Visual Artist Aaron Asis recently wrapped his three day, three weekend-only site-specific art installation at St. Andrew's Collegiate Chapel on 42nd and Spruce. The exhibit, which consisted of 7000 feet of symmetrical strings hung throughout the 1923 Chapel, was meant to "activate the vacant, Gothic Revival grandeur of the shuttered space," and according to Lori Waselchuk of the University City Arts League, saw 1,000 visitors over the three- weekend event.
Videographer Cory J. Popp, who recently gave us a few solid reasons not to hate on winter for the duration of his Frozen Philadelphia video, told Curbed that he "saw some shots of this project on instagram and knew there had to be a great story behind it." The resulting video of Aaron Asis' Ci-Lines is a work of art unto itself, but more importantly, a work that references art that is meant to "spark renewed interest in the vacant sanctuary to ensure its preservation and future as an enduring neighborhood landmark."
Popp, who has done similar stories in the past year, continues:
I'm fascinated when artists use vacant or abandoned spaces as a canvas for their art because of how temporary they generally are. This church has been very well maintained, but a lot of times buildings that aren't used often change very quickly. Paint fades or chips away, holes develop in the ceilings and walls, and nature begins to take over. Exposure like that means what you see right now won't exists like it is three months from now, which is the perfect formula for unique art. Aaron Asis is no stranger to West Philly: a Brooklyn-based visual artist, he took part in the biennial 'Art in the Open' event in May 2014, in which thirty artists created art inspired by the landscape along the Schuylkill River. Eight of those artists are currently showing their work at the UCAL gallery through March 20th, and the next Art in the Open event is at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in June, 2015.
St. Andrew's Collegiate Chapel is maintained by the University of Pennsylvania, and Ci-Lines culminated in an emotional story hour community event in which more than 50 neighbors shared their memories of the once-bustling seminary. Three organizations came together to bring Ci-Lines to life: the Spruce Hill Community Association, the University City Arts League, and Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, designers of the Penn Alexander School, whose students participated in the art event.
Popp concludes: "The great, simple thing about this story is the artist just wanted to bring people's attention to a space that is otherwise ignored".
Watch his video, below:
· St. Andrew's Awakened [Curbed Philly]
· Ci-Lines: Aaron Asis [University City Arts League]
· Seeing between the Ci-Lines [Hidden City]