Born in the USA: Philly’s American Street Showroom puts the spotlight on lighting
Philadelphia has always been a hotbed of creative talent. From its tradition of craft-driven furniture to its institutional legacy of art museums, the distinctions between art and design have always blurred organically.
American Street Showroom, an inspiring 11,000 sq ft space filled with objects, one-offs and artwork established by Adam Kamens, is helping to keep this spirit going by bringing a selection of lighting designers from around the USA to exhibit pieces in its evocative space. Featuring designs by Philly locals, such as Tyler Hays, Robert True Ogden and Kamens’ other enterprise, the fabrication studio Amuneal, alongside pieces from Bec Brittain (New York), Cedar & Moss/Esque Studio (Portland) and Will Dexter (Boyertown), artistic lighting designs are installed throughout the sprawling former electric company building. Many have been created specifically for the show – the showroom’s first.
‘We selected these designers and makers not only because they are renowned for their work,’ says Showroom director Kim Kamens, ’but also because we knew that each one would have a unique perspective on lighting, which would make for a very interesting exhibition.’
From Hays’ delicate, craftsman-savvy approach and Brittain’s edgy geometric style to Dexter’s artistically manipulative technique, there is an impressive range of work on display. There’s plenty of time for out-of-towners to experience the exhibition too – the lighting display will stay up for the whole year, with more pieces to be added over the coming months.