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Brilliant New Philly Mural Mixes Paint, LED Lights, and Augmented Reality

December 10, 2022

A brilliant new mural was completed today in the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia. And y’all, there’s nothing quite like this anywhere in Philly–it’s stunning!

Created by artists David Guinn, Robert Goodman and augmented reality artist Brian Yetzer, the mural is located at 1410 North 31st Street. The project was funded through the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art program (which you can read the history of here) and Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Titled Future Valley Plaza, the multi-layered mural has been in the works for many years. In fact, the painted mural and LED lights embedded in the walls and paving were completed in 2019. But it’s today that the full picture of this project has come in to focus.

“We build the present on the ruins of the past,” David Guinn wrote on Instagram. “100 years ago there was a brewery and and massive brewing tank on this site. 100 hundred years from now, what will Philadelphia look like? Who will live here?”

The final part of this mural project was the augmented reality part revealed today at a mural dedication ceremony. This augmented reality allows folks who download the project’s Future Valley app to see the site in a new way. “Future Valley sits between two new apartment buildings, formerly the site of ruined and abandoned 19th century breweries,” the project’s creators write. “The project looks back at what was, and imagines what the ruins of our time will look like, remnants of architecture and technology overtaken by nature. What mysteries will contemporary structures hold for future generations? What opportunities for re-use will they present?

While many in Philly will surely be familiar with pervious David Guinn mural collaborations that use LED lights, like the one on Percy Street (2016) or on North 6th Street (2020), this one is so different and without-a-doubt worth a visit, if you’re not normally in the Brewerytown area. And while it’s really tough to photograph an augmented reality app, you’ll just have to take my word for it that I and all of tonight’s attendees were just absolutely taken with it!

David Guinn’s career of mural making in Philly is truly legendary at this point. It’s remarkable what’s he’s been able to accomplish since he started painted here in Philly in the late 1990s. In fact, that’s why we interviewed him this past summer for our Patreon-series, Philly Art History! That in-depth interview is now public for all to read, and I encourage you to check it out here.

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