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As our ride drives off and leaves us on a quiet street in Philadelphia, we were able to take our first breath since arriving in the city of brotherly love.

The birth place of America has experienced the same economic stresses and strains of late that have befallen so many of the great American cities. Like its cousins elsewhere in the US, Phily's economic downturn has created a vacuum, that has been eagerly filled by artists and makers.

One such space is TRACTION COMPANY. Under its lofty pitched roof there is a hive of activity, with grinding, etching, painting, bending, welding, carving and just about any other artistic pursuit you can think of taking place. This industrial scale art space is home to a collective of artists who work in a myriad of mediums and scales – from large sculptures and installations to intricate wood block prints and illustration.

The space had an incredible welcoming atmosphere considering the scale of the building and the heavy industrial nature of the equipment housed within. This, of course, is down to the people who work and create there.

The group are planning an artists in residence program and have recently embarked on their first curatorial works as a group – instaling large scale print works within the bricked up windows which run the length of the building. These provide a wonderful platform for artists to show work, and a much needed injection of art on a cold winters day.

Words by my guest on the day, Sharpy from WASTED SPACES



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