Community Invited to Vote on Let’s Connect Exhibition,
Participatory Project Engaging Philadelphia’s Artists and Community

Online voter registration now open
Exhibition: May 21 – June 4, 2018

Philadelphia, PA, May 17, 2018—The Barnes Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia have announced that voter registration is now open for the Let’s Connect exhibition. A participatory project engaging the city’s art community, Let’s Connect invited artists living or working in Philadelphia to create a new 8-by-10-inch work inspired by a painting or object in the Barnes collection. 864 artists registered to participate, and more than 300 artists submitted their collection-inspired work for a public display at the Barnes, which will be on view May 21–June 4, 2018.

During the exhibition, the public is asked to vote for their favorite pieces by visiting the installation at the Barnes and casting their ballot. In addition to the public vote, a team of more than 90 curators from the greater Philadelphia area will also weigh in, and four artists will ultimately be selected and invited to participate in three-month residencies at the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes. The four winning artists will be announced on June 14, 2018.

Those who register in advance will have an opportunity to visit the exhibition, as well as the Barnes collection, without charge in order to cast their vote.

Further details on Let’s Connect, including the timeline, are included below:

May 21–June 4, 2018

From May 21 to June 4, 2018, all works submitted by Philadelphia artists will be displayed salon style in a single room of the Barnes, allowing viewers to see the breadth of artistic response. During the Let’s Connect exhibition, the public is invited to visit the Barnes during the usual hours of 11 am–5 pm, Wednesday–Monday, to submit their vote.

With advance registration, the visit to vote is free. Drop-in visits only; tickets cannot be booked in advance, and there may be a wait to enter the exhibition during peak times. One free visit and one ballot per pre-registered individual.

Regardless of prior registration, visitors are encouraged to speak with Barnes staff to request a ballot and vote. The public’s selections will be weighted equally with the curators’ selections. More information.

July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019

Four selected artists will be invited to participate in three-month residencies at the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes. This small building, located on the Barnes campus just off 20th Street, has become a place for art activations. The selected artists will use the space as a working studio, and they will host open studio hours to connect with the community. Residencies will begin July 1, 2018, and run for an entire year, through June 30, 2019.

The project is organized by Shelley Bernstein, deputy director for audience engagement and chief experience officer at the Barnes Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to understanding with projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world, and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, which has earned Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “City of Murals.” For more information, call 215.685.0750 or visit Follow on social media: @muralarts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.

The Barnes Foundation is a non-profit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned masterworks by such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and non-Western art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” Since moving to the heart of Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes has expanded its commitment to teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways, investing in original scholarship relating to its collection and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its program.

The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday–Monday, and tickets can be purchased on-site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.


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