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Artist Simone Leigh Installs 16-foot “Brick House” Sculpture in Philly

November 10, 2020

A new work of public art was installed in Philly today, one which I think could easily become one of our city’s most iconic. Created by artist Simone Leigh, the new sixteen-foot bronze sculpture titled Brick House rose at its permanent home at 34th and Walnut Streets in West Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania!

Now serving as the gateway to Penn’s campus, Brick House is “a bronze bust of a Black woman with a torso that combines the forms of a skirt and a clay house,” according to the High Line where another cast of it is on display until 2021. “The sculpture’s head is crowned with an afro framed by cornrow braids, each ending in a cowrie shell. The title comes from the term for a strong Black woman who stands with the strength, endurance, and integrity of a house made of bricks.”

By the way Simone, a Chicago-born and now Brooklyn-based artist, was recently selected to represent the United States at the 2022 Venice Biennale, becoming the first Black woman to do so.

Even without eyes, the sculpture seems to both be staring at you and into the distance. It’s a stunning artwork from one of the world’s top living artists, and I’m so excited to have it here!

New Election Day “VOTE” Mural in Philly Depicts Confounded American Icons

November 3, 2020

Absolutely love this new, evolving mural from legendary Philly muralist, Meg Saligman, located outside her studios on Bainbridge Street between 8th and 9th Streets in Bella Vista!

Painted over the last few days and being finished today, the mural depicts three icons of United States history with confounded expressions. From left to right on the wall those icons are Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Above the figures in capital letters sits the command, “VOTE”. And after the polls close in PA at 8pm tonight, the artist tells me she’ll be painting a “D” to finish the mural, leaving it to read: “VOTED”.

No word on how long the mural will be up, but generally the murals on Meg Saligman’s change quickly, responding to world and/or Philly events that inspire the artist like the feelings of isolation brought on by COVID-19 earlier this year or the spirited anticipation leading up to the Philadelphia Eagles winning Super Bowl game in 2018. That’s to say check it out sooner than later, if you want to see it for yourself!

Shepard Fairey Installs “Vote!” Mural in Spring Arts Ahead of 2020 Election

November 1, 2020

New “Vote!” mural this month ahead of the 2020 Election by Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) with curator RJ Rushmore and support from Mural Arts Philadelphia at 10th and Hamilton Streets in Spring Arts!

  • $15 minimum wage
  • Tuition-free community college
  • Ending cash bail and private prisons
  • Creating a Medicare-like Public Option for healthcare
  • $10 billion for transit projects in high-poverty areas
  • Quadruple spending on low income housing
  • Universal pre-K and paid parental leave
  • Lowering the Medicare age to 60

These are just some of the important things #BidenHarris2020 have committed to doing, if they win. Things that will help countless millions of people. VOTE.

NYC’s FAUST Paints Two Get-Out-The-Vote Murals in Philly Ahead of 2020 Election

October 30, 2020

As we go through the final days of the 2020 Election this week, two new get-out-the-vote murals painted by legendary New York-based artist FAUST have popped up along South Street!

Located at 3rd and South Streets and American and South Streets, respectively, FAUST’s murals were created on temporary construction walls, so they won’t be permanent. The artist was brought to Philly by Mural Arts Philadelphia.

FAUST has been named as one of Juxtapoz Magazine’s Top 20 Graffiti Artists to Know Right Now. And if you don’t know the artist, here’s a bit more about him from his website: “The formal qualities of FAUST’s murals explore scale and placement to challenge how viewers perceive graffiti. The poise and artistry of FAUST’s handstyle elevate a gesture deriving from vandalism to a masterful calligraphic work of art, transforming any surface they adorn.”

LOVE these new murals!

Local Artists Create Chalk Mural to Remind Philadelphians About Their Last Chance to Vote Early in the 2020 Election

October 26, 2020

Did y’all catch this awesome temporary chalk mural installed at LOVE Park this past weekend?

Designed by Bill Strobel and executed by Bill, TAMEARTZ, Jeannie Zimmerman, and Ava Leibovitz, it was created to promote the last few days of early voting in PA. And the mural was made entirely of chalk (and not chalk paint, actual chalk), so that does mean it’s beginning to be washed away by now. You can read a bit more about this work on TAMEARTZ’s Instagram here!

And about early voting in PA: TOMORROW (Tuesday, 10/27) is your last day to vote early in-person in Philly if you have yet to request a Vote by Mail ballot. You can watch this video I made for the #MailboxVoters project I created with Jack Sharples to learn a bit more. And be sure you’re following our @MailboxVoters Instagram account for regular news and updates on how to vote confidently this election.

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