Oct 18, 2018

Five Murals in Your Neighborhood: West Philadelphia

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. In the fourth installment of this series, we’re looking westward across the Schuylkill, where there are so many murals (some through Mural Arts, and some not!). It’s hard to pare them down, especially with sprawling series out there like Love Letter, but here is a bite-sized look at the walls of West.


Home Safe, by Ernel Martinez and Shira Walinsky 

Home Safe by Ernel Martinez and Shira Walinsky, part of journey2home. Completed 2014. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This project asked questions about how young people experience housing insecurity—50 teenagers transformed an empty row home in Mantua into a public installation, and created a housing resource guide for their peers.

Contemplation, Clarity, Resilience, by Eric Okdeh 

Contemplation, Clarity, Resilience © 2016 Mural Arts Philadelphia / Eric Okdeh. Photo by Steve Weinik.

The culmination of months of workshops at the Kirkbride Center, an inpatient behavioral health facility, Contemplation, Clarity, Resilience speaks to the process of acknowledging, accepting, and overcoming hardship.

Tribute to Rosa Parks, by Eric Okdeh and Residents of SCI Graterford 

Tribute to Rosa Parks, by Eric Okdeh, Men at SCI Graterford. Photo by Eric Okdeh.

Artist Eric Okdeh held workshops at SCI Graterford through the Restorative Justice program, developing a mural design together that celebrates civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

Wildish, by Kim Beck 

Wildish by Kim Beck. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Part of a series called Room for Growth, this mural features an assortment of plants from the surrounding neighborhood. Students from the adjacent Mastery Charter School learned that many of these plants—often dismissed as weeds—have much deeper lineage as food, medicine, and more.

Legacy, by Walé Oyéjidé 

Legacy (detail) by Walé Oyéjidé. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This brand-new mural emerged from our Artrepreneurs programming with Philadelphia-based fashion designer Walé Oyéjidé, who led discussions on cultural identity and clothing. We’re gathering this Saturday, October 20, to dedicate this colorful, fabric-inspired mural on Blackwell Library celebrating the culture of the African diaspora.


Last updated: Oct 18, 2018

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