For November’s First Friday — the monthly arts block party in Old City — Street took to the sidewalks to find some dorm decor on the cheap. Meet the artists of our favorite pieces!

Most of the artwork hanging on the walls of galleries packed with the First Friday crowd is probably out of the price range for Penn students, but those looking to decorate their rooms with something other than the oversized James Dean and Jimmy Hendrix posters sold outside of the Penn Bookstore every year might want to take a look just outside the exhibitions. Navigating through spoken–word poets, costumed teenagers selling baked goods, and a peculiar man peddling “short stories,” we found some gems on the sidewalks lining 2nd Street this First Friday. Here we present to you the treasures we uncovered among Pikachu paintings and airbrushed Love Statue silhouette art.

Selling for the first time at First Friday, Madeleine mans her stand of tribal–esque masks, pictures and sculptures. Madeleine, who is new to Philadelphia from Ghana, offers an outpost of art for those looking for contemporary African ceramic works. Her works would be sure to give any space an exotic feel.

Haunting Indian–inspired wax transfers are a dimunitive way to give your space a quaint charm. Candace, the vendor of these unique pieces (photographs of colorful places and faces reiterated on pieces of wood) shared with us a few images that she thinks are simply “pretty.” And they are affordable! One transfer retails for $15.

Outside the Arden Theater Co. stood a small table with a variety of sculptures. Made of sheet metal, pipes and plates, these two–to-three–foot–tall sculptures are exquisitely organic compositions with smooth bronzed curves and thin metal spirals. Ask the artist, Eugene, for your sculpture's name — he titles them after “concepts that relate to people.” Our favorite? “Protective Love.”

When you’re done decorating your space, you can decorate yourself. Amber’s original necklaces are composed of real keyholes, keys and even the innards of her old digital camera. Expanding on the idea of found-hardware jewely, Amber, one half the duo Feathergunlab, also sells other pieces that are sure to make one stand out in a crowd of Urban–Outfitted fashionistas.

Ranging from stationary to silkscreens, etchings and lithographs, Kristen’s handmade prints offer an array of paper-based pizazz. Some are handmade from maps while others include colorful birds from antique encyclopedias. Her works could be a perfect accent for your dormroom desk, a one-of–a–kind thank you card, or just something to cover up the blah–beige of your corkboard.


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