Grumman Greenhouse

PAFA Presents Work by Emerging Artist Jordan Griska for Lenfest Plaza

A former US military plane with the new mission to harbor plants

Grumman Greenhouse, is a sculpture by Philadelphia artist Jordan Griska commissioned by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) for the newly constructed Lenfest Plaza.

Grumman Tracker II was a 45-foot-long cold war era Naval plane with a 73’ wingspan, used to bomb submarines. Griska obtained the decommissioned plane and folded the metal of the nose and body of the plane so that it appears to be crumpling into the platform. In addition, he turned the existing sections of the plane into working greenhouses, leading to the name if the piece - Grumman Greenhouse.

“These repurposed finished pieces simultaneously lead the viewer to contemplate the history of ‘the thing’ while changing the function of the object,” says Jordan Griska, 2008 PAFA alumnus. “Halting the actions of this machine by grounding it in Lenfest Plaza will turn this mobile weapon into a stationary iconic object.”

The inside of the plane grows nutritive and medicinal plants, provided by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and uses the edible growth for City Harvest, which feeds low income families in the region.

“Jordan’s work engages us in social and environmental issues in extraordinary ways,” says PAFA President & CEO David R. Brigham. “I am pleased to see our alumni creating such ambitious and challenging work. Grumman Greenhouse will be a great start to the temporary sculpture program in Lenfest Plaza.”

Griska's Grumman Greenhouse inaugurates the temporary exhibitions program in Lenfest Plaza. Complementing the permanent, site-specific work by Oldenburg, the platform at the west end of the plaza will display projects by emerging and established artists.

About Lenfest Plaza:
Unifying PAFA's campus, Lenfest Plaza stands between PAFA's Historic Landmark and Samuel M.V. Hamilton buildings. The new civic space offers public outdoor seating and rotating works of emerging and established artists in an urban setting. It was designed by internationally renowned landscape architecture firm OLIN.  

LenfestPlaza is made possible by a generous gift from Marguerite and H. F. Gerry Lenfest with additional financial support from the City of Philadelphia and many other generous patrons.

Read what the Art Blog had to share about the installation here.
Click here to read what Stephan Salisbury at the Philadelphia Inquirer said about Grumman Greenhouse.
Check out this article and video from
Peter Crimmins at WHYY.


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