partners: the City of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy; Historic Philadelphia; Independence National Historical Park; Penn Institute for Urban Research; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Price Lab for Digital Humanities; and the University of Pennsylvania.

Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. An expanded artist roster and projects at additional neighborhood sites made possible by the William Penn Foundation. Generous additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead corporate sponsor was Bank of America.

Additional support was provided by Susanna Lachs & Dean Adler, William & Debbie Becker, CLAWS Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, Davis Charitable Foundation, Hummingbird Foundation, J2 Design, National Endowment for the Arts, Nick & Dee Adams Charitable Fund, Parkway Corporation, PECO, Relief Communications LLC, Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square, Stacey Spector & Ira Brind, Tiffany Tavarez, Tuttleman Family Foundation, Joe & Renee Zuritsky, and 432 Kickstarter backers. Support for Monument Lab's final publication provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Media partner: WHYY