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Welcome to Art at Mission​, a new arts project that’s transforming Mission Taqueria’s courtyard into a rotating outdoor arts space, curated by’s founder Conrad Benner and aimed at highlighting the work of artists that create in the public space. Exhibitions rotate quarterly.

For our fall exhibition, we’re excited to announce​ Queer in Public, a mural show celebrating the work of three queer Philly artists who create work in our city’s public spaces.

“For a community that had to spend generations in the closet, putting art created by queer individuals in the public space is a truly revolutionary act. And the three artists featured in ​Art at Mission​’s fall exhibition are among only a small handful of LGBTQ artists that currently have work in the public space around Philly. With this exhibition, we aim to highlight the work of these three brilliant, up-and-coming artists, as well as to inspire keyholders, those with the access and ability to hire artists for public arts projects, to hire more queer artists in Philly!” -Conrad Benner, curator


Santiago Galeas 
Santiago Galeas was born to parents from Peru and El Salvador, and currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His work uses a diverse range of subjects that address varying concepts in portraiture, often including LGBTQ and racial issues. Galeas believes that the contemporary figurative painting scene is severely lacking in its diversity and his work brings a light to those who are often underrepresented. Many of his figures dissect the diaspora of Latino race and culture, and question our place within American culture. Galeas has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Colorado, and has an upcoming exhibition in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Recently he was invited to attend artist residencies in Mexico, Ecuador, and Philadelphia. Aside from exhibiting, several media sources have been showcasing his work including The Huffington Post, the cover of Poets and Artists Magazine, and the Streets Dept blog.

Marisa Velázquez-Rivas
Marisa Velázquez-Rivas is a digital artist and graphic designer born in Puerto Rico and raised in Venezuela. She received her BS in The Art Institute of Philadelphia where she met a lot of talented individuals—teachers and students alike—and currently works as Senior Designer in a marketing agency where she’s garnered multiple awards for digital campaigns she’s art directed. Having lived thru a deadly dictatorship in Venezuela, countless disasters that go unnoticed in Puerto Rico and Trump in the USA, Marisa has found comfort and safety in illustration and is now sharing this with the public through her wheatpasting. Though new to the game Marisa intends to continue inspiring people to pay attention to the social and political issues that revolve around us daily thru her illustrations and street art.

Ryan Psota
Ryan Psota is a painter/illustrator/designer living in Philadelphia, PA. Ryan works with a variety of mediums to create illustrations and fine artwork that combine urban textures with fresh, contemporary subject matter. His mural work, under the moniker “Lemon Sparkle Fantasy,” can be seen in several locations across the city. His eclectic style has been applied to an array of visual markets and appeals to a diverse clientele. He received his BFA from the University of the Arts where he studied illustration. His inspirations include urban art, natural patterns, lasers, drag queens, old man skin, pyramids, ancient scrolls, ornate sweaters, seaweed, and the aurora borealis.

Queer in Public opens September 18 and goes through the end of November. Come grab a margarita – or two – and check it out any day/time that Mission Taqueria is open! You can see their hours here.

All three of the artists’ mural panels are for sale! Please reach out to the artists directly for more information on pricing. Contact info for each artists is available at each of their links above.

And y’all, don’t forget to tag the artists (@Marisa.vr, @SantiagoGaleas, @LemonSparkleFantasy), Mission (@MissionTaqueria), and myself (@StreetsDept) using the hashtags #ArtAtMission and #QueerInPublic on Instagram when you go to see the exhibition. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos that you take to my Instagram Stories all fall long!

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