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On Earth Day: Environmental Art Unveiled

Invincible Cat by DKLA Design.

A 36-foot-long panther made from repurposed black car hoods will soon stretch out along Whitman Avenue at West Pershing Street. The massive feline is part of an outdoor art installation with an important message.

Six large-scale art installations will be unveiled around Camden to call attention to the impact of illegal dumping on the environment and the community. Called "A New View -- Camden," the family-friendly exhibit and accompanying programming will draw attention to the unlawful dumping of bulk waste in Camden, which costs taxpayers more than $4 million each year.

The pieces were designed by nationally-known artists chosen from a pool of 131 applications from around the country. The show was curated by Camden native Kimberly Camp, founder of Gallerie Marie in Collingswood, and Judith Tannenbaum, an independent curator from Philadelphia who was formerly curator of the Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Both curators have a long list of accomplishments.

Self portrait by Erik James Montgomery.

There’s also a 15-foot steel creature that doubles as a trash receptacle and a machine that uses mealworms to eat styrofoam packing from e-waste. For a map showing where to find each installation, click here.

The six central installations are augmented by creative works from two New Jersey artists, Tom Marchetty, a local woodworker making seating areas at each site, and Camden-based Photographer Erik James Montgomery, creator of a viral photo series, "Camden is Bright not Blight."

"The artists will transform spaces previously plagued by illegal dumping into vibrant neighborhood landmarks,” said Tannenbaum, “By partnering with these national and local artists, Camden will reclaim these public spaces and showcase how art can make a space more dynamic, engage the community, and change neighborhood perception."

The exhibit is a partnership between the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. It’s funded by a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant. The artwork will be on display from April 22 (Earth Day) through October.


by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Both books are full of tips. For even more tips, visit Planning a staycation? Need gifts? Go to the website for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.

Click here for more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including where to get warm cocktails, Philly-themed masks and socially-distant tours.

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