New Public Artwork By Won Kyoung Lee And Matthew Alden Price At The Philadelphia International Airport
The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy's Percent for Art Program and the Philadelphia International Airport are pleased to announce the completion of My Philadelphia Story, a new site-specific public artwork by Philadelphia-based artists Won Kyoung Lee and Matthew Alden Price.This new permanent public art installation was commissioned in conjunction with the recent renovations to Terminal F, aimed at enhancing the airport experience for its 30 million plus annual passengers. My Philadelphia Story showcases nearly 600 unique objects, each of which represents a different individual's memory or story relative to their life in Philadelphia. Over the course of two years, Lee and Price conducted a community engagement process that spanned all City Council districts, in which they spoke with residents about their time here, reflecting upon how the city has affected their lives. From these conversations, passersby became participants - donating an object that represents their Philadelphia story. With these objects came an oral history of the object, which can be found at www.myphiladelphiastory.com. Among the collected objects, in box number 99, is a photograph from the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia, James Kenney. "I grew up in a South Philadelphia row house neighborhood, the oldest of four children," the corresponding story reads. "This is a photo of my father, James Kenney, who served as a Philadelphia Firefighter for over 20 years. My mother was a homemaker and both of my parents worked second jobs to put all four of us through parochial school. My dad worked for all of Philadelphia's families, and that meant that, sometimes, he was even required to put other families before his own. His example led me to a life of public service." The inspiration for My Philadelphia Story came from Price and Lee's determination to create something that would deeply engage travelers at the airport. The husband and wife team proposed a public art solution that would introduce visitors to Philadelphia through the stories of its residents. Since both Price and Lee make artwork with everyday objects, his dealing with language and hers with connections, they were eager to take on the task of collecting the objects and stories submitted by residents. Lee and Price state, "The experience of being entrusted with so many objects and stories has been a truly humbling experience. The people whom we met over the last two years are now among our closest friends. We truly thank them for being part of this project."
Percent for Art Commission by Won Kyoung Lee and Matthew Alden Price, My Philadelphia Story This Percent for Art opportunity was nationally announced as an open Call to Artists in September 2014 to artists and artist teams. Out of the 151 applicants, fourteen finalists were selected to present proposals. An independent selection panel consisting of Curator and Writer Judith Stein, Artist Benjamin Volta, and Artist and Curator Richard Watson, with advisory support from Conservator Katherine Cuffari, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, and Philadelphia International Airport recommended these four projects for commission.About the Percent for Art Program
Enacted in 1959, the Percent for Art ordinance requires that one percent of the total dollar amount of any construction project that includes City funds be devoted to the commissioning of site-specific public art. The first of its kind in the nation, the program has commissioned over 300 works of art. The intent of the Percent for Art Ordinance is to enhance the City's public environment by incorporating exceptional site-specific works of art. About City of Philadelphia's Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy's (OACCE) mission is to support and promote arts, culture, and the creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture, and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the city of Philadelphia. OACCE manages and oversees City arts programs, provides services to artists and arts organizations and serves as the primary point of municipal contact for local organizations, businesses, artists and creative entrepreneurs. As Philadelphia's local arts agency, the OACCE works in cooperation with the Mayor, City Council, and other municipal offices to make Philadelphia a great place to live, work and visit.