At Wonderspaces, the awe-inspiring art space in the Fashion District, you can experience virtual reality, grapple with optical illusions and interact with participatory exhibits such as a hanging garden of living plants that respond to human touch or lights that interact with music by changing color, And it just got even more magical with three new exhibits.
“Wonderspaces Philadelphia continues to bring extraordinary work by international artists to the city of Philadelphia,” said General Manager Jenn McCreary. “Our goal is to continuously evolve our experience and gallery forever. What the evolution looks like is shaped by our local Philadelphia team and it is based on the feedback we get from the community and visitors who are attending the show each and every day. We plan to continue the evolution as we continue in our second year, with additional new pieces coming later this summer and fall.”
Three New Exhibits
Enrupture by Nicole Banowetz This inflatable sculpture depicts a surreal landscape of microscopic lifeforms. The artist stitched it entirely by hand while navigating through a breakup and it reportedly gives a feeling of calm and comfort, yet disorientation. Visitors experience this unexpectedly intimate environment through sight and touch.
Micromonumental Mapping: The Essence of Creation by Limelight
This installation was originally created to be displayed on France’s Opéra de Lille during the Lille Video Mapping Festival. When the festival, scheduled for April of 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic, the artists pivoted and decided to project it onto a 1:40, 3-dimensional model of the building. The artists were determined to show the world their artwork and felt that if they couldn't go big, they'd go micro. They believe in the transformative power of art, and that peoples' souls need it now more than ever.
Our Top 100 by Jody Servon
We all have certain songs that bring back memories or feelings of love, loss, trips, sadness, celebrations and more. This piece is a shared, community-built playlist of songs and memories. The artist provides opportunities for people to think about their memories, experiences and surroundings and hopefully enhance their human experience. She encourages interaction and personal exploration.
"My projects rely on the participation of others," said Servon. "Behind each image, object and handwritten notation is the voice of a person sharing something personal about themselves. Although inspired by my experiences, my works are collections of personal histories shared by others. In my socially engaged projects, I provide prompts for people to respond to in a variety of ways. Their responses range from recalling a memory attached to a song to sharing a photograph and text about an object that they have saved from a deceased loved one."
Wonderspaces is located at 27 N. 11th Street and has entrances in the Fashion District and on 11th Street between Market and Filbert. Timed tickets available online.
New retailers in the Fashion District
The Fashion District opened about six months before the pandemic began, barely giving it time to get established. But this mall in the heart of Center City is back! It replaced the Gallery at Market East. It’s bigger and brighter and full of entertainment venues like Wonderspaces and City Winery. The Fashion District spans a 3-block stretch between the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the historic district that is well-traveled by locals and visitors. The area has long trailed behind the revitalization seen in other parts of Center City, until now.
Recently opened in the Fashion District: Shopper’s World, Francesca’s, Ardene, DSW, Kate Spade, African Shades, Naturally Us, Lids and O Dat’s Cute.
Coming soon: Primark and Giant/Heirloom Market.
The Fashion District, home to Wonderspaces, City Winery and other shopping and entertainment venues, has become a welcoming and magical destination for locals, tourists and convention attendees.
by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Both books are full of tips. Visit www.100ThingsToDoInPhiladelphia.com for more tips. Looking for fun things to do? Need gifts? Go to the website for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.