The fall season ushers in bursts of new hues and dynamic displays at Longwood Gardens’ multidimensional “Autumn’s Colors,” September 10–November 20. Highlights include the Thousand Bloom Mum, North America’s largest mum, and the Flower Garden Walk. Paul B. Redman, executive director for Longwood Gardens, says the Chrysanthemum Festival, with over 80,000 blooms in the garden’s four-acre conservatory, takes center stage during “Autumn’s Colors.” “We grow our mums into unique forms and shapes, including giant orbs, shields, spirals, and more” he says, “It really is something to see.”
An artist whose vivid murals decorate Philadelphia from the Market-Frankford SEPTA train to galleries and school ceilings, Ben Volta says his work is rooted in education and exploration. Volta’s “Pattern Process” is on view at the PAFA Alumni gallery starting September 21 at the Furness and Hewitt Historic Landmark Building. “The installation will feature pattern fragments from multiple projects suspended above on clotheslines,” Volta says. “I want to explore the creative process as a cycle that is revisited over and over again. Can art, ideas, and style be like laundry: washed, reworn, and hung up to dry?”
A PAFA alumnus and still active in the local art scene despite living in Santa Fe, Jonathan Hertzel’s watercolor painting and bronze sculpture exhibit “When Sparks Fly” is featured at the James A. Michener Art Museum September 24–January 1. Chief Curator Kirsten Jensen says Hertzel’s work reinvigorates Michener’s commitment to contemporary sculpture. “Hertzel’s work is significant because it represents the intersection of nature and spirit, of the abstract and the real,” she says. “In an age obsessed with social media and selfies, Hertzel’s work returns us to the fundamentals of art and experience, reconnecting us with our humanity and soul.”
For an explosion of original entertainment all over Philadelphia, look no further than the Fringe Arts Festival. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in Philly, the 17-day fête starts September 9 with a melange of contemporary performance, from theater and music to spoken-word and visual arts. Hosting upwards of 1,000 experimental and cutting-edge shows, entertainers will inundate the city’s big-name theaters as well as bars and even vacant lots. Anniversary year or not, it may be hard for the Fringe to top last year’s hottest ticket, when Pig Iron Theatre Company and indie rock band Dr. Dog teamed up for a show at Union Transfer.