These artists turned a vacant lot into a community space with salvaged materials - Generocity Philly

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Aug. 6, 2015 4:12 pm

These artists turned a vacant lot into a community space with salvaged materials

LOTS is a public garden installation at the corner of East Susquehanna and Frankford Ave

20150806_155329Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR) is a program that creates awareness about sustainability issues through art and design.

Located in Northeast Philadelphia within Revolution Recovery, a demolition and manufacturing waste recycling facility in Philadelphia, RAIR aims to bridge art, sustainability, and industry through its residency program, education and awareness, material sourcing, and exhibitions.

During a month long residency with RAIR, Kasey Toomey, Amy Magida, and Leslie Billhymer have been working in all four of those program areas culminating with a LOTS pilot project, a public installation in a vacant lot at the corner of Frankford Avenue and East Susquehanna Street.

“The project evolved from several different angles,” Magida said. “We were brainstorming ways to create interesting design interventions in vacant lots that are inexpensive to construct but act as catalysts for larger development. Once we were rewarded the RAIR residency the pieces fell into place and we were provided with the chance to divert materials from landfills and build objects with greater value that enhance an open space.”

Using only salvaged materials, the artists will transform a currently vacant lot into an active community space for three weeks. Plans include a stage and seating to accommodate events, DIY art classes, poetry readings and game nights.

“With the support of NKCDC, we selected a site at the corner of Frankford and East Susquehanna that showed signs of positive attention such as daily dog walkers, a mural and a lawn ornament,” Magida added. “The installation isn’t affiliated with commercial activity, it’s mission is to make a place where the larger community can eat lunch, relax, play or enjoy some of the programmed events such as poetry readings or art classes.We also invite local community organizations to reach out to us with their own ideas for events that are welcoming and inclusive in nature.”

The installation will run from Friday, August 7, 2015 to Thursday, August 27, 2015.

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