Mural Arts Philadelphia

1/9: Michael Rakowitz, Enemy Kitchen, 2003-Present. Cooking workshop and ongoing public performance. Most recently commissioned by Smart Museum of Art for Feast exhibition, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.
2/9: Katharina Grosse, psychylustro, 2014, site 6 (Warehouse), installation. Benjamin Moore acrylic indoor paint. Photo by Steve Weinik for Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
3/9: Love Letter by Steve Powers, produced by Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Adam Wallacavage.
4/9: Community members partake in Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
5/9: Labryinth, Sam Durant, 2015, Chain link fencing, 40’ x 40’. Durant addressed the quagmire of criminal justice by placing a chain link maze across from Philadelphia’s City Hall. The public was invited to hang personal items on the structure, using it as a platform to address issues surrounding mass incarceration. Initially transparent, the structure became opaque through public interaction with the art. Photo by Steve Weinik.
6/9: Mifflin Square Alliance Festival in September 2015, part of Mural Art Program’s Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. Photo by Steve Weinik.
7/9: Love Letter by Steve Powers, produced by Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Adam Wallacavage.
8/9: Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge Neighborhood Convening, June 29, 2015. 632 Jackson Street. Photo by Steve Weinik. Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
9/9: A portion of the Journeys South installation. Photo by Steve Weinik.

An outgrowth of the anti-graffiti network, Mural Arts Philadelphia (formerly Philadelphia Mural Arts Program) has produced over 3,700 works of public art since 1984, making it the largest public art program in the US and earning Philadelphia the nickname “City of Murals.” Mural Arts projects supported by the Center include A Desert Home Companion, a participatory performance and radio project; a 50-mural “love letter” along an elevated subway line by New York-based street artist Stephen Powers; Journeys South, a project that unearthed the immigrant histories of South Philadelphia neighborhoods; and psychylustro, a massive episodic painting along a five-mile stretch of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, by Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse. Center support has also funded the Visiting Curators Initiative, which brings contemporary art curators into conversation with Mural Arts, and in 2014, Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge, which staged “cultural interventions” such as pop-up markets or staged public performances in Philadelphia neighborhoods. In 2016, Mural Arts received Center support to present Monument Lab: A Citywide Public Art and History Exhibition, a series of temporary public artworks created by artists Ai Weiwei, Zoe Strauss, Kara Crombie, Kaitlin Pomerantz, and Alexander Rosenberg that will interrogate notions of civic monumentality.


We sat down with Bill Adair and Bill Bissell to discuss the importance of ongoing conversations with the region’s cultural practitioners, the role of “thinking partners,” and how Center staff supports the Project grant applications process.

Pig Iron member Dito van Reigersberg ruminates on past and present artistic influences for the production Zero Cost House.

The artistic leadership of Pig Iron’s School for Advanced Performance Training developed evaluation methods and procedures to assess the school’s effectiveness in preparing alumni for professional careers.

Collaborators & Colleagues

C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist and composer, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Yeh served as an LOI panelist in Performance in 2015.

The Penn Museum embarked on the re-installation of a longstanding display of African objects. The result was a 12-month prototyping exhibition and series of events, designed to elicit visitor feedback.

The Legacy Center at Drexel holds the records of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, which was established in 1850 as the first medical school for women in the United States.

Funded with Center support, New Paths a month-long, citywide festival, which conceptually connects some of the most innovative artists in the world to a variety of historic and peculiar Philadelphia spaces.

Grants & Grantees

The company is dedicated to making critically important performance opportunities available to the current generation of opera and theatrical performers, designers, and directors.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ian Berry is Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Bill T. Jones is an artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, as well as the founder of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and executive artistic director New York Live Arts.

Join the Painted Bride Art Center for a public conversation with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Chief of Program & Pedagogy, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Opera Philadelphia’s Vice President of Community Programming, Michael Bolton, for a thought-provoking discussion on how to create immersive and socially engaged programs that address today’s challenges.

This month, experience fraktur-inspired contemporary art, a queer-feminist dance party, musical peacebuilding, and postmodern aesthetics in one-day-only events and ongoing exhibitions.