2 new exhibitions at Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Art Alliance will host a pair of new exhibitions by artists pursuing narrative explorations of childcare and motherhood.

Parallel Play by Eleanor Anderson and Morgan Thomas Shankweiler and I’ll Carry It For You by Krista Dedrick-Lai will be on display at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine St., from March 1-19 with an opening reception on March 4 from 4-7 p.m. 

According to the artists, Parallel Play is an exhibition examining the relationships between work, play and social discourse. Through a balance of finished work and a series of interactive games, Parallel Play provides a non-threatening perspective through which to recognize the importance of playfulness within art-making, and life in general. The exhibition ultimately examines the agency of the artist-creator, the agency of the gallery visitor, and social agency within communities and greater society. Though the artists themselves approach the idea of play differently, the commonality of play-as-process is made visible in the work. The artists nudge the viewer toward joy, connection and an awareness of how a playful approach to life can alter how we engage with the world around us.

I’ll Carry It For You is a collection of “treasures” by Dedrick-Lai that were found during walks in Philadelphia. Dedrick-Lai says, “Beads, bits of broken metal, mysterious pieces of plastic and single earrings are all things we have collected. Sometimes a treasure is something that catches my attention. A bit of beauty in one of many piles of trash on a curb or sandwiched between sidewalk cracks. Over time this practice has become symbolic of my constant process of metabolizing my hopes and fears for my child’s future. I safe-guard his hopes, wishes, interests and self-regard in my heart, mind and behavior. Similarly, I hold and carry the rocks and beads he collects in my pockets, handbag or bare hands. I strive to honor his treasures and his heart with my actions and words, symbolic or otherwise. And I hope I am preparing him to be resilient in the face of uncertainty. To be radically joyful even in the darkest of times.”