By Beth U.
For his installation reForm, artist Pepón Osorio relocated a classroom from the closed Fairhill Elementary School to another classroom – at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in North Philadelphia, a mile from Fairhill.
To find reForm, you have to wander through Tyler’s occupied basement studios until, pushing through some double doors, you come across a row of cubbies from Fairhill. Jackets and backpacks hang from coat hooks. A stuffed bobcat, the school’s mascot, peers at you from atop a stack of books. Turn the corner, and a life-sized cutout of Fairhill’s former principal, Darlene Lomax-Garrett, welcomes you to the installation.
When the School District closes a school, as it did Fairhill and 23 other schools in 2013, it also closes conversation with affected communities. A web of ties, memories, and meanings attach to schools that go beyond the education once provided there. A line of community investment is severed when the building is no longer public.
[Read the rest of this article at The Public School Notebook.]