New Art Gallery Signals Grassroots Cultural Revival

by Michael Burch

Located in what may seem to some like an unlikely neighborhood, a new art gallery called “A Poet Art Gallery,” has opened in the 40th St. and Girard Avenue Corridor. This new venture is located at 4032 Girard Avenue. Although this venture has been referred to as ‘new’, it has actually been in our community since last summer. The art Gallery is still in a building phase and more work needs to be done but they are OPEN FOR BUSINESS and their public space looks great!!

Residents should use this opportunity to take a new and closer look at the 40th and Girard block in general.
Those of you who do will discover a key area of our community that is slowly coming back to life. There is the beginning of a resurance of new buildings and businesses here. This is actually the second location of A Poet Art Gallery. This establishment was first located on Walnut Street in the University City section of West Philadelphia. After spending a few years at that location, the owners Rachelle Pierre-Louis, Tina Albright, and Sharnette Coles, decided they needed a larger facility with easier access to the expressway and parts west. The need for a more spacious building is what brought them to Girard Avenue. One of the main goals of A Poet Art Gallery is to bring art and opportunities for artistic expression directly into the community while establishing strong relationships with the residents who live here. The owners are community minded individuals who wanted to stay in West Philadelphia and “give back to the community.” Rachelle Pierre-Louis is a graduate of West Philadelphia High School.

A selection of the art on display at the new neighborhood gallery.
A selection of the art on display at the new neighborhood gallery.

Although A Poet Art Gallery is just getting started, in Parkside, it is capable of hosting a variety of events and activities. The owners seek to put in place many of the activities they had at the former University City location.

At the Gallery there will be regular poetry readings and open mic events fashion shows, fundraisers, book sales, music and a variety of art for sale. The property has available studio space for local artists as well as a backyard to host outdoor events. The owners hope to offer children’s art classes, drum sessions, African dance classes, and much more. A Poetry Arts Gallery has many great programs and activities to offer to our community. We WELCOME the Gallery and its’ owners to Parkside. Currently going on at the Gallery every 4th Saturday of the month is “Sounds in the Gallery” poetry, open mic, music, art and food 8pm to 12am presented by love us. Culture Corner” art, poetry and music 6 pm to 9 pm presented by broad street music group. Every 1st Friday, art, poetry, music and networking 8pm to 12pm presented by Armofeasso.

Check out more of what’s going on at A Poet Art Gallery on Facebook APoetArtGallery and on twitter @ApoetArtGallery

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