Rocky Re-Runs - an exhibition hosted @ Da Vinci Art Alliance - DVAA in Gallery 1 - April 18th - 29th
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 18th from 6-8 pm
- Organized by DVAA members John James Pron and Andrew Hart
- Contributions to exhibition by DVAA members: Gary Grissom, Andrew Hart, Jordan M. Mrazik, John James Pron, and Juliet Whelan
- and by non-DVAA-members: Laura Blau, Gabriella D’Angelo, Ryan Drummond, Joseph Fattore, Kenneth Jacobs, Marc Lewis Krawitz, Steve Kwasnik, A. Thomas Schomberg, and Michael Vitez.
DVAA is proud to host Rocky Re-Runs, an exhibition that both stands alone and is an extension of the exhibition YO, PIRANESI!, which DVAA hosted in 2017 - by some of the same participants. Rocky Re-Runs assembles a group of young architects, artists, practitioners, and academics whose work responds to infrequently examined aspects of and places within Philadelphia’s built environment. The exhibit identifies a set of related themes and proposes challenges that would encourage each participant to investigate and interpret selected themes in personal ways. Among those themes are: movement through Philadelphia, Philadelphia neighborhoods past/present/future, Rocky’s mind + Rocky as a role model to others, “sacred Rocky” vs. human Rocky, sport + ritual of boxing, innovation of the steadicam, global Rocky, and art that honors the hero.
In the words of Andrew Hart: “In the way that they encapsulate the underdog grit of their hero and locale, the characters and settings of the early Rocky films could not have been situated in any city other than Philadelphia - nor at any other time than the early 1970s. In the second film, Rocky Balboa is seen on a training run that passes through a number of locales. The journey can be seen in many ways: as a single run; as a series of runs; as visual pornography that exploits derelict neighborhoods; as a celebratory paean to iconic Philadelphia views. The sequence, repeated almost to the point of parody in later parts of the Rocky franchise, is short, noir-ish, stark, and surprisingly different from recollections of it formed by many viewers decades later.
Philadelphia 1976 is drastically different from Philadelphia 2018, yet the Rocky images still feel familiar to native Philadelphians. While some settings have changed dramatically in conjunction with the city’s urban Renaissance, blight, poverty, drugs, and crime remain in many others. Is the training run an encapsulation of a particular time? Is it timeless? Is Rocky Balboa one man or everyman? Does he symbolize personal triumph over grinding oppression or was he just exceptionally lucky? Does he lead the others to achieve salvation? To fulfill their destiny? To discover their true selves?”
(Except for Colorado resident Thomas Schomberg, every one of the artists is a Philadelphian.)
Schedule of Events:
Wednesday April 18th, 6-8 pm - Opening Reception
Saturday April 21st, 1-5pm - All Artist Talks
Beginning at 1:30 pm, each of the 12 artists will talk on their particular work (scheduled for 15 minute intervals til 4:30pm). Moderated by Jefferson University Associate Dean of Architecture Professor David Breiner, it will be an informal walkaround, with refreshments, and open to gallery members, the general public, friends, family and professional peers.
Sunday April 22nd, 1-5pm - gallery open
Wednesday April 25th, 6-8pm - gallery open
Thursday April 26th, 6-8:30pm - An evening with A. Thomas Schomberg
Art and architectural historian Kenneth Jacobs will host an event dedicated to a discussion of the art of A. Thomas Schomberg, the Colorado-based sculptor commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone to create a 2-ton bronze statue of Rocky Balboa, currently placed adjacent to the Art Museum Steps made famous in the movie. It will begin at 7pm with Jacob’s presentation- a powerpoint overview of the history of monumental figurative art from the ancient world to the present. In a skype interview, Schomberg will discuss his own artistic oeuvre (which includes many monumental sculptures and war memorials, throughout the US and in several foreign countries. He will also specifically address Rocky and will end this informal interview with a question and answer session with the audience.
Saturday April 28th, 1-5pm - gallery open
Sunday April 29th, 1-5pm - Talk by Michael Vitez, Pulitzer-prize winner and author of “Rocky Stories”
Pulitzer-prize winner former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and writer Michael Vitez published “Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps” (Paul Dry Books, publisher, Phila 2006) - 52 stories stories of people who have found inspiration in Rocky, endured similar challenges and had reason to celebrate their accomplishments. Vitez will present a powerpoint lecture (illustrated with photos by Pulitzer-prize winner Tom Gralish) highlighting some of the most compelling of their stories. Reception.
The exhibit closes at 5pm.
The Rocky Re-Run exhibition has been partially funded by the generous support of DeFino Law Associates, P.C., 2541 South Broad Street, South Phildelphia. Thank you, DeFino!
MISSION: Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) provides artists with a community that fosters artistic expression and growth through our
exhibitions and programs.
VISION: DVAA is a supportive community of artists and creatives focused on capturing the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci. A luminary artist, scientist, architect, engineer, musician and humanitarian, Da Vinci’s curiosity inspires creativity, innovation and collaboration among our membership. Like Leonardo, we ask big questions, ponder complex ideas, experiment with form and create new ways of engaging with and sharing our art.
DVAA thanks our 2018 exhibition sponsors DeFino Law Associates and Seed&Space!