In between the beach trips and block parties, indulge in a bit of artistry at new and upcoming exhibitions at local galleries and museums.

Independence Day may have come and past, but one Founding Father is still riding the wave of artistic freedom at Paradigm Gallery and Studio (746 S. 4th St.). In works inspired by Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" sayings, artists Kelly P. Franklin and Carol P. Jarvis fuse the wisdom with nature-inspired elements. The works are on-view until Saturday, July 18. The gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Another show rooted in nature is showing at Esther Klein Gallery (3600 Market St.) until Friday, July 24. Through sculpture, film, photography and more, humans' relationship with ecology is explored in "The Usable Earth." Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, large-scale sculptures depicting not only the political and environmental repercussions of nuclear warfare, but the social and economic effects of these events will be shown at Crane Arts Building (1400 N. American St.). Opening with a 5:30 p.m. reception on Thursday, July 9, "M.A.D (Mutual Assured Destruction)," shows sculpture H.D. Ivey's 27-year collection of work. The exhibit runs through Friday, July 31 and is available to view from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Noticing a pattern here? In Keith Sharp's "Projections," digitally projected images of nature are displayed on the sides of homes (or onto himself) and then captured again on-camera. You have until Sunday, Aug. 2 to see it at 3rd Street Gallery (45 N. 2nd St.). Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

On display until Sunday, Aug. 16, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (701 Arch St.) shows "Plan-Ta-Shun," an installation where artist Colin Quashie depicts difficult racial and social situations through pop culture media like board games and magazine ads. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Contained in a former house, Philadelphia Art Alliance's (261 S. 18th St.) latest exhibit is all about the home. Drawing on structural, historical and residential functions of the Wetherill Mansion, five building and design firms created installations based on interpretations of residential lodging. "Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat" is available to view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through Monday, Aug. 24.

Curated by New York art critic Paddy Johnson and Los Angeles entrepreneur Martine Syms, Vox Populi's (319 N. 11th St.) annual juried exhibition features work from Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore and Brooklyn-based artists. "VOX XI: Material Studies" opens with a 6 p.m. reception on Friday, July 10 and runs until Friday, July 31. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Since 2007, a 12-member PAFA alumni, faculty and staff artist collective has been working out of a studio housed in a former trolley-manufacturing warehouse. The group, Traction Company, debut a new collaborative work including a full-scale recreation of truss structures from their studio. Check it out at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine arts' Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building (128 N. Broad St.) until Sunday, Oct. 11. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more Things to Do, check out our calendar for the most up-to-date happenings.