Aug 17, 2018

Five Murals in Your Neighborhood: Grays Ferry/Point Breeze

by: Laura Kochman & Aubrey Fink

No matter what neighborhood you call home, there’s a mural that you walk by every day. Whether it’s the highlight of your morning commute or a familiar backdrop, public art is part of community identity, and we’re celebrating by calling out five murals in every Philly neighborhood. In the third installment of this series, we’re looking at public art in Grays Ferry and Point Breeze on the southwest end of the city.


Peace Wall by Jane Golden and Peter Pagast 

Peace Wall by Jane Golden and Peter Pagast. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.

This iconic artwork was an early project from Mural Arts, painted in part by Executive Director Jane Golden. Beloved by the neighborhood, Peace Wall recently made the news when a developer began construction on the site. We’re determined to recreate the mural on another Grays Ferry wall, though the original can never truly be replaced. The hands in the image belong to community residents who lined up to model and support an end to racial violence.

We the Youth by Keith Haring 

We The Youth by Keith Haring. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This vibrant, active wall is the only remaining collaborative public mural from iconic pop artist Keith Haring. CityKids of New York and Philly’s Brandywine Workshop worked with Haring to paint We the Youth in 1987, and it was restored in 2013 with artist Kim Alsbrooks.

ASpire: No Limits by Ernel Martinez 

ASpire: No Limits by Ernel Martinez. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This thoughtful mural celebrates the life and legacy of Shawn L. “Air Smooth” White, PhD. A community leader, father, and educator, Dr. White spearheaded educational initiatives on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The mural process happened alongside workshops and public programs on public health topics, and Dr. White’s legacy lives on in a colorful artwork that stands against the stigma of STDs and celebrates the complexity of his life.

Peace Is a Haiku Song by Parris Stancell and Joshua Sarantitis 

Peace is a Haiku Song by Joshua Sarantitis and Parris Stancell. Photo by Steve Weinik.

How can poetry act as a vehicle for urban transformation? We worked with educator, activist, and legendary poet Sonia Sanchez on this mural, honoring her decades of work in Philadelphia and beyond. The soothing design contains haikus from several writers, offering a moment of peace in a busy landscape.

Ralph Brooks Park Project by Steve Powers 

Ralph Brooks Park Project © 2015 Steve Powers. 20th and Tasker Sts. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Well-known for his murals in West Philadelphia, artist Steve Powers came back for another collaboration in 2015. With the Make the World Better Foundation, we repaired fencing, planted grass, and painted a message of hope and persistence.


Last updated: Aug 17, 2018

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