Spencer Finch, a New York-based artist known for sculpture, installations, and drawings that capture fleeting natural phenomena and sensory experience, will create an interactive work on the RiverLink ferry that operates between Philadelphia and Camden. In Whitman’s day, a number of ferries connected the two cities, but today only one ferry runs, from May to September. Finch’s piece will directly link Whitman’s journey in the late 19th century to today’s visitors’ experience of the river. Ferry-goers will match the color of the sky and water by spinning two color wheels of Pantone swatches Finch selected after observing the ever-changing tones of the Delaware river and the sky above it. The ferry will fly two color flags each day, one the color of the sky and one the color of the water. Finch has created a number of works inspired by writers including Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and Whitman. He is the only artist to create a work for the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Finch also created an installation for the High Line in New York titled The River that Flows Both Ways, inspired by the color and movement of the Hudson River.
*First launch is on May 11 and 12. All ferry-goers can experience the artwork through September. The RiverLink Ferry runs weekends only through May 26, from 10am to 6pm. Starting May 27 it runs every day from 10 to 6. Please make sure to check hours of operation before planning your trip. Tickets can be purchased on-site.
This installation is organized in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Libraries with major support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.