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City of Murals

August 18, 2020

The “Mural Capital of the World”

Mural Arts Philadelphia started as an anti-graffiti program in 1984 and has grown to be an international leader with over 4,000 works of community-based public art. The program has activated some of Philadelphia’s most unassuming locations and is part of a larger campaign by the city to repurpose public spaces and create positive dialogue in communities. The projects are driven by the residents who are involved in the development of neighborhood murals from conception to culmination. About 50-100 new pieces are commissioned each year.

The nation’s largest public art program offers visitors the opportunity to see some of these murals on guided and self-guided tours, by foot, trolley, train or Segway. Take a tour and find out why Philadelphia is called the “Mural Capital of the World.”

Washington Square West

UNTITLED

Untitled by Amy Sherald, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Amy Sherald, portrait artist for Michelle Obama, created this oversized portrait of young artist Najee S. to challenge ideas of identity and the public gaze.

Location: 1108 Sansom Street

Neighborhood: Washington Square/Gayborhood/Midtown Village

SANCTUARY

Sanctuary by James Burns, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artist James Burns’ work grew out of the Community Wellness Project, which raises awareness about mental and emotional health, and extends into the restaurant below.

Location: 13th and Chancellor streets

Neighborhood: Washington Square/Gayborhood/Midtown Village

THE PROMISE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

The Promise of Biotechnology by Eric Okdeh, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artist Eric Okdeh worked with local school children, who drew antibodies and stem cells and helped paint this science-themed mural that traces Philadelphia’s pioneering medical history.

Location: 1108 Sansom Street

Neighborhood: Washington Square/Gayborhood/Midtown Village

PHILADELPHIA MUSES

Philadelphia Muses by Meg Saligman, photo by R. Bloom for PHLCVB.

A contemporary interpretation of the classical muses, Meg Saligman’s mural just off the Avenue of the Arts features figures and elements that symbolize today’s art and creativity.

Location: 13th and Locust streets

Neighborhood: Washington Square/Gayborhood/Midtown Village

LEGACY

Legacy by Josh Sarantitis and Eric Okdeh, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Josh Sarantitis and Eric Okdeh’s mural near Independence Hall explores Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglas’s work to end slavery. The mural was a collaboration with five public schools.

Location: 707 Chestnut Street

Neighborhood: Washington Square

Center City

WATER GIVES LIFE

Water Gives Life by Eurhi Jones and David McShane, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artists Eurhi Jones and David McShane celebrate the connection between the city’s rivers and local flora and between the Philadelphia Water Department and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on this mural near the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Location: 13th and Arch streets

Neighborhood: Convention Center District

THE PHILLIES MURAL

The Phillies Mural by David McShane, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

The Phillies Mural by David McShane is just across the river from Amtrak 30th Street Station and celebrates the city’s hometown baseball team.

Location: 24th and Walnut streets

Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square

CONVERGENCE

Convergence by Rebecca Rutstein, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Rebecca Rutstein was inspired by the river currents and the energetic crisscrossing of river, railroad, trails, bridges, and more, when creating this almost 7,500-square-foot mural that overlooks Schuylkill Banks.

Location: South Street at Schuylkill Banks

Neighborhood: Fitler Square

THE STAGE

The Stage by Felix St. Fort, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Felix St. Fort’s mural on the historic Drake building near the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts transforms the building into an abstract play set.

Location: 302 South Hicks Street

Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square

TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

Tree of Knowledge by Michael Webb, photo by R. Bloom for PHLCVB.

Michael Webb’s mural near City Hall honors 50 years of the Eisenhower Fellowships.

Location: 1301 Market Street

Neighborhood: Convention Center District

STRENGTH IN OUR BONDS

Strength In Our Bonds by Ernel Martinez, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Ernel Martinez’s 20-foot-high and 120-foot-wide mural reflects a shared vision of Philadelphia that grew out of conversations hosted by the Philadelphia Foundation and celebrates the philanthropic organization’s 100 years.

Location: 23rd and Market streets

Neighborhood: Logan Square

South Philadelphia

ELECTRIC STREET

Electric Street by David Guinn and Drew Billiau, photo by J. Francesco for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Tucked away in an alley, David Guinn’s and Drew Billiau’s neon light mural near the Italian Market features more than 200 feet of lights.

Location: Percy Street (between Reed and Wharton streets)

Neighborhood: South Philadelphia

Spring Garden/Fishtown/Northern Liberties

JULIE ERTZ

Photo courtesy of Playmakers Studio.

A symbol of Philadelphia’s passion for the game of soccer, this mural on the side of Love City Brewing Company was a collaboration between artist Bill Strobel and curator Christian Rodriguez. It depicts several soccer players but most notably the USWNT star and Philadelphia resident, Julie Ertz.

Location: 1023 Hamilton Street

Neighborhood: Spring Garden

WIDE OPEN

Wide Open by Jim Houser, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Jim Houser’s depiction of Philadelphia in this mural includes themes like the concept of brotherly love, family and friends, a love of skateboarding and music, and the complex intersection of danger and beauty.

Location: 600 Spring Garden Street

Neighborhood: Spring Garden/Northern Liberties

West Philadelphia/University City

THE SILENT WATCHER

The Silent Watcher by Faith XLVII, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artist Faith XLVII’s West Philadelphia mural is 11,000 square feet and 19 stories tall and depicts a woman staring down with a caring gaze on University Square, an affordable housing complex for seniors.

Location: 3911 Market Street

Neighborhood: University City

COLORFUL LEGACY

Colorful Legacy by Willis Nomo Humphrey and Keir Johnston, photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Willis “Nomo” Humphrey and Keir Johnston’s mural seeks to raise awareness about the issues boys and men of color face in access to education and jobs as well as reduce the stigma of getting help for behavioral health.

Location: 40th and Chestnut streets

Neighborhood: West Philadelphia

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