Solar parklet opens in Tacony

  • Designing creativity: Tacony LAB’s new solar parklet was unveiled last week. The parklet is an informal social gathering space with seating and room for art installations, musical performances and lectures. Above, Cecil Parsley (left) and Nick Cassway, the artist who designed Parklet, celebrate the new space. PHOTO: MARIA YOUNG

  • Designing creativity: Tacony LAB’s new solar parklet was unveiled last week. The parklet is an informal social gathering space with seating and room for art installations, musical performances and lectures. Above, Isabella Alejandro, 5, helped make shirts during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Oct. 27. PHOTO: MARIA YOUNG

  • Designing creativity: Tacony LAB’s new solar parklet was unveiled last week. The parklet is an informal social gathering space with seating and room for art installations, musical performances and lectures. PHOTO: STEVE WEINIK

Rain couldn’t dampen the en­thu­si­asm for Ta­cony LAB’s new sol­ar park­let last Thursday as Mur­al Arts Dir­ect­or Jane Golden and City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on un­veiled the sol­ar-powered activ­ity space along­side Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue.

The Frank Shuman Sol­ar Art Park­let is a sea­son­al out­door space de­signed by Ta­cony LAB artist-in-res­id­ence Nick Cas­s­way and named in memory of Shuman, an early 20th-cen­tury sol­ar en­ergy pi­on­eer and Ta­cony nat­ive. Cas­s­way and his team in­stalled the park­let on two park­ing spaces in front of the Ta­cony Lib­rary and Arts Build­ing at 6918 Tor­res­dale Ave.

The park­let is an in­form­al so­cial gath­er­ing space with bench seat­ing and room for art in­stall­a­tions as well as small mu­sic­al per­form­ances and lec­tures. Among oth­er things, it’s a great place for pass­ers-by to plug their cell phones in­to its sol­ar-powered char­ging sta­tions.

Cas­s­way is one of two res­id­ent artists at Ta­cony LAB. His col­league, Mar­i­el Capanna, is paint­ing a wall-sized fresco that cel­eb­rates Ta­cony’s past, present and fu­ture with im­agery in­spired by archiv­al re­search and con­ver­sa­tions with neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents.

Ta­cony LAB was cre­ated last sum­mer in a part­ner­ship of Hen­on’s of­fice, Mur­al Arts and the Free Lib­rary. Its res­id­ent artists work on site and lead com­munity art work­shops. The fa­cil­ity is also the tem­por­ary home of the Ta­cony Branch Lib­rary while the per­man­ent lib­rary is closed for ex­tens­ive re­mod­el­ing. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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