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August 10, 2017

Photos: Swarm of 'Fireflies' to take over the Parkway

Centennial celebration brings large-scale public art exhibition to the Parkway

Art Exhibition Celebrations
Carroll - Pedicabs Public Art Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang rode a completed pedicab around an outdoor space in Kensington during the massive assembly process where 900 lights were affixed to 27 pedal-powered carts. The art exhibition is being produced for the upcoming centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

As part of the grand centennial celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, artist Cai Guo-Qiang is bringing a large-scale art exhibition of 27-pedicabs affixed with around 900 LED lanterns to swarm the street from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition, "Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies,"  will take place Sept. 15 through Oct. 8, 2017, Thursdays through Sundays, 6-10pm, with an opening celebration and artist performance on Sept. 14. Free public rides in the pedicabs will be offered along the Parkway from Sister Cities Park at Logan Square to Iroquois Park across from Eakins Oval beginning on Sept. 15. 

Earlier this week, artist Cai Guo-Qiang was in Kensington for the massive installation of the roughly-900 lanterns to the pedicabs. Below is a series of images following the tedious installation of the handmade lanterns. 

More information can be found at the Association for Public Art

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A rotating staff of art handlers meticulously assemble the pedicabs, adding plywood, steel, wire and lanterns to the fleet of 27.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Lead artist Cai Guo-Qiang posed for photographers in a large workspace on North Mascher Street in Kensington.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Around 1000 handmade lanterns will be individually wired and affixed to the pedicabs before the upcoming inaugural ride to celebrate the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang laughed and exclaimed, “This is me, I am the E.T.” as he rode a pedicab around the outdoor space.