The much anticipated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, Friday, October 30th at Cherry Street Pier, is more than just an exhibition for featured artist and Mexican immigrant Cesar Viveros; it is an homage to Mexican immigrants who have made a home in the United States of America.
“I do it for my people,” Viveros brims with excitement. This month-long multi-media project is dedicated to the most important holiday of the year for Mexican people. “I want to bring immigrants [to the celebration] to have them see that we are a part of this country.”
Viveros, the Philadelphia based mural artist from Veracruz, Mexico, is the October Artist in Residence for the Portside Arts Center’s studio space & gallery at Cherry Street Pier. Rather than devoting this month to promoting his own work and “selling [him]self,” he has opted to share his experience with the community and encourage all to collaborate in painting a mural dedicated to the Día de los Muertos. The mural will be part of an installation including a monumental sculpture and traditional Day of the Dead altar made by Viveros. The unveiling is scheduled for the October 30th celebration at Cherry Street Pier, located on the Delaware River Waterfront.
Authenticity is important to Viveros, and he is preparing a traditional Mexican celebration that will amaze and appeal to a variety of audiences including those interested in learning about Mexican culture, as well as Mexican immigrants wishing to reconnect with their cultural origins. The event at Cherry Street Pier will awaken the senses and will be evocative of an authentic Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration. Viewers partaking in the event can expect a lively performance by Aztec dance group, Kalpulli Kamaxtle Xiuhcoatl, experience the unveiling of Cesar’s larger than life sculpture & art installation, a visit from local artist Rita Ruiz dressed as “La Catrina” (a character representative of Día de los Muertos), indulge in some traditional Mexican treats, and take in a speech from the Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia.
Be at Cherry Street Pier, October 30th at 7:30pm, for a Día de los Muertos celebration you won’t soon forget. For the entire month of October, visit artist Cesar Viveros in Studio #12 at Cherry Street Pier to see him at work! You won’t want to miss this incredible cultural experience. Bring your family and friends.
Our big plans for programming at Cherry Street Pier on Columbus Blvd. may have been delayed nearly half a year, but finally they are coming to fruition, and it feels pretty sweet! This weekend kicks off the beginning of a series of kids, teen, and adult classes as well as other programs to take place at the public art space on the beautiful Delaware River Waterfront.
Portside is one of thirteen artists and non-profits who occupy a studio space in the expansive building full of converted cargo containers. We have been granted access to the beautiful and spacious mezzanine next to Portside’s Studio #12 on the second floor to hold selected classes.
Due to the Covid-19 precautions, with the exception of our Creative Classroom, many of the classes we’ve held at Portside Arts Center on Lehigh Avenue in the past will now be operating from the Pier including Family Art Night, Saturday Youth Art Class, Teen Artist Workshop, and our Upholstery classes. Cherry Street Pier requires all who enter to wear masks unless eating or drinking.
Creatives young and old have found a home in Portside where they were able to experiment with different art forms and expand their creativity. Amidst the pandemic, many Portside students of all ages have missed the privilege of having access to art materials and tools, and equally important, the exposure to friends and other artists. It’s come as a relief and a blessing to many that we will continue to provide these classes, but at a different location.
In addition to our classes to be held at Cherry Street Pier, we will also be celebrating the work of our September Resident Artist Veronica Ponce de Leon, a multi-media artist from Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. The closing reception of her exhibition will be taking place on Friday, October 2nd from 2-9pm. Come view her vibrant and unique paper mache pieces, paintings, and other works of Mexican folk art.
On Sunday, come visit Portside at Cherry Street Pier’s Artist Market! Every Sunday, Cherry Street Pier will be showcasing their Resident Artists and the artwork of various local Philadelphia artists and artisans. This includes jewelry, fine art, clothing and more. Portside Arts Center will be present on the first Sunday of every month, displaying the artwork of Portside's community artists and Artists in Residence. Visit us this Sunday and check out some of the beautiful work of Portside's teachers and friends!
Oh my, what an adventure! Yesterday marked the children’s first day of Portside Creative Classroom: a daily in-person program where children are assisted with school work, able to socialize with friends, and instructed in arts education for a portion of each day. The children were so excited to see their friends and classmates for the first time in months, and to meet new friends!
With students from Hackett, H.A. Brown, and Adaire schools, the Portside follows the Philadelphia School District schedules for virtual schooling. From 8:30am until around 3pm, students are engaged in synchronous classwork on their computers as well as asynchronous school work. Creative Classroom students are separated by grade, and grouped with other students by teacher. Because of this, the children are able to gain experience in a classroom atmosphere, and work with classmates. For those children who are entering their first year of school, they are able to enjoy the company of friends in the comfort of their own classroom.
At 3pm, the fun begins! We want to give the children a fun experience at Portside, and have it be someplace they want to come to every day. We follow our award winning After School Arts Program curriculum and provide the children with a one hour art project each day between 3-5pm. During that time, students will also have outdoor play time, weather permitting. They will be going to either Penn Treaty Park or the Cione field where they will be participating in limited social contact activities and games. At 5:30pm, it’s time to go home!
Our part time and full time options give families flexibility to plan around their schedules. Full time is Monday through Friday, and part time options are two days a week (T,Th) and three days a week (M,W,F). We are grateful for Penn Treaty Special Services District’s generous funding for Creative Classroom Scholarships. Children in the PTSSD catchment zone are eligible for the scholarship, and those who live elsewhere are eligible for our Income Based Tuition scholarships.
We still have spots available in Portside Creative Classroom for kids in grades Pre-K 4 - 5th. Check out the link below to learn more about Creative Classroom and to enroll your child!