If you’re looking for a great holiday destination which literally has creativity flowing through its streets, then Philadelphia should be at the top of your list.
Throughout its many streets, you’ll be met by stunning pieces of artwork towering high above pedestrians at every turn. Filling the city with vibrancy and beauty, these images don’t only give Philly a unique aesthetic; they project messages and an insight into the city’s history to passers-by.
With art being a big part of this city’s identity, we’ve highlighted some of our favourites for you to check out.
- A People’s Progression towards Equality – Jared Bader
S 8th St & Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Paying homage to the USA’s path towards racial equality that was set in motion by President Abraham Lincoln; this is a truly poignant piece of street art. At the centre of the work you’ll see a statue of the 16th president under construction, with the lower portion of the piece remembering the days of slavery and segregation, and the higher levels representing an integrated society. The highest level is out of view of us today, suggesting an eventual world of true equality among the masses.
- Finding Home – Josh Sarantitis and Kathryn Pannepacker
21 S 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
This artwork found its way onto the city walls, after beginning its life dyed and woven onto a piece of cloth. You’ll find the piece in two places within the city. The theme revolves around homelessness, as the installation was made to help those living on the city streets. Artist Pannepacker said the piece held the “spirit, message, and hope of the people who worked on the project”. One part of the mural represents many hands coming together in the same way the community came together to create the final piece of work.
- Women of Progress – Cesar Viveros and Larissa Preston
1307 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
Across the side of the New Century Guild, itself an important historical building in Philadelphia, you’ll find this stunning piece of artwork depicting the change in work and gender roles of women in society. Throughout the piece you’ll find ground breaking female pioneers such as Anne Preston (one of America’s first female doctors) and the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb and editor of one of the first American publications aimed at women, Sarah Hale.
- Theater of Life – Meg Saligman
507 S Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19147
Taking the world of Philadelphia street art to a whole new level, this is the first 3D mural in the area. Created from materials such as marbles, concrete and glass tiles, the work represents the many different roles we all play during our lives. Control is a major theme, represented through the large hands and woman with scissors.
- Peace is a Haiku Song – Sonja Sanchez and MAP’s Art Education programme students
1425 Christian Street Philadelphia, PA
A bright and riveting piece of work, this mural is part of a larger art based project across the city that included writings, benches, workshops and artworks. The vibrant and visually stunning piece incorporates many elements of peace, including a variety of peace haikus and the origami peace crane. This was also incorporated into a book about the wider project.
- Dixie Hummingbirds – Cliff Eubanks, WXPN and the Mural Arts Program
859 North 15th street
Paying homage to the vast and diverse musical history contained within Philadelphia, this timeless peace was thought up back in 2005. Representing the Dixie Hummingbirds, an innovative gospel quartet that holds special significance in the city; they also have a street named after them just a few blocks from the artwork. When visiting the city make sure to swing by the wall of 859 North 15th street, to truly marvel at the wonder of the painting and get a glimpse of Philadelphia’s history past and present.