Monday, June 30, 2014

Pieces of Philly: City Mural Tour

Girls Day in the City
We started our Girls Day in the City with a Trolley Tour of the Murals in the City. These murals are all part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. This is a wonderful program that works with the neighborhoods to create the visions that are Philadelphia on the walls of Philadelphia. I would suggest the walking tour because the Trolley only stops at a few murals so there are not that many great photo opportunities on the trolley as they drive by the murals.  Not only are you seeing beautiful artwork you also get a history on why these pieces were made and what went into the making of the murals, it was very educational. I seen some of these murals on my travels to the city and it was nice to put a story behind the making of those murals.

Train ride selfie!

This mural is on the side of a substance abuse rehab center. The mural depicts the process on change. It starts at the darkest moments on the bottom left and goes upward and over to leaning, change, knowledge and regaining the power to overcome your circumstances. The words on the walls are those of the residence of this rehab center.

This mural is painted on Benjamin Franklin school and these eyes are actual eyes of victims of domestic violence. The eyes on the front are those of Benjamin Franklin. This was powerfully sad. 

This was just art on a newsstand….this was not a part of the tour

 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
This is a piece that we didn't get to see on our tour but I love it!
Title: You Go Girl  Artist: Jetsonorama and Ursula Rucker
Below Credits: Photography  Steve Weinik 

Artist Jetsonorama who lives and works in the Navajo Nation displays images of these individuals and their communities on the Native American Reservation in his work. Best known by the Street art world he began traveling the world sharing and teaching other how to replicate his art. Jetsonorama is known for using  black and white photographs to give a voice to “underrepresented individuals” as quoted by the murals arts program.

They invited Jetsonorama to come to Philadelphia to be a part of the mural arts program and he wanted to use a local artist for his project. He had a love for poetry and wanted to meet Ursula Rucker and thus a partnership was made for this project, the Artist and the Artist. They worked side by side with students from Sayre High School in West Philadelphia. This is one of the most meaningful things that I have learned about the arts mural program, is they truly want all their projects to be about the people in the community and they want them to be a part of these projects. They are not on the outside looking in, they are in the circle of planning, advising and creating these projects. The end result is a stunning, larger-than-life  portrait of Ursula Rucker with an excerpt of her well-known and inspirational poem,  "l. o. v. e."


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  1. What a great adventure. We were in Philly in May and I noticed some of the murals just walking around, but I may have to seek out the tour the next time we go.

    1. It was really neat because the gave you the background to each mural. We look at them and see a picture but there are some awesome stories behind all of them. The best part is they keep the community involved in the process. #the30dollarsforthetourwaswellworthit

  2. This is s really nice organization, checked them out! the murals are outstanding.


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