Public input sought on future Philadelphia murals

From monuments to murals, artists across our area are assessing public works.

The Mural Arts Program is creating a virtual one with community input, while the nonprofit Walls for Justice also collected submissions for their new mural Sunday. 

Patches of paintings looked like a quilt on the lawn on the Abington Presbyterian Church, designed by neighbors of different religious backgrounds. 

“What you are seeing here is the unifying of people through art,” said Sam Rodriguez, the founder of Walls for Justice. “Although all the pieces are together like we are in different faiths, we all come together for one purpose and one love.” 

Rodriguez started the nonprofit three weeks ago during the civil unrest, painting boarded-up storefronts to spread love, not fear: “We are able to do other projects besides paint on boarded-up storefronts. We can bring about the community together through art.” 

Community input and collaboration is becoming a theme for art around our area. The Mural Arts Program is creating a virtual mural that centers around online submissions from residents. 

“It’s all ages. I think that’s really great because that’s who makes up our city and that’s who drives our city forward,” said Jane Golden, founder of the Mural Arts Program. “We want to do work that is inspirational.” 

Golden says the project “Philly Rising” is going to be a collage of pictures, paintings, and poems, woven together like pieces of a puzzle by artist Nile Livingston, from West Philly. 

After the Frank Rizzo mural was removed, Mural Arts says they are doing an internal audit, assessing existing works of art, to make sure what is displayed is inclusive. 

“We want to have an airtight policy so a controversial, complicated mural never happens again.” 

You can submit to the virtual mural on their website now through July 4th. It’s going to be unveiled online July 5th, and after that, Mural Arts says they hope to display it on a building in the near future. 

Meantime, the “Walls for Justice” murals created Sunday will travel between churches, synagogues, and mosques, in efforts to bring people together. 


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