This year, Philadelphia residents and visitors have a number of new ways to explore the city via its awesome art thanks to an exciting season ahead from city institution Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Philly, also known as the City of Murals, gets 11 new works for 2019, expanding the city’s enormous outdoor gallery of public art. That includes What You’ve Been Missing, a nostalgia-filled dedication to Philly that’s now on view at Cherry Street Pier.
- For 2019, Mural Arts Philadelphia showcases 45 new works across four tours.
- A new mural celebrating Philly nostalgia is now on view at Cherry Street Pier.
- Ten more new murals are in progress throughout the city.
- To date, Mural Arts Philadelphia has created nearly 4,000 works of public art.
Plus, 45 existing works have been added to four revamped neighborhood-specific tours in spots like Fishtown, South Philly and Spring Garden.
The 2019 program is part of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s mission to enliven the city and connect communities through its “art ignites change” motto. The organization works on as many as 100 projects each year and has created nearly 4,000 works of public art.
Mural Arts tours help residents and visitors connect more directly with public art and artists around the city, and invite people to see works they otherwise might not encounter.
The organization has added 45 new works across its tour experiences as part of its 2019 program. About 15,000 people take a Mural Arts tour every year by foot, bike, train, trolley and Segway.
Enhanced tour experiences for 2019 include:
The Frankford, Fishtown & Farther Tour takes travelers into the neighborhood near the Delaware River waterfront and former industrial hub of Kensington, where they’ll see old factories that now host residential and commercial quarters.
Participants in the Immigrating South Tour get a glimpse at South Philly’s long history of immigration and the various cultural traditions that have shaped these neighborhoods into a melting pot.
Vehicle and Walking Tours
Done partly by vehicle and partly on foot, the Spring Garden & Beyond Tour now includes Cherry Street Pier. The tour starts and ends at the city’s newest Delaware River waterfront pier, which is also home to the just-unveiled What You’ve Been Missing mural and several rotating installations.
Also getting beefed up for 2019 is the Art of Observation Tour, which guides people through often-overlooked public art on the Center City Mural Mile walking tour. The experience ends with a visit to One Liberty Observation Deck, which offers sweeping views of Philadelphia’s skyline and beyond.
Mural Arts kicks off its 2019 season with an exciting new installation.
What You’ve Been Missing, on view now at Cherry Street Pier, is part of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’S Homesick Philly efforts to remind former residents how much they love the city.
In 2018, Philly artist Felix St. Fort and staff members from VISIT PHILADELPHIA traveled to New York City’s Bryant Park to ask people what they miss and love about Philadelphia. People talked animatedly about the city’s food, sports teams, attractions and more — all of which went into creating the nostalgia-inspiring work.
St. Fort captured it all in the What You’ve Been Missing, now installed on a wall next to the shipping-containers-turned-art-studios at Cherry Street Pier. The new piece features iconic Philly imagery like the Rocky statue, a pretzel and a cup of the water ice/ice cream gelati combo. Also included: the Walking Piano, an oversized synthesizer made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie Big that was installed at the Please Touch Museum for several years.
St. Fort, who worked on the mural while the public watched, calls What You’ve Been Missing “a nod” to the city, noting, “it’s really hard to capture [the spirit of Philadelphia] in any small piece.” St. Fort is now a full-time Mural Arts employee, and is one of 200 artists that the organization pays annually for work.
Mural Arts has 10 additional pieces in the works throughout the city. They include a project with Michelle Obama portrait artist Amy Sherald, a West Philadelphia installation by a South African artist, and a collaboration in Northeast Philadelphia with women from Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.
Also on tap for 2019: the Electric Philadelphia mural. Another VISIT PHILADELPHIA partnership, the work will illuminate part of Sixth Street between Franklin Square and the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Celebrate the start of Mural Arts’ 2019 season by snapping a photo with the Philly-proud What You’ve Been Missing mural, or signing up for a tour of Philly’s expansive outdoor gallery.