The 32nd Annual Wyck-Strickland Award Honors Penny Balkin Bach
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | at the Science History Institute in Old City, Philadelphia
Co-Chairs: Alan Greenberger and Barbara Aronson
Dinner Committee: Margot Berg, Ann Blair & David Brownlee, John Carr, Joan Reilly & Michael DiBeradinis, Cecilia Fitzgibbon, Robert & Susan Fleming, Nancy A. Goldenberg, Derek Jones, Paul R. Levy, Diane Newbury, Victoria M. Steiger & Laurie D. Olin, Jane Pepper, Jody Pinto, Siobhan A. Reardon, Timothy Rub, Barbara Snitzer Solit, Harris M. Steinberg, Gail Harrity & Sandy Tilney, Sue K. Weiler, Signe Wilkinson, Ted & Stevie Wolf
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The Wyck-Strickland award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia through work that reflects a drive for progress and modernity with a sensitivity to the past.
PENNY BALKIN BACH is the Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Association for Public Art (aPA). A curator, writer, and educator who provides artistic direction for the organization, she is well known for her work with artists and for her innovative approaches to connecting public art with its audiences. She supports the creation of opportunities for new works by artists and creative professionals, promotes the interpretation of art in public spaces, and advocates for the responsible stewardship of public art. Bach has been a participant on numerous local, national, and international public art juries and conservation advisory committees. She has served on the national Public Art Network (PAN) Council, an advisory body to the Americans for the Arts; and currently serves on the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Philadelphia, where she is Chair of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee.
Bach has organized major, influential public art projects, including Form and Function and New•Land•Marks: public art, community and the meaning of place, as well as large-scale installations by acclaimed artists Martin Puryear (Big Bling), Cai Guo-Qiang (Fireflies) and Jennifer Steinkamp (Winter Fountains). In recent years, Bach has been responsible for the permanent installation of sculptures by Mark di Suvero, Roxy Paine and Barbara Hepworth. She helped to bring Robert Indiana’s AMOR to Philadelphia, securing its place in the city’s collection of public art.
In Philadelphia, Bach established one of the first outdoor sculpture conservation programs in the nation, and as arts advocate she represented the public interest in the complex regulatory and legal proceedings that protected The Dream Garden by Maxfield Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Bach is Executive Producer of Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO, a multi-platform, interactive, award-winning audio guide created to engage the public with Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of outdoor sculpture. The author of the landmark book Public Art in Philadelphia, she has written and lectured extensively about public art and the environment.
She received the national College Art Association’s Public Art Dialogue (PAD) Award for Achievement in the Field of Public Art, and was the recipient of the inaugural Tyler Tribute Award for “her unparalleled contributions to public art in the City of Philadelphia and to global awareness of the importance of art in our society.”
Moore College of Art & Design awarded her an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Bach is a BFA graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and received an MA in Visual Communications and Social Organization from Goddard College in Vermont.
About the Association for Public Art (aPA)
The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) commissions, preserves, interprets, and promotes public art in Philadelphia. The aPA is the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a “Museum Without Walls” that informs, engages, and inspires diverse audiences. Supporting originality and innovation while honoring the past, aPA advances opportunities for creative people to contribute to the city’s places and spaces. Established in 1872, aPA integrates public art and urban design through exemplary programs and advocacy efforts that connect people with public art.