Dec 12, 2018

Five Murals in Your Neighborhood: Southeast Philly

by: Laura Kochman & Aubrey Fink

No matter what neighborhood you call home, there’s a mural that you walk by every day. Over time, public artworks become part of a community’s identity, and we’re celebrating by calling out five murals in every Philly neighborhood. Explore the southeast side of the city with us in the fifth installment of this series, looking at public art in an area densely populated by new immigrants and longstanding Philadelphia families alike.


Aqui Y Alla 

Aqui y Alla, Created by lead artist Michelle Angela Ortiz in collaboration with David Flores, Oscar Gallegos, Juan Carlos Reyes and Antonio Leal. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Aqui y Alla, which translates to “here and there,” refers to youth in both Philadelphia and Mexico whose lives are impacted by immigration in a wide variety of ways. Artist Michelle Angela Ortiz worked with artists and community leaders from the Colectivo Rezizte (Juarez) and Colectivo Madroño (Chihuahua City) for a project that was truly trans-national.

76ers: Beyond the Court 

A view of the final mural. 76ers: Beyond the Court by Ernel Martinez. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This mural pays homage to local heroes: the Philadelphia 76ers. Many hands took part in the creative process for the mural by artist Ernel Martinez, inspired by the graphic basketball court layout and iconic players Dr. J, Bobby Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, and more—pictured in action on the court and in service to the community.


Watchtowers by Joe Boruchow. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Artist Joe Boruchow designed this striking black and white mural to combine historical and current architectural elements from Philadelphia’s East Passyunk neighborhood. His linear, graphic style was influenced by longtime hero Keith Haring.

Nature Matching System 

Nature Matching System by Tattfoo Tan. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Nature Matching System is made up of colorful squares, corresponding to fruits and vegetables commonly eaten by immigrant communities in the area. Artist Tatfoo Tan asked locals what foods they often ate, and translated the simple text, “Remember to take your daily dose of color,” into the multiple languages that are present in the community: Karen, Chin, and Nepali.

Parts Per Million 

Detail view of Parts Per Million by Ben Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Brand new on South Broad Street, Parts Per Million stretches across the well-known façade of South Philadelphia High School. The mural tells the story of the school’s diversity through the visual language of geometry, biology, and geography. Students working with artist Ben Volta also talked about climate science, and the large role that we can all play in our collective future, one small part at a time.


Last updated: Dec 12, 2018

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