May 21, 2014

psychylustro and Its Environmental Impact

by: Rachel Luber Cevera

This past weekend on Saturday, May 17, 2014 was the opening ride and reception for our latest installation, psychylustro. We had an astounding turn-out with 300 guests boarding Septa’s Chestnut Hill West – Regional Rail train, to experience the work of contemporary artist, Katharina Grosse’s, her largest creation to-date. The outpouring of love and support from Philadelphians truly captured the essence of why we work tirelessly to bring forth public art to inspire this great city.

Watching our guests’ experience psychylustro was a thrill and we hope that this project will inspire folks to join the conversation of where art and beauty lives and how we interact with our surroundings. As Jane Golden, Mural Arts Philadelphia‘s executive director has said, “We really want people to see what we see. We see the deterioration, but we also see the beauty, we see the history, we see Philadelphia’s past.” Have you experienced psychylustroyet? We would love hear how it has sparked your inner dialogue of exploring scale, perspective and the passage of time.

There have been many factors that have gone into getting psychylustro off the ground such as a multitude of permits, coordinating safety and scheduling with Amtrak, raising funds through our generous supporters and more. We will continue to write about the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making psychylustrohappen, so stay tuned for more from us on this labor of love. Today we would like to touch on the environmental impact of psychylustro.

At Mural Arts Philadelphia, we consider Philadelphia’s health, safety, prosperity and longevity a main concern and always make concerted efforts to go above and beyond to uphold all legal and ethical values of the city. Please continue reading below for all of the information regarding the environmental precautions taken in regards to psychylustro.

  • The paint used for this project is water based.
  • Paint was approved for use on this project by the City of Philadelphia Water Department and paint specifications went through the department’s lab.
  • Paint specifications and project details were submitted for review to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and PADEP found we did not require any permissions or approvals necessary for use by PADEP.
  • Most of the plants and trees along this stretch of Amtrak’s NE rail corridor are invasive plants and weed trees.
  • Mural Arts Philadelphia consulted with independent environmental researcher and forester and while in some cases the paint we are using could possibly stunt growth of some trees, it will not kill them.
  • Another point that can be noted is that paint is often used on trees, especially fruit trees, to prevent infestation of borers.

Photography by Steve Weinik

Last updated: Mar 21, 2016

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