Storefront Installation: Shale Play

Storefront Installation: Shale Play

Marcellus Shale is a rock and nothing but. The controversial exploitation of it as a resource from which natural gas can be extracted has brought it an unprecedented level attention; yet there is still a lack of understanding. Next City invites you to take a closer look at the issue of fracking (and the rock itself) through our next Storefront installation by artist Jennie Shanker, “Shale Play.”

Monday, April 22, 2013 – Saturday, May 18, 2013

Opening on April 22, 2013 at the Storefront for Urban Innovation, Philadelphia-based artist Jennie Shanker’s exhibition “Shale Play” invites viewers to consider the complexities of the issues around the practice of fracking by providing an opportunity to see and touch (and even take home) the rock that has sparked such hot debate across sectors and communities. Next City will host an opening reception with the artist on May 3, 2013, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. (first Friday!).

A professor of sculpture, art and design at Moore College of Art and Tyler School of Art, Shanker started the The Marcellus Clay Experiment blog to chronicle the questions, expeditions and experiments that arose from an initial mission to make clay from Marcellus Shale. Through this project, where she uses the shale material as a medium in her work, she attempts to unpack the social, economic, and health concerns that have affected communities concerned about drilling for natural gas. Her work has included the participation of scientists, farmers, artists and students, and bridges communities in an attempt to contribute to a deeper understanding of contentious issues which need to be addressed.

The New York Times described her project as “both a scientific exploration of what ‘the Marcellus’ is and an epistemological attempt to get past the reductive arguments for and against hydrofracturing”. The blog is intended as a source for important information on both sides of the argument, allowing viewers to consider the complexities of the issues involved, and decide for themselves.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from April 22 – May 18, 2013 during Storefront hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. The Storefront will be open on Saturday, May 18 for the Brewerytown Spring Festival: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

For more on the issue, check out an excerpt from Next City’s recent Forefront piece, Unnatural Gas by Sarah Goodyear.

Jennie Shanker: Marcellus Clay Experiment is now on display at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia from April 5 through April 28, 2013. You’re invited to a reception and lecture by Shanker on Thursday, April 11, 6:00 pm at The Clay Studio. To RSVP, please click here.


The Storefront for Urban Innovation
2711 W. Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA

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