When something exceeds your expectations it can be such a thrill.  Last evening I had a wonderful surprise.  I was invited by Anthropology to a special art exhibition, Urban Land Project, a photo projection series by Tim Simmons.  I had the date, time, and location correct and was heading to the Philadelphia Naval Yard for the event.  What I hadn’t realized is that it was being held at URBN’s headquarters!  More than a treat, the evening was a full on great experience in a modern nature-ized industrial space with elegant hors devours and delicious wine cocktails, all to honor art.  A perfect event!  Did I mention it was free?  And parking was close-by, easy and also no charge!


Signage that beckons you in!


The Library on the Main Floor

The Building, 543 is the only building of the six buildings that URBN occupies at the Navy Yard that is open to the public.  What I did learn is that anyone can come by to see the sights and have lunch at the café throughout the week.  Who knew?  It’s like a well- kept secret that I have never heard.  Anyway the chance to relax by the water with big ships near, cruise ships rolling by, on a lovely patio filled with bright green dining tables, chairs and umbrellas, nibbling on great foods, sipping a lovely cabernet, cool tunes wallowing gently in the air and noticing all the so hipply dressed attendees, well I was in my element.  I couldn’t have been happier and yet the photography show was still to come!


The Patio allows comfortable seating along the waterway


Great outfits, fab shoes!


Getting ready for the Photo Projection Show to begin

After about an hour of mixing it up on the patio, the group was shown just indoors to a screening room and we were introduced to the nature of the project, the curator, and the artist.  Tim Simmons is the photographer that created the works shared with us and moving and impressive the presentation was.  I was especially struck that we were able to view the images uninterrupted by light, motion, or sound.  Each work of art appeared on screen for at least 30 seconds, enough time to view and contemplate and literally feel the locales represented.  I so enjoyed his incredibly beautiful images and as a photographer myself noticed the intricate lighting and sharp focus from foreground to background that must have taken enormous contemplation and experimentation to get just right.   All in all, it was extraordinary art, in a fascinating and enjoyable venue and a compelling presentation.  Basically, I loved it!


Night falls outside the window at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

If you want to learn about the project and the work of photographer Tim Simmons, go to UrbanLandProject or to The Anthropologist.  As a lover of all things art I couldn’t be happier that people are doing this kind of work.   On the website there are maps of other installations of the photography in and around Philadelphia and LA.  On our way home we drove 95 north to see three gorgeous billboards.  What a glorious concept right!  I have to quote a great line on their website:  “Our premise is simple: we expose those who move us in order to move you, knowing that sharing creativity in turn kindles it.”  Way cool!


Great stalks of Bamboo


So I finished the evening with a profound gratitude for having been present to experience such a well- conceived project and powerful showing and a desire to learn more about the company behind it all, URBN. I’ve loved their brands, Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters, now I shall return for lunch I do believe, definitely to feel the vibe there once again.  Care to join me?

Enjoy a few images of the mighty cool Building 543 at URBN.   No camera along that night so it’s all the iphone!


Goodnight URBN, be back soon!