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. ••