philadelphia’s urban art scene

Sunday, March 13: While preparing for a 3-day weekend trip to celebrate my husband Mike’s birthday, I read about Philadelphia’s urban art scene.  This put me in the mindset to keep an eye out for Philly’s urban art.  With over 3,000 murals, Philadelphia has been called “the world’s largest outdoor art gallery,” according to Moon Handbooks Pennsylvania.  “In parts of the city where urban blight is at its worst, they bring beauty and a sense of community pride.” The city’s Mural Arts Program began in the mid-1980s when the city was plastered with graffiti; muralist and community activist Jane Golden was hired to redirect the energies of graffitists into mural painting.  The program has solved much of the graffiti problem, revitalized neighborhoods, and empowered young artists.

This one is on the street going to City Hall, which is on the left.

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Mural near City Hall

We found one street mural in a parking lot directly across from our hotel, The Independent Hotel at 1327 Locust Street.

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Philadelphia Muses by Meg Saligman, 13th and Locust Streets, Center City

It was great fun wandering around this city, which I’ve never visited despite living less than three hours away, and discovering not only much about our country’s history, but also several of the city’s fantastic murals.

The one below, which I featured on my Instagram account, was created by an artist whose work has been seen in cities across the USA, at least according to one of my followers.

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googly-eyed creatures
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Leafy art
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12th Street Gym
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garden of delights

Love Park (official name: JFK Plaza) sits in Center City, Philadelphia.  The park is nicknamed Love Park for its reproduction of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture which overlooks the plaza. Though not a mural, obviously, it is appropriate for the “City of Brotherly Love.”

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Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture
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“classic American lager”
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mountains and boulders near Eastern State Penitentiary

This post is a belated response to Paula’s https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/thursdays-special-urban-art/.

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18 thoughts on “philadelphia’s urban art scene

      1. It’s going okay, but I’m super busy with wrapping up this 7-week semester. I just spent the last two weeks applying for a job in Japan; it was so time-consuming! I guess I’ll find out this week (I hope) whether I got it or not. It’s only for 4 months – late March to early August. Adam is still jobless as far as I know. 😦

  1. These are amazing! I have noticed a bit more of this here, too, a lot in Kensington Market in Toronto, but also even in my dinky town! Anything that covers up the ugliness of random grafitti should be subsidized and honoured!

  2. Don’t you just love Philly? I grew up near there, and it is a city near and dear to my heart. It’s a hot mess at times, but it’s always fun. 🙂 I love seeing all the murals you posted.

    1. I loved it, Robin! I’d like to go back and explore it some more. I’m sure it is near and dear to your heart. I didn’t know you grew up there.

      I wish I could have seen more of the murals for which the city is so well known. Thanks so much! 🙂

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