“Fresh Flowers” – Fresh Artists Mobile Museum of Mini-Masterpieces
As part of this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, Fresh Artists partnered with SEPTA and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to create “Fresh Flowers” – A Mobile Museum of Mini-Masterpieces,” an unprecedented initiative to turn a SEPTA bus into a rolling art museum of floral-themed children’s art!
We invited all K-12 children in public schools from Philadelphia, Norristown and Chester to adopt and interpret a famous floral still life from one of four Philadelphia art museums: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, The Barnes Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
We got more than 350 entries, drawing inspiration from Cezanne, Peale, Matisse, Gauguin, and van Gogh, as well as contemporary still lifes by Peter Paone, Ellen Goodman, and Jimmy Leuders. Thirty-three of the children’s entries were selected to appear inside and outside on the Fresh Artists Mobil Museum, a SEPTA bus that will premiere outside the Convention Center at the opening of the Flower Show and then travel in-service throughout the city for the remainder of the year.
As if all this weren’t quite enough (!), all of the children’s entries were part of a Fresh Artists art exhibition at the Market East concourse during the ten-day Flower Show. Sixteen pieces of art have the added distinction of being invited to be part of Fresh Artists’ award-winning children’s art collection available for corporate installations, raising funds to deliver art supplies to under-funded public schools.
An Art teacher in the Philadelphia schools, Beanie Feighan-Drach, gets the credit for this fabulous idea and initially proposed it to SEPTA. SEPTA was intrigued, but felt they couldn't invest that kind of money and attention on just one school. Then Beanie approached Fresh Artists to help. The rest is history!
Veteran Art teacher and Fresh Arts volunteer Evelyn Bock commented, "The confidence that comes from strong experiences in self-expression and experimentation cannot be overemphasized. This is especially true for children with learning differences and those who struggle with severe emotional challenges. Not every student excels in academics; we need to fight to keep innovative programs and experiences like Fresh Artists in our public schools.
And this from one of our young Fresh Artists:
"A bus? A bus! You serious? They’d do that for kids? I can’t wait to see my art on a bus! On a BUS! You know how many folks’ll see my art!"
Thanks, Beanie, for a brilliant idea that turned out to be a smash success for hundreds of kids and hundreds of thousands of people who will see the children's artwork over the entire region, for an entire year!
Fresh Artists is also grateful to our new friends at SEPTA, who helped make possible:
Elizabeth Bradford, Director of Marketing
Jerri Williams, Director of Media Relations
James Dellipriscoli, SEPTA Sr. Advertising Specialist
Jon Roche, Vice President/General Manager, TITAN
Joe Baldino, Director of Center City Stations