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A Year in Philadelphia Street Art: Streets Dept’s “Top 10 Street Art Moments of 2011”

December 27, 2011

The most clicked on posts of 2011…

10. Wheat Pasting the Town with Joe Boruchow


This year has been such a HUGE year for Joe. He’s even said himself that 2011 been his most active year in his more than 10 years of wheat pasting the streets of Philadelphia. The man’s one of our city’s most iconic artists, and I feel like a week didn’t go by this whole year where I wasn’t discovering some new Joe Boruchow pastes… Seriously, just look at all the Joe Boruchow posts!! Not to mention, of course, the man was apart of Streets Dept’s first ever art show at PhilaMOCA back in October.

Click the photo above to see more photos of Joe pasting around the town back in May, and definitely check out THIS interview I did with Joe for Naked Philly this past summer!!

9. Wheat Pastin’ Women

This was one of my first posts ever, from January 2011, and I think it really helped set the tone for what I wanted to do on this blog: follow and highlight the people making Philly’s street art — and not just talk about the art itself. Over this past year I’ve learned so much about how these amazing artists do what they do, and I’m really so grateful that so many of them have reached out to me.

Please notice that this video uses some horrible logo at the beginning of it that I made for myself on Flickr, which reminds me… A special thanks goes out to my good friend and graphic designer, Ryan Drew Casey, for helping me come up with, and then designing a much, much better logo for this blog. THANK YOU RYAN!!

8. Ishknits Bombs The Art Museum


Before her more recent near-block-long yarn bomb in Kensington this month, Ishknits famously knitted a little sweater for the Rocky Balboa statue at the bottom of the Philadelphia Museum of Art reminding its visitors to “go see the art.” This piece, you may remember, was in highlighted in the New York Times back in May.

And without giving too much away, I’d like to tell y’all that I’m currently working with Ishknits and NoseGo on a little 1 year anniversary surprise for all of YOU… But more on that in about a month or so.

7. New Gaia and Martha Cooper Wheat Paste in Fishtown


Renown Brooklyn/Baltimore-based street artist Gaia made a stop in Fishtown last April pasting the piece photographed above at Front and Girard streets, but Gaia made a few more stops in Philly this year: with Nanook in North Philly, on North Broad street, and at 19th and Christian streets.

6. Christopher Terrell Pastes Above the Italian Market


These are some of my absolute FAVORITE photos from Streets Dept this year. Combining my 3 favorite photo opportunities: an artist installing, a good skyline shot, and the goldeny rays from a sunset… Seriously, if you missed this set, give yourself a minute to go check them out, and click on the photo above… You can check out the finished paste HERE.

Christopher Terrell was also responsible for THIS awesome installation in South Philly — which was apart of the “Wheat Paste Your Heart Out” show at Vox this past November.

CLICK HERE to see the rest of the Top 10—>

5. Interview with Amber Lynn of Project GASTRIC


Street art always really resonates with me when it’s got a clear, powerful message, and Amber Lynn’s two-year wheat pasting series “Project Gastric,” which started earlier this year, is just that: a thought provoking, in-your-face response to the often personal and always degrading cat calls many woman experience on a daily basis in our city of brotherly love… But don’t let me put words in the artist’s mouth, READ my little interview with Amber Lynn HERE.

And many of you may remember that Amber was apart of Streets Dept Presents… I absolutely love what’s she’s done with this series this year, and I can’t wait to see where it takes her next year!!

4. Phillie Phanatic Puts Up Tag in Fishtown


Get Up Art, a California-based artist with Philly roots — who was also apart of Streets Dept Presents in October — was a HUGE hit this year. In a city as obsessed with itself as Philly often is, Get Up made some on-point pastes using a few of our city’s most iconic figures as inspiration, including: the Phille Phanatic, Benjamin Franklin, and William Penn… Wonder who he’ll paste about in 2012?!

3. Glitter Bombing at Juniper and Locust


One of Streets Dept’s own attempts at street art this year got a TON of attention from y’all. Receiving mostly positive reactions (expect for the one commenter who was worried about pigeons eating the glitter and dying,) gluing glitter to unused/abandoned things around the city — or, “glitter bombing” as we called it — seemed to really resonate with a lot of you. An abandoned house’s front door in Northern Liberties, a phone booth in Old City, and a light pole in Rittenhouse were among the focuses of this years glitterings — glitter bombing even took the stage at Streets Dept Presents — but stay tuned, because we got some big plans for 2012!!

Oh, and don’t forget about Stalactite Bombing.

2. Yis Goodwin’s Streets Dept Presents Mural at PhilaMOCA


Yis Goodwin (aka NoseGo) is, as far as I know, the only Philly street artist that lives completely off his work. Crazy, right? It’s like every artist’s dream. That’s because the man works his butt off — and because his art is fucking AMAZING… I can honestly say that I did not expect Yis to say yes to painting this mural for the Streets Dept Street Art Show at PhilaMOCA when I first emailed him. I mean, he was in incredibly high demand and finishing up his now very successful app, “Catball Eats It All,” but, for some reason, he agreed, and the rest is history!!

The new mural covered up the old Mad Decent mural (and yes, before you get all defensive, we got Diplo’s approval first) at 12th and Spring Garden… Check out photos of the finished mural HERE.

1. Yarn Bombing The Blue Line


As funny as it may be to have an artist who never went to art school at the top of a year-end art list — Jessie Hemmons, in fact, has her Master’s Degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology — I guess that makes sense on a photo blog where the photographer (me) never took even a high school level photography class. But, nevertheless, Ishknits‘ “Yarn Bombing the Blue Line” post received the most views on Streets Dept in 2011 — and by almost 3 times the amount of clicks as the second runner up did.

Tweeted about by Etsy and Post Secret, and blogged about by Newsweek, Laughing Squid, Trend Hunter, Juxtapoz magazine, and Wooster Collective — just to name a few — Jessie and I were interviewed by Sacramento Today, and one of my photos even ended up published in Time Magazine!!

Needless to say, if Streets Dept were a band “Yarn Bombing the Blue Line” would by our hit song of 2011… I can’t say thank you enough to Jessie who, even now that she’s world famous, thinks of Streets Dept first when she goes out yarn bombing in Philly.

Thank YOU

To all of y’all that have supported this blog this past year, whether you came out to Streets Dept Presents, or you just retweet posts you like, it’s all a big help and it means a lot to me and I have to say thank you… As maybe you’ve heard me say before, this blog is a bit of a labor of love for me: I don’t make any money off advertising, and I have to take a lot of time outside of my 40+ hour a week job and subsequent Hulu life to go out and find this art and post about all. But, like I said, I love it. I think street art is a really important part of this city. And I just wanted to thank you for helping me prove my point… I’m not totally sure where 2012’s gonna take this blog, but I have no doubt that it’ll be any less awesome than 2011… Now, anyone wanna try and beat out Ishknits for worldwide attention? Hit me up, I’d love to help you do that!!

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