Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring has arrived at Awbury Arboretum

It was a damp and chilly Friday, but that didn't stop us from volunteering at the Awbury Arboretum to help beautify their grounds in preparation for spring! We raked the Victorian garden free of leaves and also planted pansies in the planters in front of the Francis Cope House.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bridges Reception at the PMA

On Wednesday, September 3, a reception was held in the Education Corridor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to celebrate Bridges, an exhibition featuring artists from SpArc Services' Cultural Arts Center. The Bridges program is an art-making project that connects community programs like the Cultural Arts Center with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collections. Participants have guided tours of the Museum’s collections throughout the year, then create their own works of art in their program’s studios and exhibit them at the Museum.

The artists of the Cultural Arts Center viewed many highlights from the museum's collection during their tours, including still life, landscapes, surrealist art, and modern and contemporary works. Many of the artists responded most profoundly to portraits from eras spanning the 19th century to the present. When they returned to the Cultural Arts studio they worked on self-portraits, as well as portraits inspired by various cultural references including direct interpretation of works they had seen in person at the museum.

Artist Francis with his mother and grandparents

Artist Jennifer and her painting

Cultural Arts Director Linda Price, artist Mike M., and SpArc Philadelphia CEO Laura Princiotta

Artist Morgan with her mother and Laura

Artist Robbie S. with the PMA's Manager of Accessible Programs Street Thoma

Street and Laura with museum docent Dina

Cultural Arts staff past and present Felica, Sarah and Cody with guests

Cultural Arts program specialist Heather Robb with Jo Viviani and Lynne Horoschak of Moore College of Art

Linda and Jennifer

Laura with Arc of Philadelphia Board Chair Norma Carter and Board Member Jim Wilson

Morgan with portraits of her nieces

Friday, July 11, 2014

Solar Powered Ovens


We worked all week on making these colorful solar powered ovens. Everyone had fun painting their ovens bright colors on the outside and black on the inside to absorb the heat. Then we applied some aluminum foil to the top to reflect the sunlight down into the oven. Today we made double chocolate cookies to make in the ovens!

Cici, Ron and Jennifer helped find a nice sunny spot for the ovens (filled with chocolate cookies).

 Robert and Gigi help to face the aluminum flaps towards the sun so the rays of sunlight will reflect into the ovens.


Morgan was excited to see if the cookies were   done!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunshine Happiness

"Sunshine Happiness" is a great summary of the activities we do in the Cultural Arts Center! It was filmed during classes at SpArc Philadelphia, as well as during our volunteer hours at the Awbury Arboretum. Michael M., a visual artist and participant in the Cultural Arts Center, edited this video using footage filmed by him and other program participants. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Watercolor on Fabric

For the past few weeks, Cultural Arts Center artists have been working with art teacher Christina Lukac to create beautiful watercolor paintings on silk.

Andrea's painting

Detail from Andrea's painting

George's painting in progress

Jennifer's scarf

Details from Jennifer's painting

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Toast to Talent!

On May 16th, SpArc Philadelphia hosted A Toast to Talent!, an annual talent show celebrating everyone's abilities. Hundreds of audience members enjoyed a matinee show and an evening show. Both shows featured the enthusiasm and talent of Cultural Arts Center artists, including a drum circle, a rousing rendition of "Down by the Riverside," and Morgan Taraska reinterpreting the classic song "My Heart Will Go On."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Volunteering at Awbury Arboretum

For the past two months program participants from Cultural Arts have been volunteering at Awbury Arboretum in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The Arboretum has 55 acres of green space including open meadows, ponds, woods, and lawns.

Today we saved five trees by removing invasive ivy from their trunks and branches. We also explored the grounds to see all the beautiful flowering bushes and trees that spring has produced.

Terence smells a flowering tree by the Cope House

Walking the arboretum grounds

Volunteer coordinator Leslie explains how to remove ivy from a tree

Cierra cuts an ivy branch attached to a tree

Terence holds up a branch of ivory he just removed