Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

Get our monthly newsletter in your inbox for the latest on cultural events, ideas, conversations, and grantmaking news in Philadelphia and beyond.

Main page contents
Installation view of Temple Contemporary's reFORM exhibition, 2015. Photo by Tim Gibbon.

Questions of Practice: Artist Pepón Osorio on the Role of the Arts in Expanding Dialogue Beyond the “Local”

In conjunction with Temple Contemporary’s project reFORM, we sat down with visual artist and Pew Fellow Pepón Osorio to talk about the relationship between artistic practice and “the local.” Osorio sees his practice as a means of “expanding the conversation” about critical social issues into a broader context beyond a project’s immediate environment.

Artist Pepón Osorio on the role of the arts in expanding dialogue beyond the “local.” Filmed at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania on September 8, 2015.

Pepón Osorio is a visual artist best known for his large-scale, baroque, and polemically charged installations, which merge conceptual art and community dynamics. A 2006 Pew Fellow and MacArthur Fellow, Osorio’s work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art; El Museo del Barrio; Smithsonian American Art Museum; El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico; and El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, among others. With Center support, Temple Contemporary commissioned Osorio to create reFORM, an immersive installation and discussion space creatively addressing the loss experienced when a school closes.