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Barnes Jawn(t)

Obvious Agency, 2018/19


A jaunt is defined as a fun, short trip. In Philadelphia, jawn is a catch-all word for anything—a thing, place, person, or event.


A commission for the Barnes Foundation, we put the two together to create a distinctly Philly jawn—Barnes Jawn(t)s, a series of improvised jaunts through The Barnes Foundation collection guided by fascinating local personalities.


These off-the-cuff, sure-to-run-off-the-rails tours are led by artists, community leaders, and performers—all experts in their fields.


Commissioned by the Barnes Foundation 2018 & 2019


Production Team

Created by

Joseph Ahmed, Daniel Park, Arianna Gass

2018 Tour Guides

Rev. Nicholas Rourke, Ashley Vogel, Shani Akilah, Elicia Gonzales, Chris Grant, Jas Morrell, Morgan Fitzpatrick-Andrews, Ariell R. Johnson, Mo Manklang, Madhusmita Bora


2019 Tour Guides

Esteban Kelly, HoneyTree EvilEye, Wit López, Marángeli Mejía Rabell, Mel Hsu, Starfire


2018 photos by Meryl Sands

* All footage courtesy of the Barnes Foundation

Community on "Barnes Jawn(t)"

“I absolutely see this project as a disruption of space—disruption of elitist space, disruption of straight, cis, white space, disruption of colonial sensibilities.”

– Shani Akilah, 2018 tour guide

"By inviting community activists to serve as docents and make up the stories behind its art, the Barnes is disrupting itself—and connecting to its founder’s anti-elitist philosophy."


– Colin Lodewick, The Philadelphia Citizen

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