BE/LONGING: The New Community-Building Art Exhibit

By Brianna V. RSS Mon, July 1, 2024

Now through Tuesday, October 1, Parkway Central Library is hosting an exhibition to showcase collaborative new artwork, BE/LONGING.

Visitors can examine art created by workshop participants throughout the city expressing what "belonging" means to them.


BE/LONGING anchors itself in a series of Free Library workshops led by Philadelphia-born artist Joanne Grüne-Yanoff and includes participation from kids, teens, adults, elders, those with vision impairments and sighted individuals, lifelong residents, and new arrivals. 

Grüne-Yanoff, a transdisciplinary artist based in Stockholm, Sweden, and Philadelphia, collaborated with the Free Library’s Curator of Exhibitions, Suzanna Urminska, to create the workshops at various library branches. They included Parkway Central, TaconyMcPherson Square, and Thomas Donatucci Sr. 

The resulting exhibition now lives at the Parkway Central Library and is on view through October 1. It includes:

  • Banners incorporating quotes from workshop participants on belonging
  • Embossed/braille images and text of the banners for those who are visually impaired
  • An audio piece with layers of sound, including workshop participants talking about belonging
  • Related artworks created for the glass cases at Parkway Central’s West Gallery 1
  • Typewriters (braille and standard) for visitors to share their thoughts on belonging, which will be incorporated into the exhibition

These art pieces comprise a community-based story of BE/LONGING throughout Philadelphia. We are excited for residents and visitors to join in and contribute to the story.

Interested in a group tour? Contact Suzanna Urminska, Curator of Exhibitions, at to schedule a visit and hear more from the artist and curator through a hybrid walkthrough. Tours are currently being booked for the weeks of July 22 and September 9, and additional slots may be added based on interest, so please reach out with your requests!

Learn more about BE/LONGING.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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