At the start of the pandemic Katie found that her personal work was expanding and new ideas were starting to take form. She was finishing up her MFA from The Pig Iron School with a degree in Devised and Physical Performance when the idea for the Bryan Project was born.
Although some people close to Katie may think of her as growing up in Texas, she was actually born in the small town of Bryan Ohio, where she lived until the age of three before moving south with her family. Moving at such a young age, Katie does not possess many memories of her life in Bryan, yet she was fascinated with the idea that one can be connected to a place that they don't remember. Thus, she decided that she wanted to embark on a trip to the small town in Williams County Ohio in search of the remnants of her family’s past life. What she found (or lack thereof) threw a wrench into the expectations of her trip, and of the overall project.
Katie reached out to the local Bryan High School where she was able to connect with the head of the Theater Department, Betsy Zuver. She offered students theater workshops and created a dialogue with them related to Bryan and her project. She also began to interview residents of Bryan about their hometown, and learned that her past home and her father’s place of work weren’t the only things that had changed in the town of Bryan.The industrial economy that so many of Bryan’s residents have been reliant on for so long is being overcome by the ever increasing immersion of technology. As manufacturing jobs become less available, Katie asks the question of “What is next for Bryan, Ohio?”
The dialogue continues as Katie pursues her interviews and connections with the residents of Bryan. They discuss the possibility of how an increased presence of art in the community can shape the future of the town, and other ways that the residents believe the town could flourish.
With a recent second trip to Bryan under her belt, Katie continues to build up her story and make headway on her project. Katie is honored that The Bryan Project was invited to participate in the Lacuna Festival taking place online this summer! In the next few months leading up to the festival, she is putting the pieces of her research together, and creating a documentary to present her story. As a project that began with a past connection, the Bryan Project has transformed into a story of the shared interpersonal connections present and future between Katie and the Bryan community.
Stay tuned to learn about the progress of the Bryan Project, and help to support Katie reach her goal!
Wow, what a great way to celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of a very difficult school year, with our teachers and students involved in an exciting new exhibition!
Portside students and staff are grateful and proud to announce their participation in the upcoming exhibition Unfolding, curated by Philadelphia Contemporary! This group show features the collected artwork of both past and present Cherry Street Pier Artists in Residence.
Unfolding is hosted by the Atelier Art Gallery in Brewerytown and showcases artwork that explores the concept of the public and the private. This theme is derived from the artists’ process working in a public space at Cherry Street Pier, and how this process informs the artwork created there.
Portside Arts Center is wrapping up their first amazing year at Cherry Street Pier Studio #12! Cherry Street Pier is a year-round, mixed-use public space on the central Delaware River waterfront. Built into the shell of a century-old municipal pier, it is a reflection of Philadelphia today—creative, diverse, historic, adaptable, and inspired.
Cherry Street Pier’s Artist-in-Residence program, currently in its second year, first began in 2019 with the grand opening of the space. The program includes a mix of artists, artist collectives, and arts and culture organizations.
Portside’s Creative Classroom students ages 5-9 will exhibit their work alongside professional artists from Cherry Street Pier, as well as their teachers! The children created epoxy & mica pour paintings on repurposed vintage records, which will be displayed together in a radiating pattern on the wall.
“I’m nervous but excited at the same time!” explains Katherine, age 6, about the experience of exhibiting her artwork alongside professional artists.
The Unfolding art show will be up for viewing beginning on May 28th for a private reception for the artists, and will then be open to the public Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM until July 23rd. We hope you can stop by to enjoy the show!
Spring is here, and our classes are in full bloom at Cherry Street Pier! At a time when COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease, and it’s become safer to have small group gatherings, our kids and adult classes at our Cherry Street Pier location have become increasingly popular. With the weather warming up, the open air Pier is the perfect place to be on a Spring Saturday morning!
New class sessions will be starting during the next couple of weeks, and it is now the perfect time to enroll the whole family in our classes. That’s right, the WHOLE family! Portside offers Family Art Night every First Friday of the month for families to collaborate on an art project together, and kick off the weekend in a creative way. We also have three different classes running simultaneously on Saturday mornings ranging in all ages; An Upholstery class for adults from 12pm-5pm, our Children’s Saturday Class for kids ages 7-10 from 11:30am-1:00pm, and our Teen Portfolio Building Workshop for ages 11-17 from 11:30am-1:30pm.
We have had many family members attending different classes at the Pier simultaneously. Some children attend our Children's Saturday Class while their siblings are a few tables over in the Teen Portfolio Building Workshop. As some kids are creating masterpieces in one of our youth classes, their parents or grandparents are upstairs on the mezzanine upholstering chairs in our Beginner’s Upholstery Class. Our classes provide a creative space for families to spend a part of their weekends.
As a few of our adult Upholstery students live in Philadelphia, many of them are coming from out of state to attend the popular class run by Instructor and Master Upholsterer John Price. As one of the only Upholstery classes in the tri-state area, the class has attracted students from a 700 mile radius! Students have come from locations including around New York City, throughout the state of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and even Charlotte, North Carolina! In addition to our Saturday Upholstery Classes, we also hold Tuesday and Thursday classes from 6pm-9pm.
It is a relief to be able to resume programming after a very hard year, and a blessing to facilitate our classes at such a spacious and beautiful location in a safe manner. We hope to continue classes throughout the summer, and to expand our programming. Stay tuned for future opportunities and news about Portside at Cherry Street Pier!