Philadelphia is filled to the brim with interesting art galleries, exhibits, and installations that come and go so quickly that you only hear of them after the fact. This February, take in all the galleries on your bucket list with a date—the ones you’ll never get around to seeing to unless you pick a time, place, and person to go see them with. Show your date your mastery of high culture or laugh together at tasteful nudes. Museums and galleries are a great place to get to know the unknown about your potential partner—sometimes seeing how they react to Potato Jesus tells you all you need to know. 

First on the list is an exhibit close to campus at the ICA. This isn’t a huge time commitment, no SEPTA or Uber coordination is needed, and its current exhibit plays with elements of video games, fandoms, desire, and Queer play. Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward allows you to take a look at human desires (beyond the heteropatriarchy) through the more playful lens of video games. Even if you aren’t big on games yourself, it’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and see the installations that are right next door. After you go through the gallery, you can stop at Elixr Coffee in the lobby to discuss what you thought over massive cookies and caffeine. Read Street’s take on the exhibit here.


Photo: Emma Boey


Next on the list is the Chuck Close Photographs exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. This exhibit features ninety images over the span of Chuck Close’s career from 1964 to the present. There’s a photograph in this gallery that can draw anyone in: from portraits of celebrities and politicians (Alec Baldwin, Hillary Clinton), to flowers, self–portraits, or polaroids. This is a great first date spot for people who are wading into the art world. It also gets you into the city so you can grab lunch or dinner afterwards. 

Another great Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts exhibit is Beyond Boundaries: Feminine Forms, which gives you a chance to subvert and explore the male (and female) gaze as you discover different expressions of the female form with your date (Ed. note: wink). This may seem intimidating, or a little awkward, but it’s a great way to look at a collection of art that features over 72 female artists and covers all forms, from paintings to sculptures to prints. If you and your date want to get to know each other on a deeper level than you would at dinner and a movie, this exhibit is for you.

For those who aren’t too fond of galleries, but don’t mind the cold weather, there are collections of murals spread throughout the city about love and companionship. Steve Powers' A Love Letter For You is one of the most popular collections of murals in Philly history, consisting of 50 murals along Market Street focused on love between individuals and love for the city of Philadelphia. This is an incredible way to take in art and explore Philadelphia with your date—you can see all of the murals in one go, or take a break to get lunch or drinks along the way. If walking (or the cold) isn’t your thing, you can also check out a series of train tours that will do the legwork for you. 

Go out, grab someone, and take in the culture that Philly has to offer. When another exhibit opens after the first date, you’ll have a perfect excuse to plan date number two. 


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