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First 100 Days: Artist-created Posters Demanding Action from Biden/Harris

January 24, 2021

So excited to launch First 100 Days today​, a new art project designed to engage the public around policy issues that could be addressed in the new presidential administration!

I’ve created/curated this project with 13 Philly artists and support from Mural Arts Philadelphia because the first 100 days of a new administration are crucial. The first three months set the tone for the next four years and show us where the priorities lie for our new president and vice president. It’s exactly the time that our united voices can work to push change.

Why posters? It’s simple: messages in the public space can work to influence the discussion. That’s why we have commercial outdoor advertising. And in a city as walkable and densely populated as Philly, our home windows can also work as a quasi-public billboard space. I’m sure you’ve also noticed the uptick in folks using their windows to display campaign and protest signs.

#First100Days offers you free artist-created and community-inspired posters to display in your windows for the first 100 days of the Biden/Harris administration to talk about your policy hopes. Each poster highlights a priority that our artists think President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris should address during the first three months in office.

Click here to go to our Mural Arts page where you can not only get the free files to download and print any of these 13 posters, but there you’ll also find information on how to stay in contact with your representatives in DC to keep inquiring about action on the issues you care about.

Before you go though, hear from the artists themselves about why they choose their policy issues:

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Amberella Experiments with Mosaic

February 21, 2021

New series this month from Philly/LA-based artist Amberella! And this new series sees the artist’s ubiquitous street art hearts turned into mosaics. The two new installations read “Choose Love” and “Choose Joy,” and they’re located on Frankford Avenue at Master Street in Fishtown and at Spring Garden and Percy Streets in Spring Arts, respectively.

Amberella expanded on why she was interested in experimenting with mosaic in a recent Instagram post: “My heart is singing. My creative body is so nourished. I’ve been craving more layers to my creative process. I chose to honor that desire and make creative time and space for that. I was yearning for color, texture, something more to explore, and an even more expressive translation of my heart. The journey of my heart art surely isn’t over… but it wanted to elevate. I’m still so in love with the streets so it’s there where they still find their home.”

This new series was able to come to life with the support and guidance of Philly textile artist, Katia Tiles, who helped show Amberella how to bring her vision to life in this new artform. And I think this is such a great way to grow and push this street art series, I think it looks fantastic. In fact, I’d be really curious to see a larger scale Amberella heart mosaic mural too one day!

See past work from Amberella around Philly here!

“Queer Valentine” Street Art Installation Today from Symone Salib and Candy Alexandra González

February 13, 2021

Absolutely adore this new collaborate street art installation by Philly-based artists Symone Salib and Candy Alexandra González, located on South Broad Street at Fitzwater Street!

Titled Queer Valentine, the artwork features a wheatpaste by Symone that the artists writes on Instagram uses an illustration that they made for a new queer coloring book that’ll soon be released in the UK surrounded by paper-like marigolds made by Candy. The text in the artwork reads: “The identity of my love has become a fluid movement.”

This is the first time these two artists have ever collaborated for any street art project, but hopefully not the last!

See past work from Symone Salib here, and from Candy Alexandra González here.

Another Street Art Marriage Proposal on Percy Street?!

February 12, 2021

––Post and photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale––

A few months ago, we wrote about a new Dora Cuenca mural on Percy Street in South Philadelphia. It was commissioned by nearby resident Jonah as part of his marriage proposal to his then-girlfriend Danielle. But as it turns out, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Unbeknownst to Jonah, Danielle had also been planning for months to propose to him with a street art installation on Percy Street! “Ever since Jonah and I first began talking about getting married one day, I knew I was going to propose to him,” she told me over email. So she was shocked when he proposed in late December last year—since she was already planning a yarnbomb proposal with Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon)! What’s more, she first met Nicole at the same Streets Dept Walls event that inspired Jonah to commission his mural from Dora Cuenca!

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“Still Growing”: Tiff Urquhart and Inphltrate Collaborate on New Walnut Street Wheatpaste

February 12, 2021

Love this new collaborative wheatpaste from Philly-based street artists Tiff Urquhart and Inphltrate, located on Walnut Street between Broad and 15th Streets! The large paste features an illustration of an anatomical heart with the phrase, “still growing.”

Neither of the artists alluded to the artwork’s meaning or inspiration in their Instagram posts, so it’s up to you the viewer to read and enjoy however it strikes you!

The Top 10 Street Art Moments of StreetsDept.com’s First 10 Years

February 10, 2021

Two weeks ago, this here blog turned 10 years old. 10 YEARS OLD! I don’t know how either. But as I mentioned in a celebratory Instagram post, I have so much to say about it all. I’ve got so many memories to share and perspectives to offer. I’m going to be reflecting on this milestone in a couple of different ways over the next few weeks and months. And today that means looking back at some of the most talked about street art (aka non-commissioned) and public art (aka commissioned) installations I’ve documented over the decade.

Longtime followers of this blog know I’ve done annual roundups like this every year since the beginning in 2011, and the same rules will apply here. Namely that this is by no means meant to be a list of the most important pieces of public art produced in Philly over the last 10 years. No, this is a countdown of the top 10 most read and shared articles about artwork that I’ve blogged since the launch of this website. I’m just one person and this blog is curated, so I can’t and don’t cover everything. And moreover y’all always surprise me when it comes to which installations end up attracting the most interest. So with that said, this list may very well surprise you. It surprised me.

One way it surprised me is that it’s not a list of all the pervious years Top 10’s number ones. That’s because a lot of posts, a lot of artworks, continue to earn interest long after they were new. In fact, some year’s number one’s don’t even make this list at all! Surprises like that aside, building this Top 10 is was like a walk down memory lane, and I think in all this list does a pretty good job of looking at many of the artists and artworks that have made this blog and this city so special. I wish I could have done a top 50, but truth be told I have a little something else up my sleeve for this milestone year that might quench that.

For now, I hope you enjoy this Top 10 list of the most talked about StreetsDept.com posts of the last 10 years, a list I’ve been imagining creating for a decade. And yes, I’m starting with two ties because this is fun and why not, and because there truly were a couple of posts so close to the end here that I couldn’t bare to cut.

#10 (Part B): Nicole Nikolich and Symone Salib Celebrate the Queer Eye Cast

In the summer of 2019 the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye was filing their upcoming season in Philadelphia, and they were met by wheatpaste/yarnbomb portraits of themselves installed around the city. Created by Philly-based artists, Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon) and Symone Salib, the artworks were so well received that the Queer Eye crew even went out to film them and they appeared in one of the Philly season’s episodes. Nicole and Symone have quickly become two of my favorite new street artists to keep up with, and it’s been so exciting to see their careers rightfully accelerate.

#10 (Part A): The Start of Amberella’s Goth Hearts

Ok, so I use this blog to talk about all kinds of artworks created for the public space in Philly, including commissioned projects from bigger arts organizations with tens of thousands of dollars to non-commissioned installations from individual artists creating with relatively inexpensive paper and paste. And to see this simple post from the spring of 2016 about a singular wheatpaste from Philly/LA-based artist Amberella so high in my site stats as I worked to build this post, all I can say is that I love that it is. The wheatpaste documented here, in fact, the first time I blogged about one of Amberella’s now ubiquitous street art hearts. And of course the artist has gone on to push and grow the series into neon, wood, and even mosaic (photos of that coming soon.) Clearly these hearts speak to so many of y’all!

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