Saturday, April 14th, was sunny and warm. It seemed as if it was the first day we could get out and enjoy the change of seasons. We decided to spend the day exploring; Philadelphia is a terrific city with numerous works of art just waiting to be enjoyed. We decided walking the Mural Mile would be a great way to enjoy the warmth and sun of the day.
While it is referred to as “The Mural Mile,” there are many murals, some commissioned by the city and others gratuitous works, and the walk will take many miles to see all that the city has to offer. Our friend Barbara joined us for the day and our first stop was The Continental for lunch. On our way we passed this painting.
The Continental was perfect for a light lunch, a bottle of wine and a couple of beers. We sat at a table just like this and this was our view of Market and 2nd Streets.
From lunch we were on our way. Our trek began in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. The first mural we saw was “House of Dragons Salutes.” To truly appreciate the art I will provide a photo of the entire work, as it appears in its surroundings, along with any other photos I took that I think help understand the piece.
From there we went to “How We Fish.” An interesting mural that does not have a fish in sight. Still in all, it was very provocative.
Fishing? Perhaps sewing the fabric of America together is the message.
From there it was on to the “History of Chinatown.”
Here is a closeup of the mural which depicts, at least in part, the agony of the Chinese people in building the trans-American railroad.
While visiting Chinatown we stumbled upon this “mural” painted on the side of a building meant more as a commentary and not as a work of art. Still in all, it speaks to me.
Our next stop was to see the “Colors of Light: Gateway to Chinatown.” We weren’t quite sure about the message from the mural, but here it is.
I thought it was a painting to reflect the merits of ethanol. You be the judge. Here is a close up. In any event, it’s a great advertisement for a gas station.
Then it was to the “Evolving Face of Nursing” near Hahnemann Hospital.
One quickly realizes that the murals are part of the community and exist on the sides of buildings, buildings by parking lots more often than not.
Nurses are truly the caregivers and have been so for much more than a generation.
It was then on to what is undoubtedly my favorite (and all the murals are outstanding and have messages to convey), “How to Turn Anything Into Something Else.” Located at 207 North Broad Street, this mural has a great deal to convey. Here is the large view followed by a collage of bits and pieces. I hope you enjoy it.
This mural contains many interesting messages from the violin playing tree to the heart at the base of the tree to the message of the bluebird in his song. Enjoy this piece; I certainly did.
Next wasn’t a mural but a paintbrush. Next to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a very tall paintbrush along with a drip of paint. The Academy building is the backdrop and it is lovely. The art work inside is well worth seeing. Stop by when you are in the city.
And behind the paint brush is a plane which obviously had a problem with the ground.
Then on to “Liberty,” a sculpture at 16th and the Parkway. High up on a pole it depicts significant events in the history of our country. Do you see Betsy Ross and a star for our flag?
Not much left in the Mural Mile North. Next in our stroll was “Unifying the Neighborhoods and Cultures of Philadelphia.” It is a series of five panels.
On to “The Tree of Knowledge.” A careful looking discloses varying branches of knowledge.
Last on our walk was “A People’s Progression Toward Equality.” Buried on the far side of a parking lot is a tribute to the progress of America.
And here is a close-up.
If you are interested in the Murals of Philadelphia, visit www.map.muralarts.org for a map and photos of the murals. A visit is well worth the time, especially after a pleasant lunch and a bottle of wine.