Visit the Spring Arts Murals in Philly
Did you know that Philadelphia has the most public murals in the country? The impressive Mural Arts program beautifies every inch of the city, along with some impressive street artists. Whether you’re driving, walking, or riding the train around, you’ll see some beautiful public artwork for sure. Spring is the best time to head to Philly to see some of the murals. Since it’s before the summer begins, it’s not crowded and the weather is just right for taking a stroll.The murals themselves are spread out all over the city. You might turn the corner and BAM! There’s this gorgeous mural. I was walking around South Philly and saw a mural tucked between two buildings. But if you’re looking to see a few of the bright and colorful walls (#walltraveled anyone?) or catch a bunch without having to do a lot of searching, you’re going to want to head to the Spring Arts section of Philly. This once quiet industrial area just north of Chinatown and Center City, tucked around and under the abandoned elevated rail line, has some of the best murals in the city.
My three favorite murals in the Spring Arts section are all on one little street. Buttonwood Street is where you'll find Miriam Singer, Buttonwood, and Tell the Truth, all bright and bold murals that remind me of my favorite contemporary artists. It's very easy to snag a parking spot on Buttonwood (at least when I went) and they're all right in walking distance. I'm excited for this fall when they're going to feature more works from these artists in an exhibit at 990 Spring Garden.
If you walk just a block and a half north, you'll find Union Transfer. It's a funky music venue that hosts bands from around the country on the inside and has a major awesome mural on the other side. Amplify looks like one big abstract piece but look closely: it's a tangle of instruments swirling around. Another great piece next to it on 11th street is It Was All A Dream, a beautiful typography piece.
There are a few more murals around the Spring Arts section but I decided to wander up a little ways towards Chinatown to see the newer mural Start From Here. It is big. And it is bold. And it is awesome. The time of day (and time of year) that we went, the sun was down too low and just too bright to get great pictures so keep that in mind if you're looking for a photo shoot. It's just so amazing and overwhelming to see; definitely a must-see mural.
Now for a BONUS: not connected to the Mural Arts is the Asian Arts Initiative. The artists from the collective painted the street and surrounding walls right near their gallery with bright and bold patterns and scenes. You are in the artwork!
While Philadelphia has some amazing museums like the Philadelphia Art Museum or the Rodin Museum, there is so much beautiful artwork all over the streets. If you're planning a trip to Philadelphia, you're definitely going to want to check out the Spring Arts murals or take a tour with Mural Arts of Philadelphia!