Meet the Teams: Amy Orr and Humphrey’s Textile / Cover Sports U.S.A.

Structure and Surface participating artist Amy Orr is a longtime Philadelphian who grew up in Savannah GA, and recently left a tenured teaching job at Rosemont College to focus on her art.

“I kept teaching as an adjunct,” she told her project collaborators at the June 19 Structure and Surface meeting. “This is my first semester not teaching since I quit.”

Orr has been involved in Fiber Philadelphia for the last two years, and her work focuses on post-consumer products – drug paraphernalia, chicken bones, both of which draw from her West Philadelphia neighborhood.

Her current work creates bowls and place settings out of credit cards, which she views in the same way as drug paraphernalia.

“Plastic cards are a real problem,” Orr said. “They’re non-recyclable, they have PVC, they have metal strips in them. It’s my job to figure out what to do with them.”

She collects secondhand cards from friends and neighbors to use in her art, which inspired a piece called “Faith.” “It’s about people trusting me not to actually use the cards,” she said.

Orr will be paired with Humphrey’s Textile / Cover Sports U.S.A., which specializes in products for the athletic industry. Humphreys marketing director Shana Brenner told the group that the business dates back to 1874, known then as R.A. Humphreys, which specialized in drop cloths, tarpaulin and covers for horse-drawn wagons.

It morphed into creating a variety of other products over the years, splitting off into Cover Sports with its sport product line, but continued its roots on the industrial side.

“We’re not a weaver of fabrics,” Brenner said. “We finish them, sew them, gromit them, heat seal them.”

Among the products it produces are infield covers, padding for stadium walls, and vinyl-coated mesh windscreens for stadium, many of which are emblazoned with team or business logos.

“There’s so much branding going on in our country, customers want their logo printed on everything,” Brenner said. “We can do that in our factory.”

The Phillies are Cover Sport’s biggest business client – but Brenner says no, that unfortunately doesn’t mean free tickets.

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