How Philly Moves, a public artwork commissioned by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has been named as one of the 50 best public art projects by the 2012 Public Art Network Year in Review by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. The annual Year in Review program recognizes the most exemplary, innovative, permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in the past year. The 2012 Year in Review awardees were chosen from more than 393 works from 147 cities across 40 states and three countries.
Three independent public art experts—Jean Greer, principal at The Public Art Collaborative; Daniel Mihalyo, architect/artist at Lead Pencil Studio; and Celia Munoz, artist—curated the 2012 Year in Review. Their selections were announced on June 7 at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Preconference in San Antonio. The artists and commissioning organizations involved in creating and supporting these public art works received letters of congratulations and certificates from Americans for the Arts.
The How Philly Moves mural depicts images of 26 Philadelphians dancing, as designed and photographed by lead artist Jacques-Jean "JJ" Tiziou, and muralist Jon Laidacker. Envisioned as a visually stunning gateway to the city, the mural covers nearly 85,000 square feet of wall space on the parking garages at the Philadelphia International Airport. The mural celebrates Philadelphia and transforms the airport’s parking garage into a welcoming and memorable gateway to the region for travelers and visitors from all over the world. Across the top decks of the garage, luminous dancing figures swirl, unified in a rich field of black, giving viewers a first taste of the liveliness that awaits them in the City of Brotherly Love. From I-95, at 55 miles per hour, the energy of their movements are unmistakable. Over 1,000 people contributed to the production of this mural, in support of and as participants in How Philly Moves photo sessions and community paint days.
How Philly Moves builds on Philadelphia’s longstanding commitment to the production of public art and provides a dynamic and iconic new ‘postcard’ image for the city. Laidacker was joined by Tjai Abdullah, Efrain Hererra, Charles Newman, Anthony Peel, Virgilio Perez, Laura Velez, and Tom Walton on the project.
“We are thrilled to receive this honor from the Public Art Year in Review,” said Mural Arts executive director Jane Golden. “How Philly Moves is truly a citywide project that brought together a diverse constituency and we are proud to present this work of art to the world. Our heartfelt thanks go to Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities, Rina Cutler, the Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia Parking Authority, Bank of America, PTS Foundation, and US Airways, who allowed us to dream big and create one of the largest murals in the world.”
“By creating a sense of identity of places we inhabit, public art makes an enduring impact on our lives,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “We congratulate the artists and commissioning groups of the 12th annual Public Art Year in Review and look forward for honoring more great works in the coming years.”
Since 2000, the Public Art Network Year in Review has annually recognized outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and juror selection process. The Year in Review program is the only national award that specifically recognizes public art projects.
The Mural Arts Program is the nation’s largest mural program. Since 1984, the Mural Arts Program has created over 3,000 murals and works of public art, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.” The Mural Arts Program engages over 100 communities each year in the transformation of neighborhoods through the mural-making process, while award-winning, free art education programs serve nearly 2,000 youth at sites throughout the city and at-risk teens through education outreach programs. The Mural Arts Program also serves adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities. Each year, nearly 10,000 residents and visitors tour the Mural Arts Program’s outdoor art gallery, which has become part of Philadelphia’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration. For further information, call (215) 685-0750 or visit www.muralarts.org.