PDDC at little berlin!

On Friday, October 5th, a new set of sculptures were installed at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds.  This sculpture series entitled “Ancient Structures for a New World” was created by the Cultural Arts Center at the Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation.  The Cultural Arts Center at the PDDC strives to foster creativity, self-confidence, and community connections for adults with developmental disabilities through classes in visual arts, music, dance and theater, outings to cultural venues, and opportunities to work with other artists and arts-based organizations.  This particular project was spearheaded by PDDC employees and Philadelphia based artists Emily Royer and Emilia Brintnall, and involved over 80 artists and participants.

            The installation is made up of three sculptures, two that were constructed on the PDDC campus and transported to the Little Berlin Fairgrounds, and one that was built on site.  The two cone-shaped sculptures that were built at the PDDC are a mosaic of colorful painted rocks, hand-made ceramics, glass and other objects created by the PDDC Cultural Arts Center artists over a period of a few months and bound together in cement.  The third sculpture is a pyramid composed of bricks that were gathered by the PDDC artists during a few field trips to the Little Berlin Fairgrounds and the surrounding Kensington neighborhood.  The artists decorated the gathered bricks with painted designs, and a colorful pyramid was erected! Before sealing up the pyramid, PDDC staff member and artist Michael Gerkovich included certain items of cultural significance such as books, CDs and video tapes, inside to be sealed like a time capsule and preserved for future discovery.

            The creation of this sculpture series was an amazing effort by many people to create a collaborative, community-based public art piece.  These structures are built as monuments to human creativity and community, and a way to give new life to the old and ruined structures in the neighborhood. 

constructing the pyramid, photo: Matthew Reed

The finished installation! photo: Laurence Kelley

A huge amount of physical effort was involved in the creation, installation and transportation of these sculptures, so Little Berlin would like to thank PDDC staff Emily Royer, Emilia Brintnall, Michael Gerkovich,Siobhan Koslap, Sarah Smothers, Matt Reed, Madeline Reyes, Cody Lutz, Sharay Ragsdale, Valerie Watson,  Caleb Dunn, Chanel Green, Darcel Jamesfor all their creativity and hard work to make this happen. 

Little Berlin would also like to thank PDDC participants for their amazing art work:

Charles Stackhouse 
Shawnette Lawton 
Ramona Wise
Santos Vasquez  
Mike Squillaciotti  
Marcos Colon
Francis DeMara 
David Neisser
Richard Johnston   
Andrea Budu
Myron Irvin  
Frederick Williams
John Hoggan
Hubert McNeal
Molly Andrews
Joann Brothers
Donna Waters
Larry Hightower
Shawn Anderson
Daniel Braunsberg
Lynwood Hill
Tiffany Brown
Helen Chavis
Hector Colon
Karen Issac
Teresa Rucker
George Waddell
Ronald Halin
Sandra Moak
Peter Rinaldi
Diana Tabb
Diane Long
Magdalene Massey
Thomas Lombardo
Cecelia Taylor
Doris Walker
Sarah Chavious
Leroy George
Christine Sutter
Floyd Williams
Tyree Wiliams
Franklin Pender
Rasheed Lawhorn
Stanley Lee
Jason Potts
Ryteeka Archibald
Yvonne Ferguson
Francis Mulroney
Orlando Purvis
Elsita saunders
Ashley Townsend
Barry Garner
Maurice El
Monica Maye
James Brown
Rachel Tierney
Romanita Ortiz
Charlene Richards
Sherri Wright
James Sanders

These sculptures are the most colorful installation at the Little Berlin Fairgrounds and we hope they will serve as a way to brighten the space and offer some artistic inspiration to the surrounding neighborhood.