Skip to content

Little Berlin Combines Art and Music.

June 14, 2012

Text by Chesney Davis. Images by Michael Bucher.

At Little Berlin, don’t expect the usual wine and hors d’oeuvre art-opening template. Instead, prepare for art that runs the gamut of traditional to highly conceptual, add a keg and often some kind of musical performance.

Started as an artist collective in 2007, it has since grown into a member run co-op, producing member-curated exhibitions accompanied by live music. Some of the Philadelphia-based acts that have performed there include Bleeding Rainbow, Acid Kicks and Quiet Quilt, among many others.

“Music is so accessible,” says Masha Badinter, who joined the collective in 2009.

Pairing art and music helps Little Berlin members present their shows in a more communal way.

“Live performances create a different context of art viewing because you’re not in this stale environment,” says Badinter. “There is music, and your friends are there, and there’s not as much pressure to sit there and understand the art. Its just more open and free flowing.”

The public has taken notice. In the five years Little Berlin has been in existence, the collective has gained a strong following and a reputation for exhibitions that have a welcoming social aspect.

“We’re really pushing to have more music,” says Little Berlin member Kelani Nichole.

One way that Nichole says that has developed is with Little Berlin’s partnership with Bands in the Backyard (BITBY) this summer. The monthly music web series and now promotional group has put together a music festival that is being held in the recently cleared out lot next door to the Viking Mill studio building, where Little Berlin resides.

The Fairground Festival is part of a Kickstarter campaign by BITBY, in which 50 percent of the funds raised will go to Little Berlin in their effort to match the $10,000 grant they were  awarded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“I just love that stage,” BITBY founder and editor Kyle Costill says about the courtyard leading into Little Berlin’s gallery.

The courtyard is where many of the collective’s past music shows have taken place. For Costill, he says, Little Berlin creates a special space for their audience.

“For people who are into music, they’re getting the added experience of seeing art,” he says. “And the people who are into art are getting the added experience of viewing bands.”

Nichole agrees. “There is a happening around the art,” she says. “It gets people out who would never seek out an exhibition. It has the effect of exposing more people in the community to the artwork.”

“Its kind of the nature of Little Berlin, too,” adds Nichole. “Little Berlin’s kind of like a platform to be open to the community to make crazy stuff like that happen.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: