Philadelphia Contemporary is a free-standing platform that endeavors to show forward-thinking, high-quality contemporary visual and performance art in the city. Philadelphia Contemporary will be a nexus for emerging cultural producers, diverse foundations and supporters as well as dynamic audiences and communities in and beyond the city. Rather than acquiring and maintaining a permanent collection, Philadelphia Contemporary will be a non-collecting, multi-disciplinary, and sustainable art venue for the 21st century.
Through an emphasis on partnerships and collaborations, Philadelphia Contemporary aims to bring innovative contemporary art to Philadelphia’s communities and will mount a program of temporary, rotating exhibitions that emphasize relevant, experimental, and unexpected work from local, national, and international artists.
Philadelphia Contemporary is a non-profit 501(c)(3).
We believe Philadelphia will benefit from the creation of a substantial and independent contemporary art venue. We founded Philadelphia Contemporary in 2016 to serve as a multi-disciplinary platform for contemporary visual and performance art. Philadelphia Contemporary will be a non-collecting space focusing exclusively on current art practices.
Philadelphia Contemporary will build a vibrant and sustainable model based on partnerships and collaborations. We seek to bring innovative and high quality forms of cultural production to the city to engage our diverse communities and create a spark for audiences to come together and co-mingle.
+ Who We Are
Director, Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, Wesleyan University,
President, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, 2010 – 2016
Vice President and General Counsel, GCAM Group/Global Cultural Asset Management, 2008 – 2015,
Special Counsel, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2001-2008
Executive Director, READ! By 4th, Free Library of Philadelphia
Samuel Olshin, AIA
Principal, Atkin, Olshin, Schade Architects
Director of the Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2011 – 2016
Director, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 1996 – 2010
Graphic Design & Digital Media Editor
Director of Programs
Director of Development & Community Engagement
Temporary Project Assistant (Oct. 2016, Jan. 2017)
Philadelphia Contemporary is building a program of pop-up exhibitions and performances across the city of Philadelphia as it seeks a permanent site on which to build a long-term home. The building will be specifically designed to accommodate both visual and performance art as well as video, sound art and spoken word. Philadelphia Contemporary aims to create a building that embraces the emerging reality that artists are working across multiple disciplines.
In collaboration with various partner organizations Philadelphia Contemporary is building a pop-up program across the city of Philadelphia, marked by the dots on the map below. Please read further about our partners here.
+ Frequently Asked Questions
We believe Philadelphia will benefit from the creation of a large-scale, multi-disciplinary, independent contemporary art venue. Philadelphia Contemporary will be a vibrant addition to the cultural landscape of Philadelphia, and will reflect the vitality of the artistic and performative energy in the city, as well as its uniquely collegial cultural community.
Where is Philadelphia Contemporary located?
We are building a program of pop-up exhibitions and performances across the city of Philadelphia and its immediate surroundings as we seek a permanent site on which to build a long-term home.
Why does Philadelphia Contemporary need a building?
While we are excited to explore the amazing spaces and places of Philadelphia, we also want to land in a long-term home in order to create a site for large-scale exhibitions, workshopping new performative projects, and everything in between. A permanent space will allow us to build a strong sense of community and in-depth engagement with the surrounding neighborhoods.
What makes Philadelphia Contemporary different from other institutions in the city?
Philadelphia Contemporary endeavors to show forward-thinking, high-quality contemporary visual and performance art in the city. To do so, our programmatic and organizational structure emphasizes the principles of collaboration, flexibility, and experimentation. We believe that constant dialogue and cooperation with artists and performers, as well as partnering foundations, museums, and institutions, will ensure that our exhibitions are always bringing something new to Philadelphia.
What kind of programming will Philadelphia Contemporary present?
We will highlight the best of Philadelphia and bring a diverse array of national and international programming to the city. Projects will range from solo and group exhibitions of visual art to workshops and finished presentations of performance art, poetry, and contemporary dance.
Will Philadelphia Contemporary have a permanent collection?
Philadelphia Contemporary is non-collecting and will not keep any art permanently on display.
Does Philadelphia Contemporary show work by local artists?
Philadelphia Contemporary is committed to exhibiting works by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists working in all mediums. At the moment, we cannot accept unsolicited submissions.
Where can I learn more about Philadelphia Contemporary’s program?
You can sign-up for our newsletter to get the latest Philadelphia Contemporary news or discover our program on a variety of social media forums. You can also find details about each project announced on our homepage.
Can I volunteer with Philadelphia Contemporary?
If you are interested in volunteering, please email your resume to info [at] philadelphiacontemporary.org.
How can I contribute to Philadelphia Contemporary?
We very much welcome your participation in our diverse program around the city. If you like to volunteer for one of our events or donate to our institution, please contact our staff at info [at] philadelphiacontemporary.org.
Where can I receive press information?
Please contact our staff at info [at] philadelphiacontemporary.org to receive an invitation to access Philadelphia Contemporary’s media forum.
What is contemporary art?
We love that question, and try to find the answer every day.
Seriously, what is contemporary art?
The art of our time.