A New Paradigm: Pennsylvania: Art Gallery Opens in Philadelphia’s City Hall

Pennsylvania: Art Gallery Opens in Philadelphia’s City Hall

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/17/10

“One of the sculptures in the new City Hall art gallery consists of rather rowdy dogs and other small animals in party hats, lounging around a table; toppled chairs serve as evidence of the raucous time they’ve had.

A few nights ago, Gary Steuer, the city’s chief cultural officer, was working late in his office when he heard noises from the gallery.Peeking in, he saw a worker setting the table and chairs aright. ‘No! No!’ Steuer exclaimed to the startled worker. ‘You can’t do that—it’s art!’ Indeed it is, a whimsical sculptural installation called Surprise Party, by Darla Jackson—part of the inaugural exhibition mounted in Room 116 of City Hall, a highly visible space, once home to the Mayor’s Action Committee, with innumerable cubicles and a dreary paint job…Arrayed around the new gallery, on the ground floor of City Hall’s east side, are new offices for various cultural and arts programs—Steuer and his staff, plus the staff of the reinvigorated Cultural Fund…Art and its agents, for the first time, are now united in one public, accessible location (no sign-in sheet or security check required)—tangible evidence of Mayor Michael Nutter’s insistence on bringing the arts into the larger policymaking arena.”

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