Here it is—as bold and vibrant as the day itself.
One of my favorite Madison, WI, neighborhoods is Willy Street (technically Williamson Street in the Marquette Neighborhood) and one of my favorite places there is Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. It’s got the most delicious soup inside and this beautiful graffiti art outside.
According to the Daily Page, Mother Fool’s started its graffiti mural program in 2001 when local artist Don Wettach was looking for a place to “paint his graffiti and not get busted.” Now he and other Madison artists update the shop’s outside wall with a temporary graffiti mural on monthly or bi-weekly basis, depending on the season.
Kudos to Don and his fellow artists for their beautiful art. Such an eclectic richness they add to the Willy Street community!
October is Mural Art Month and what better way to celebrate than to visit Philadelphia and its Mural Art Program. Our four days there last week gave us opportunity to see the most beautiful works.
Above is the Hahnemann University Hospital mural. It’s located on N. Broad and Race Streets, and we passed it every time we went back and forth from our hotel to the downtown attractions.
On Sunday, we met up with fellow Wisconsinites (friends of our son) at the Field House and watched Green Bay Packers beat the Vikings. This subway station mural is just outside the restaurant.
Isn’t this mural beautiful? It’s been headline news lately since its $20,000 reglazing and repainting renovation was recently completed. When artist Meg Saligman originally painted it in 1997, it was the largest and most expensive mural of the time.
It’s located at N. Broad and Spring Garden Streets.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all” —Abraham Lincoln
I found this mural at Ranstead and S. 8th Streets.
How’s this for business promotion? You can’t miss this mural on 305 South St. I love how the colors coordinate with those around it—the reds, the blues, the cream.
This mural is on the Creative Book Manufacturing building at 1422 Callowhill St. We must have run across it during one of our aimless wanderings down run-way streets. I’m sure I couldn’t find it again without a GPS!
It was vacation time for me this past week. Well, sort of. We moved our son to Philadelphia, so it was more like a working vacation—i.e. moving van full of furniture and books, hot weather, narrow streets, and row houses with steep, narrow steps. It was fun nonetheless.
Philadelphia is a new to us and it’s definitely unique from other cities we’ve visited. Did I mention narrow streets?
Perhaps what makes it most unique are its murals. According to Captain Norm, our duck boat tour guide, the City of Brotherly Love has over 3000 murals on its walls, with another 500 yet commissioned.
Known as the Mural Arts Program, this collection of architectural paintings began in 1984 as an effort to blot out graffiti. The city hired muralist Jane Golden, and she organized graffitists to create art more constructive and beautifying to the city. Over the years this program has encouraged thousands of at-risk children to use art as their voice, all the while developing skills and confidence.
I must say, Ms. Garmin, our friendly-but-not-always-accurate global positionista, took us on some wild and crazy rides through the city. As we roamed the neighborhoods, I like how the murals depict their culture and history.
For images much better than my car window shots, click here.
We saw lots of fenced in areas, and gated windows and doors. Sadly, there are also many old, once-regal buildings now standing empty. Murals, such as the one above, help soften the harshness.
I really like Jane Golden’s mantra—just three simple words: “Art Saves Lives.” Philadelphia’s mural art will thankfully save the lives of many young people. I’m hoping it saves some buildings as well.
So, my son will be attending Temple University for a graduate degree, which means we’ll be making quite a few trips to Philadelphia in the next few years. I’ve compiled my list of things to do and see. I’ve also set the goal of photographing as many murals as I can (and actually getting out of the car for better shots:-).
Today I’m working at my office on 1st and Pittsburg. Looking out the window, there are old, manufacturing buildings everywhere, many of them now repurposed in new ways. Sad that not all buildings can be renovated as they age and maintained for a dignified usefulness.