Aside from visiting the Stikman show on view in the Mural Arts offices, I also stopped by this newly restored Keith Haring mural in South Philadelphia. We The Youth was originally painted in 1987 and was a collaboration between the artist, kids from New York and Philadelphia, CityKids Foundation (New York) and Brandywine Workshop (Philadelphia). Mural Arts spearheaded the restoration with the generous support of the Haring Foundation. Scroll down for a great video from Brandywine Workshop with footage of the original mural being painted.
I don’t get down to my former hometown of Philadelphia nearly often enough, so I jumped at the opportunity to take in Stikman’s … in the house solo show, organized by Vandalog’s RJ Rushmore and hosted by the city’s Mural Arts Program. The show of diverse works, hung in the eclectic style the Barnes Foundation, is a perfect fit for the Mural Art’s colorful offices in the historic Thomas Eakins House. The show has been extended til November 16th and is viewable at 1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street during regular weekday office hours (or by appointment). Stikman is graciously donating the proceeds of all sales to Mural Arts.
If you can’t make it to Mural Arts by the end of this week, you can always head out and look for Stikmen in the wild … no appointments necessary.
This weekend took me back to West Philly to check up on the progress of the Steve Powers mural series “Love Letters“. While the rainy, gray day kept me from taking as many pictures as I would have liked, it was really thrilling to see how far this project has come since the first can of paint was cracked just a few short months ago.
If you find yourself in the Philadelphia area any time soon and would like to see the murals for yourself, you can download a map of mural locations.
While visiting the project headquarters, I had the pleasure of meeting James, a Philly based artist & designer working on everything from the administrative to the community relations aspects of Love Letter. The amount of thought that has been put into the project is clear, but James was able to provide me with a much greater understanding of exactly how deep the community involvement in this project runs. Even beyond the community meetings & the recruitment of local artists, Steve Powers and his collaborators remain engaged in an ongoing dialogue with local business owners and residents to ensure that the art around them has meaning and purpose to the people who will see it every day. Apparently they have been quite successful in this mission, as I hear that there is already talk of keeping the murals in place well beyond their originally planned expiration date.
While the murals are receiving much of the public attention, there is also a free sign school that is being offered by the project. It’s purpose is to teach the basics of sign making to a new generation of West Philadelphia artists while creating new, free signage for businesses along the Market Street corridor.
For a much funnier and more insightful look into the Love Letter public art project, check out the official blog, written by Steve Powers.
Oh, and if you have a new or well functioning Mac computer that you are no longer in need of & would like to donate, don’t be shy!