FringeArts' commitment to the visual arts has been evident in our work for years. As the only multidisciplinary presenter of contemporary work in Philadelphia, it is our responsibility to provide access to the full range of artistic experience. As we expand our curation and production capacity in the realm of visual arts, we look forward to offering our audiences increased opportunities to engage with visual art and artists in new ways.
Resident Curator Nato Thompson of New York-based Creative Time has helped FringeArts refine its curatorial vision for the visual arts. The FringeArts visual arts platform will engage broader and more diverse populations than ever before reached by the annual Festival, expanding audiences and deepening public engagement. Public-informed work is on the forefront of contemporary art-making, and the projects we have planned underscore innovative and experimental public-informed approaches in a locally engaged forum.
In May, we began a recurring project entitled Proposition Tent, a temporary public art event that mingles cultural producers of diverse backgrounds to present ideas around one theme, under one tent. Coinciding with Philadelphia's First Friday art openings, we erect a large red tent at key locations around the city. For each event, we invite cultural producers from the following four categories: an international artist, a local artist, a creative business or non-profit, and a thinker or politician.
For the 2013 Festival, we commissioned three artists to create works that directly involved specific communities in the creation and implementation of the art. Artists Navin Rawanchaikul, Mammalian Diving Reflex, and Liz Magic Laser were commissioned to create projects that each took place at the Plays and Players from September 11 - 14, 2013. Each commission focused on a particular sociopolitical issue and employed a distinct artistic form.
Our first major temporary public art commission entitled WetLand, will take place during the summer of 2014 by Brooklyn-based artist Mary Mattingly. WetLand will be a visually stunning utopic floating structure intended to ignite imaginations about a sustainable future. Free and open to the public, WetLand will be a water-based ecosystem replete with solar panels, gardens and housing, docked along the Delaware River. Creating an island-like environment, WetLand will be an educational space that visitors will be able to board in the hopes that it will stir their thinking about the uses of water.