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Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl Features Live Art, Family-Fun

On the corner of Corinthian and Fairmount Avenues, Alloyius Mcilwaine sprayed yellow onto a blank canvas. “I’m just making it up as I go,” he said. Mcilwaine was working on “live art” for the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, one of the many vendors participating in the 2017 Fairmount Arts Crawl on Sunday April 30.


/Kaitlyn Moore

Organized by Fairmount CDC, the Arts Crawl was held from noon to 4PM and featured 25 different vendors and 40 different artists. Vendors were strewn along Fairmount Avenue from 17th to 25th Streets. Most tables featured products ranging from antiques to photography, jewelry and art prints. Other tables like those managed by Eastern State Penitentiary and Hand & Stone Spa featured free giveaways and interactive games.

At the Ferrante Photography table, just outside of the gates of Eastern State, a spectator asked Maria Ferrante, “Where was this photo taken?”

“All my prints are either from Italy or Spain, and that’s the Amalfi Coast in Italy.,” she said pointing to a blown up photograph of Italian landscape on display. Spectators were surprised to find out all of her photos were shot on a small handheld that she said could typically be found at Office Depot.


/Kaitlyn Moore

Ferrante found out about the Arts Crawl online and decided to bring her photo prints from her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Normally, she sells her work on a small online shop. “I like to show people where I’ve been and I think each picture represents a little piece of my travel,” Ferrante said.

Guy Gossen and his two face-painted daughters sat on the edge of Eastern State Penitentiary watching the crowd pass by. Gossen said their decision to come was on a whim. “We found it online and we figured it would be a fun way to spend our Sunday, so here we are. It’s been fun so far,” he said.


Alloyius Mcilwaine works on his “live art” piece during the 2017 Fairmount Arts Crawl. /Kaitlyn Moore

As the day went on, spectators came to watch Mcilwaine’s piece develop. Mcilwaine said he gets his inspiration from the buzz at festivals like the Fairmount Arts Crawl. “It’s something about the energy—especially interacting with people. I know sometimes when I’m painting by myself in my studio I get a little bored. I look for things to distract me.”

Kevin Moran, one of the organizers of the event, said the Crawl was a success in “spotlighting Fairmount Avenue’s unique culture.”

Moran said they are always looking for ways to improve each year. Next year, he told Spirit News there may be a “scavenger hunt” activity where visitors will collect a stamp at each vendor along Fairmount Ave.

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