Da Vinci Art Alliance’s robotic drawing arm, Henri, is helping them honor amazing Philadelphia heroes—medical workers, scientists, teachers, artists, and more—by drawing custom portraits of these vital, essential workers.  The project and online exhibit, called Everyday Genius, will feature these portraits in a celebration of Philadelphia’s unsung leaders and trailblazers who bring people together.

Using a photo provided by a nominated Genius, Henri will render their likeness in a drawing that will be shared—along with a story—on Da Vinci Art Alliance’s social media, a digital website archive, and in an upcoming professional exhibition at the organizations Da Vinci Fest.  The ultimate goal is to celebrate and highlight underrepresented voices, boast front-line workers, and increase arts engagement during the pandemic by inspiring positive and spreading hope.

“There are many shapes, sizes and environments where Everyday Genius is exemplified, including the achievements of Philadelphia’s teachers, artists, medical workers, scientists, and activists,” says Da Vinci Art Alliance’s Executive Director Jarrod Markman.  “Everyday Genius describes the unsung acts of leadership, innovation, and creativity that make our community so vibrant. Da Vinci Art Alliance is choosing to uncover the Everyday Genius of Philadelphia by highlighting leaders and trailblazers on social media, on their website, and in a professional exhibition at Da Vinci Fest in October 2020.”   If you’re interested in nominating an Everyday Genius for the project, visit https://davinciartalliance.org/everyday-genius.

Everyday Genius presented by PNC Arts Alive runs from June 2020 – December 2020. For more information on the campaign, please visit https://davinciartalliance.org/everyday-genius

ABOUT DA VINCI ART ALLIANCE: Founded by 9 Italian immigrant artists in 1931, Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) has continuously served as a space of creative refuge Our building in South Philadelphia was obtained in 1959 to provide community space and studio, and gallery spaces for our membership. DVAA members are a diverse group of adult creatives, including those with advanced degrees in their fields and those that are self-taught. Named the best place to buy affordable art (Philly Mag 2019), Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) builds community through 30+ free and engaging exhibitions annually and outreach programs for the public.

ABOUT DA VINCI FEST:  Famous for paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, Da Vinci also possessed a genius for technology, astronomy, engineering, botany, and more. Da Vinci challenged artists to ask big questions, ponder complex ideas, experiment with form, and create new ways of engaging with and sharing art.  With the support of local partners, Da Vinci Fest will celebrate how creativity manifests itself at the intersection of disciplines through events, exhibitions, and creative activities for the public.

One of Leonardo da Vinci’s keys to his creativity was his willingness to surrender preconceptions and honor the practice of research and learning. Da Vinci Art Alliance is looking to our namesake during this time, choosing to focus on their own sense of curiosity and creativity as they adapt to the pandemic in innovative ways. Da Vinci Art Alliance has been planning for Da Vinci Fest since summer 2019, with the launch scheduled for October 2020. Due to the worldwide pandemic, we still do not know what the next several months will look like and what government regulations will entail around social distancing and in-person events come this fall. In response to these factors, we will be launching an adapted iteration of the festival this October, we are calling Da Vinci Fest Live. Stay tuned for more details on Da Vinci Fest Live as they develop.

ABOUT PNC ARTS ALIVE: PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant initiative of PNC and the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Now in its eleventh year, PNC Arts Alive challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking in expanding audience participation and engagement. A very prestigious grant, just over 30 organizations were selected in 2019–and this notably includes several first-time grantees, through a newly expanded PNC Arts Alive initiative designed to support smaller, community-based arts and cultural organizations whose programming directly benefits the neighborhoods in which they operate.

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