June 24, 2016/posted in: Announcements, Exhibitions

Artship Olympia

Two new installations by Hironaka & Suib are included in Philadelphia Sculptors and the Independence Seaport Museum collaborative exhibition Artship Olympia on view June 25 through October 2 2016. The exhibition features sixteen site-specific art installations on Cruiser Olympia’s interior and exterior decks, curated by Philadelphia Sculptors.

The National Historic Landmark ship transforms into an art gallery for a limited time, hi lighting each artist’s personal interpretation of the vessel, while giving voice and vision to the ship’s history and culture.

Leslie Kaufman, Director of Philadelphia Sculptors, explains the impact of the exhibition: “By integrating contemporary art with nautical history, the artist reinvigorate Olympia to appeal to a new and wider audience. The installations range from humorous to provocative and mysterious, and make the lives and experiences of Olympia’s sailors accessible in ways not otherwise possible.”

The exhibition showcases seventeen renowned artists from across the United States, with the majority hailing from the Greater Philadelphia area. Hironaka & Suib, Elizabeth Mackie, Mary Mattingly, Joanna Platt and Nathan Solomon and Kevin Blythe Sampson are featured artists, invited to participate in Artship Olympia. Additional artists were selected by jury: Craig Bruns (Chief Curator, Independence Seaport Museum), Jesse Lebovics (formerly the Director of Historic Ships, Independence Seaport Museum), Pepón Osorio (Community and Installation Artist and Professor, Tyler School of Art), and Sara Reitman (Curator and Artistic Director, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation). For a complete list of artists and project descriptions, visit

Cruiser Olympia is the sole naval warship of the Spanish-American War to still remain afloat. During her lifetime, she served as Admiral Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay. Her last official mission was to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from France to the United States in 1921. The vessel presents a complex history for artists to draw inspiration from.

Hironaka & Suib respond to the history thats represented at the site through a contemporary lens. In this case, the lens is one of 120 years of American involvement in foreign wars, beginning with the Spanish-American war up to our present day conflicts.