MAY 1, 2012—It may not be the end of the world, but it is the end of plans for a 25-ton sand sculpture on The Porch in front of Amtrak 30th Street Station.
On Monday morning, Greg and Brandi Glenn, the California sand artist couple, began the 25-ton sand project for the Penn Museum, to herald the world premiere of MAYA 2012: Lords of Time, a new exhibition opening May 5. They had plans to sculpt a larger than life recreation of Altar Q, a famous monument from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan in Honduras.
After the sand arrived, some concerns developed because the sculpture was being created on a PennDOT bridge structure. University City District, partner of the project, was then informed that a series of approvals would be needed, taking several days in order for the project to move forward—time the sculptors did not have.
“We are sorry not to be able to present this sand sculpture, intended to celebrate the great Maya art of Copan, Honduras, as we herald the opening of MAYA 2012: Lords of Time—but we are mindful that it is not the end of the world!” noted Dr. Richard Hodges, Penn Museum Director. “Our new exhibition explores the supposed ‘end of the world’ predictions of the ancient Maya—and we hope that area residents and Amtrak riders alike will come to Penn Museum to see the rich art and culture in this great show—while there is still time!”
Famous Maya Monument from Copan, Honduras to be Re-Imagined in Sand
Before World Premiere Opening of Penn Museum’s MAYA 2012: Lords of Time
PHILADELPHIA—In honor of the world premiere opening of MAYA 2012: Lords of Time, Penn Museum, in partnership with the University City District, has invited California sand sculpture artists Greg and Brandi Glenn to re-create a larger-than-life, famous ancient Maya monument known as Altar Q at the new “Porch” just outside Amtrak 30th Street Station.
The artists begin Monday morning, April 30—working to complete the massive sculpture by May 5, as MAYA 2012 opens to the public at the Penn Museum, just a short distance from the train station. All are welcome to watch the artists at work.
With this 25-ton, larger-than-life recreation of the famous monument, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, the University City District, and the City of Philadelphia celebrate the spirit of collaboration and friendship with Honduras—a country with a rich and diverse history and cultural heritage.
Special Public Reception
On Thursday, May 3, at 5:00 pm, visitors to the sand sculpture can meet the Ambassador of Honduras, His Excellency Jorge Ramon Hernández-Alcerro; Tourism Attaché Carlos Felipe Agurcia; Cultural Attaché Karol Escalante; Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle; Honduran archaeologist and Executive Director of the Copan Association; Richard Hodges, Penn Museum Director; and Loa Traxler, Penn Museum Curator, MAYA 2012, with sand sculpture artists Greg and Brandi Glenn.
About Altar Q
Found at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan in Honduras, Altar Q was carved from stone during the reign of King Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat in AD 776. The 16 Kings of Copan—the “Lords of Time” in the Penn Museum’s world premiere exhibition—are all depicted, four to a side. Each ruler is seated on a Maya hieroglyph that bears his name or title. Beginning with Yax Ku’k’ Mo’, Founder of the Copan dynasty and first ruler in AD 427, the monument spans 350 years of carefully recorded time. On one side, the Founder hands a symbol of power to Yax Pasaj, a gesture to show that Yax Pasaj was a worthy and rightful member of this long lineage.
About MAYA 2012: Lords of Time
Penn Museum, in collaboration with the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia of the Republic of Honduras, confronts our fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization. Maya objects from Copan, including artifacts recently excavated by Penn Museum archaeologists, are featured. www.penn.museum/2012
Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia
From the Porch at 30th Street Station: a 20-minute walk, a 5-minute cab ride, or by bus: LUCY or 30.
Photo: Close up of figures on Altar Q, photo courtesy Kenneth Garrett.