Category Archives: Student Life

Spotted on campus

As Penn has been preparing for the Time to Shine festivities tonight, we’ve been watching a chalk artist’s work take shape at the 34th and Walnut entrance to Locust Walk.

Here’s what we spotted on Tuesday morning:

By Wednesday, it had evolved into this:


And then yesterday evening, we finally got to see the completed piece:




The artist’s name is Hani Shihada, and this isn’t his first time making art on a sidewalk. Shihada’s website features numerous examples of his past work, and here he is drawing Spongebob on a New York City sidewalk:

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Filed under Student Life, Visual Art

Harry Potter and the Sophomore Sorting Banquet

Ah, to be a student again. Clever editing, a giant snake andHarry Potter tribute? I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in this video, but I like it.

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Filed under Film, Student Life

This University-wide photo project produced more than 800 images

The University put out a simple request last week: “Show us a day in your life at Penn.” They asked students, faculty and staff to “help us illustrate a single day on campus and at Penn around the world” by snapping and submitting photographs on Nov. 14, 2012. More than 800 photos were posted to the University-wide project, Day in the Life of Penn. You can see the full album on Flickr, but here are a few images that caught our eye, presented in (roughly) chronological order:

Early morning on Locust Walk. (Photo by Luis Cornejo)

12:45 p.m.: The dancing satyr statue, which overlooks the Penn Museum’s Warden Garden.

1:17 p.m.: Drs. Julie Clark, Jessica Midence and Jeffrey Runge perform a minimally invasive colonoscopy on a dog in the Ryan Veterinary Hospital’s minimally invasive surgery suite. (Photo by John Donges)

3 p.m. in the Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library. (Photo by Rafiat Kasumu)

Penn students visiting a market in Zürich, Switzerland.

6:52 p.m.: Theater Arts students rehearsing in the Annenberg Center. (Photo by Iris Leon, Office of the Vice Provost for University Life)

1L reading (Photo by Zahir Rahman)

Also, in case you missed it, here’s the Flickr album from the first “Day in the Life of Penn” event this past April.

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Filed under Student Life, Visual Art

In Penn Players production, Rocky gets a new look

In my mind—which I’ll admit does not speak for all minds—puppets and musical theater should be at the top of any Great Things list. It was pretty exciting, then, to see the two combine in the Penn Players’ performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this past weekend. In a twist I’ve never seen before, the show used a large, body-worn puppet to portray Rocky, Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s latest creation. Here’s a (somewhat blurry) photo of Puppet Rocky flexing his biceps:

And here’s Rocky cowering from the criminologist:

Puppet Rocky came from Alisa Sickora Kleckner, a theatre artist who has designed costumes, puppets and masks throughout the Northeast and who serves as an adjunct faculty member and resident designer at Arcadia University.

For further Penn Players/Rocky Horror fun, check out the flash mob that cast members staged on Locust Walk leading up to performance weekend:

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Filed under Student Life, Theatre

100-year-old architectural gem still sparkles on Walnut Street

Photo by Molly Petrilla

In 1911, fresh from their success with the New York Public Library, noted architects Carrère and Hastings turned their attention to Philadelphia. Known for their Beaux-Arts creations, the New York-based duo was asked to design a new house of worship for the First Church of Christ Scientist. The result was the Rotunda – a striking building that still stands at 4014 Walnut Street, but now with a very different mission.

After purchasing the building in 1996, the University transformed the Rotunda into the thriving and diverse performance space it is today. Both students and community members perform and attend a variety of arts events there, from concerts and film screenings to dance and theatrical performances.

Gina Renzi, the Rotunda’s director, was kind enough to meet with me to discuss the 100-year-old space’s history, architectural elements, and cultural offerings. Here is the resulting video, chock full of photos and interesting facts:

Also, if you happen to be in Philadelphia this weekend, the Rotunda is presenting three performances of Le Dada Va Gaga dans 2011 — a site-specific dance/video work created for the Rotunda’s rarely seen sanctuary (seen in both the video above and the photo below). You can find all the relevant details on that performance here.

Photo by Molly Petrilla


Filed under Dance, Film, Heard on Campus, Music, Student Life, Theatre, Visual Art

WHYY: Penn is a highly “Creative Campus”

At 8:30 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, WHYY airs its Friday Arts program, which includes a segment called “Creative Campus.” Guess which university’s cultural centers have been featured back-to-back in the last two months. (Though I guess the name of this blog and the screenshot above are slight giveaways…)

First, this segment on the Kelly Writers House aired in December (it’s chapter 4 in the video).

Then this month, Creative Campus spotlighted the Morris Arboretum (chapter 2).

Earlier last year, Creative Campus also highlighted the Institute of Contemporary Art and WXPN/World Cafe Live.

Enjoy your virtual visit to each!

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Filed under Eco-Arts, Student Life, Written Word

More music from Scott Ordway Gr’13

It seems Scott Ordway — a Benjamin Franklin doctoral fellow in the Music Department — had an even busier day on Dec. 12 than I’d realized. While I mentioned the performance of his Sextet: Water Music in my post and video from the Penn Composer’s Guild concert, it turns out that wasn’t the only time his music was performed that day.

Just a few hours before the Composer’s Guild concert, Ordway — the composer-in-residence at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Philly — conducted his commissioned choral composition Missa Brevis for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The singers included St. Mary’s choir, along with professional singers and guest musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music.

Learn more about the piece here, and check out the University’s video below:

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Filed under Music, Student Life