On maps of Philadelphia, it’s called Franklintown. More commonly, it’s known as where the Barnes museum and Target are.
On Sunday, the two big draws to the neighborhood around 20th and Callowhill Streets threw a party.
The first-ever Barnes on the Block, sponsored by Target, featured a day of free access to the Barnes and its collections. Also inside the museum, Brooklyn-based mural artist Olek (Agata Oleksiak) crocheted her upcoming mural in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia. Next door in Target’s parking lot, art activities in the Murals on the Move van celebrated civil rights activist Octavius Catto.
By late afternoon, the focus was outside, where food trucks and a beer garden fueled revelers who danced despite a light rain.
Yvette Jiggetts, 55, of South Philadelphia, was among a team of 20 who crocheted with Olek in the middle of the Barnes lobby, creating sections of an all-yarn Marian Anderson mural, which will be dedicated this week at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center.
Of Olek, Jiggetts said, “I just love that she is so public. And so young, and out there. She shows the world crocheting is not just grannies stitching in the back on a rocker. She is our hero.”
Barbara Wong, director of community engagement for the Barnes, was overseeing the children’s art projects, part of the Peco Free First Sunday Family Day at the block party.
“Making art together is just a simple pleasure and allows kids to grow up thinking creatively,” Wong said.