public art

stayedwith, II by Laura Kochman

One of the things that I love about Philadelphia is the abundance of public art. I know I was lucky to grow up with art around me, and to be in a position to have an internship in the art world (and to go to school for an art degree)—these are not guarantees. So I love walking around this city and seeing art everywhere that I go. There's an alley between Bainbridge and South where a bicycle has been painted on a garage, in which every part of the bicycle is labeled, in six or seven different languages. Almost every park around here has at least one wall with a mural, and there are glittering mosaics everywhere. Even the street artists are on it. There's a block near me where one particular street artist seems to leave a new wheat paste every other week. It's important. Not everyone has time to just sit with art, but when it's part of your neighborhood, you can get to know it. It becomes part of the rhythm of the day, and it places value on the everyday-ness of art, which extends to reinforce the value of the people doing the everyday looking.

A massive wheat paste in progress in Center CIty last year, making large and public what is often unseen.