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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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Streets Dept Walls Year 2 at Fashion District

February 2, 2021

Very excited to bring Streets Dept Walls back for a second year at Fashion District, this time offering three new murals from three incredible Philly-based artists!

This year’s artists include two for whom this is their first-ever mural, Shanina Dionna and Matthew Raghunauth, and a muralist I’ve been hoping to work with for a while, Kyle Confehr. You can find their three new murals now through September 2021 (possibly longer) on the Concourse Level of the Fashion District by entering through 9th and Market Streets and heading downstairs.

Read more about each of the artists mural’s below:

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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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Philly Artists Transform the Inauguration Bernie Meme Into Street Art

January 24, 2021

LOVE this new collaborative wheatpaste and yarnbomb by Philly-based artists Symone Salib and Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon) that has transformed the inauguration meme of Bernie Sanders into street art! You can find it now at the corner of 16th and Sansom Streets in Center City.

See past works by Symone Salib around Philly here, and other installations by Nicole here!

Philly Street Artist Sends Trump Off with New “Game Over” Yarn Installation

January 20, 2021

New “Game Over” yarnbomb installation today from Philly street artist Nicole Nikolich (aka Lace in the Moon) sends off the now former President #45. The new work is located at 16th and Chestnut Streets in Center City… Bye, Don. Have fun in Florida until we see you next time in court!

See other installations by Nicole around Philly here!

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