Aug 10, 2015

Mural Arts Goes Big

by: Carly Rapaport-Stein

Photo by Dave Tavani


Just how big can a mural get? If you’re Mural Arts, the answer is: it can become enormous. Over the past few months, Mural Arts created and dedicated three gigantic murals. The sheer space encompassed by each work is impressive, but it also sparks a conversation about the way art shapes our measurement of an everyday space. Take a look below to discover more about these immense art works.

The colorful Summer Kaleidoscope is a temporary work occupying 33,000 square feet on the ground along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Designed by the Baltimore artist team Jessie and Katey and painted with a team of 20 local assistant muralists, the intense hues point a brilliant pathway from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The vivid, geometric patterns beckon a welcome visible from the sky, calling out for residents and tourists alike to explore the Parkway and events at The Oval. The dramatic passageway draws attention to the plethora of surrounding creative and social spaces – art museums, science centers, libraries, parks, and restaurants – and encourages us to pause and enjoy the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

Photo by Steve Weinik

In Our City, Our Team, 27,000 square feet are dedicated to the larger-than-life experience of being a football fan. The mural runs 900 feet along Darien Street, across from Lincoln Financial Field, and, in a fitting comparison, is the length of three football fields. Created by local artists Phillip Adams and Jonathan Laidacker, the giant artwork is a tribute to everything Philly, from the artists themselves to the hometown team to the passionate audience.

Photos by Steve Weinik

Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia is in the black-and white signature style of internationally renowned artist JR. Ibrahim, a Philadelphia resident who immigrated from Pakistan, stands over 15 stories tall and covers almost 10,000 square feet, but is partially hidden by the buildings that surround the mural. JR hopes that the hugeness of the intimate portrait contrasted with the partially blocked view from the ground will spark conversations about immigration in Philadelphia and the hidden magnitude of a city’s newcomers.

Last updated: Jan 27, 2016

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