Philadelphia is a city that appreciates art and culture, and houses thousands of exceptional exhibits and pieces of art. But the city’s most remarkable artwork can’t be found in halls and galleries—rather, the streets of the city burst with color, faces, and images. The murals throughout the city have created cultural icons and brought communities together for decades.
Here are some of our favorite street art pieces through Philadelphia:
Image via magspopadiak
Arguably one of the most famous murals in Philadelphia, Common threads features modern characters based on antique figurines. Students from two area high schools mirrored the small figures’ poses and are modeled in the eight-story painting. The mural by Meg Saligman was completed in 1998 and examines what connects people across cultures and time.
LOCATION: Broad and Spring Garden streets
Image via steveweinik
The original version of this sprawling mural was destroyed in a fire, but artist James Daniel has recreated the stunning vision. The design is part of the Community Wellness project, which was created to raise awareness about mental and emotional health. Follow a form of meditation called the Enso circle, the artwork combines layers of colors, shapes, and images that create an intricate final product.
LOCATION: 13th and Chancellor streets
Image via faith215
Legendary honors cultural icons and Grammy Award winners The Roots, who had their origins in the City of Brotherly Love. The Roots have influenced hip hop for years, and have shaped artists across the globe. This mural, completed in 2013, commemorates founders’ Black Thought and Questlove’s beginnings in the city as well as their thirteen record albums.
LOCATION: 512 S. Broad Street
Image via mauleofamerica
Twin brother duo How and Nosm brought their complex imagery and distinctive red color palette to Philly in 2012. The piece was part of a collaboration between Mural Arts and Goldman Properties to create visualizations for the Midtown Village neighborhood. Tight geometric layers and intricate details set this towering artwork apart.
LOCATION: 13 and Drury streets
Image via iheartmagazine
For a non-traditional mural, check out Electric Street in South Philly. David Guinn and Drew Billiau have created a colorful wall of paint and neon lights on an otherwise quiet street. It’s obvious that the work shines more at night than during the day.
LOCATION: Wharton and S. 9th streets