Public art is an integral piece of Philadelphia’s culture; new outdoor monuments and murals are constantly evolving and reimagining established ideas and forms. Besides our personal favorites, there are dozens of other outdoor artworks to be explored around the city. Here are some new and upcoming public art displays worth being discovered.
WHEN: Until November 19th
WHERE: Various locations
THE FRAME: We already featured this Mural Arts collaborative project, and you’ve still got time to check out all the dialogue-fostering, public art that has been installed around Philadelphia. Conversation is the cornerstone of the project, and Philadelphians and visitors are encouraged to trade perceptions about what the monuments represent both individually and as part of the Philly’s larger fabric. Philadelphia’s collective portrait has been built to life as history and memory meet flashpoint visions of the current and future portrait of the city.
WHERE: 31st & Master Streets, North Philadelphia
THE FRAME: The fourth installment of Phillip Adams’ Industrious Light series was completed this August. The sprawling mural stretches a small block and utilizes a myriad of cool blues and grays to portray the historical Brewerytown neighborhood of the early 20th century. By the turn of the century, Brewerytown was home to 11 breweries; the third largest brewery in the United States in 1880s, Bergner and Engel Brewing Company, was located across the street from the mural site. This booming brewing industry “enabled the growth of complexes and adjoining neighborhoods,” and the scale of the bygone breweries is still visible in the commemorative mural. Be sure to check out Adams’ other works in this series.
WHERE: Spring Garden Street Bridge, shortly after N. 31st Street when traveling east
THE FRAME: This relatively new mural (completed in May) is one rooted in history and hope. The art is at the site of a mural that Jane Golden painted for then-mayor Wilson Goode in 1984. It was the first work that would be part of the Mural Arts program. Thirty years later, Betsy Casañas has re-invented the “gateway between Center City and Mantua.” Over 6,000 tulips blossom on the walls, and represent a symbol of growth in Mantua.
WHERE: 6th & Norris Streets, Fishtown neighborhood
THE FRAME: Since opening in May, the bright colors of Derrick Adams’ Your Own Channel have popped off its Fishtown wall. Adams created the mural after a series of conversations about television and media with young people. The student commentary and Adams’ own perceptions of the topic blend to form a mural that represents, according to Mural Arts, “exaggerated characterizations of the black subject portrayed in entertainment.” The past and the future meet, with emojis and and a vintage wood TV forming the basis of the work.
WHEN: December 2017 – March 2018
WHERE: Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between Arch & Spring Garden Streets
THE FRAME: Winter Fountains for the Parkway, a temporary installation, will be the centerpiece of the Parkway 100 celebration. Spanning the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, artist Jennifer Steinkamp’s project will feature four large-scale architectural domes that will illuminate the parkway with botanical and horticultural video projections.