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|Art 101 Presents
|Demolition Of The Tannery Payloader
|Demolition Of The Tannery Wall
Jennifer Baker’s paintings and monoprints are about the life, death and rebirth of a city
neighborhood as she experienced it during three decades as an artist living and working in
Northern Liberties. Throughout that period, she painted the fires and the wrecking balls, the
dumpers and the downtrodden residents, and the builders and new streetscape that eventually
emerged – a whole cycle of urban life in motion around her.
The images constitute a visual diary of that convulsive change – a once-thriving neighborhood
abandoned; the abandoned then caught up in demolitions and fires; new growth finally replacing
the emptiness – a neighborhood going to nowhere and back.
|The Tannery 55 Gallon Drums
|View From Our Roof Fire At The Factory
|Remains Bodine and Wildey Street
In the 1970s, Baker and other artists saw the decline of Northern Liberties as an opportunity:
emptying factories, workshops and rowhouses provided cheap living and studio space. And so they
began moving in.
|Abandoned Car American Street
What a place it actually proved to be. Baker’s images amount to a little epic of what happened on
the often-dramatic journey from 1978 to 2011. Baker’s paintings and monoprints range from the
period in the 1980s, when fires and demolition eliminated abandoned factories, tanneries and crack
houses, to the 21st century when the cleared spaces brought in new buildings and new residents.
Throughout this period, as the old workplaces and rowhouses disappeared, churches remained
stalwarts of the streetscape, serving as visual anchors, even as their parishioners died and moved
away. Their presence is a reminder of a past era.
Jennifer Baker is a painter and sculptor who has worked in Northern Liberties since 1978. She
attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Philadelphia College of Art (now
University of the Arts) as well as the Art Students League in NY. Baker has shown her work at Art
101 and Pleiades Galleries in New York and Nexus Gallery, F.A.N. Gallery, More Gallery, and The
Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. She was selected for a Challenge Exhibit at Fleisher Art
Memorial in 1997. Baker received a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant in 2010, a
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship for Works on Paper in 1993, and was
a finalist for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 1997.