Kensington is a constantly growing neighborhood, with a thriving amount of buildings, businesses, and events to match. Located in the Riverwards section of Philadelphia, Kensington was initially known for its shipping and manufacturing industry, and later grew into one of Philly’s largest textile hubs. In recent years, Kensington has grown into a major hub for entrepreneurs and artists which has revitalized many of the neighborhood’s historic buildings. Kensington also boasts a number of exciting events including the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival, a mix of food, art, and celebrating community pride. 3060 Amber Street is nestled right into this vibrant neighborhood, where there are some great active artists' lofts. It really is an amazing time to enjoy the arts in Kensington.
First up are The PaperMill Community of Artists. They are located at 2825 Ormes Street, just a short walk from 3060 Amber Street. The former paper mill (hence the name) stands at 5 stories tall and boasts a gallery, theater, and individual artist studios. There's also an amazing open floor where the artists' can host workshops and events. You'll be sure to always find something exciting happening here. Check out Myung Gyung You's work. He is an installation artist who works with the large space to build amazing sculptures!
Right down the block, are the Amber Street Studios. They are located at 3233 Amber Street. This old warehouse now houses glass blowing studios and several burgeoning Philadelphia artists. There is a modern painter Aissulu Kadyzhanova, a photographer Karl Seifert, and a glassblower Eva Shelly. Amber Street Studios even offers glass blowing classes!
Finally, there is The Loom Philly, probably the largest artist community in the area. It's located at 3245 Amber Street, and was once a knitting mill. The Loom hosts some great new art related businesses, like our friends at Fireball Printing. Fireball is the best place to get something quality printed in Philadelphia. The price is always right and the turnaround is at lighting speed. They also have their own gallery called Pterodactyl. Also in The Loom is The Ceramic Shop. The owner, Mark Lueders, started the business as a way to help ceramicists get quality goods at a fair price. He is also a professor at the University of the Arts; Jeanne's alma-mater!
We couldn't be more excited about the growth in Kensington, a neighborhood well known for revitalizing spaces. Kensington is shaping up to get another makeover through the Orinoka Civic House, a housing project from the New Kensington Community Development Corporation. The project officially kicked off last October, and the compound will consist of single & two bedroom units, NKCDC offices, and commercial spaces. As you can probably tell, Kensington is a special place for us, even two of our Home Girls live here! Be sure to spend your next First Friday checking out the events at these artist's communities.