[NEWS] Prestigious Rittenhouse art festival to include formerly homeless artists
This weekend, America's oldest outdoor show of original art will take place in Philadelphia. The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show is celebrating its 90th year.
For the first time, the competitive exhibition will feature art by formerly homeless people.
As one of the most prestigious open-air art markets in the country, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show maintains high standards. All the artists are vetted and there is a long list of rules they must abide.
For example, nothing can be sold for less than $35, and most pieces are priced significantly higher. Compare that to its downmarket cousin, Art for the Cash Poor, operating simultaneously at the Crane Arts Building in Kensington this weekend. Art for the Cash Poor enforces a mandatory price cap, where nothing can be sold for more than $199.
Former board member Richard Rossello floated the idea of inviting residents of Project HOME - an organization offering housing and services to homeless people in Philadelphia - to participate in the Rittenhouse Square show. There was some push-back. Some on the board were protective of the show's reputation for high-quality work.
"We wanted to make sure that bringing in another organization was going to stay on the same level as the rest of the exhibitors," said board member Sandra Sedmak Engel.