City of Murals

  • September 18, 2019

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.”

UNTITLED

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

 

WATER GIVES LIFE

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

 

SANCTUARY

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 Maison 208, the restaurant below.

Location: 13th and Chancellor streets
Neighborhood: Washington Square/ Gayborhood/Midtown Village

 

PROMISE OF BIOTECH

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 mural that traces Philadelphia’s pioneering medical history.

Location: 1108 Sansom Street
Neighborhood: Washington Square/Gayborhood/Midtown Village

 

LEGACY

Photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts.

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

 

PHILADELPHIA MUSES

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

 

THE PHILLIES MURAL

Photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts.

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

 

THE STAGE

Photo by S. Weinik for Mural Arts.

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

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

 

ELECTRIC STREET

Photo by J. Francesco for Mural Arts.

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

 

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: Northern Liberties/Fishtown

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