Center City District
Cari Feiler Bender
Relief Communications LLC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHILADELPHIA (May 4, 2020) – Center City District (CCD) and Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP) are pleased to announce a streetscape enhancement project to bring original works of art to a variety of downtown businesses that have been temporarily shuttered due to the current health crisis.
In all, 24 works of art by 11 artists were selected to be installed over the boarded windows of nine high-visibility locations ranging in size from small retailers to large restaurants. In the last two weeks of April, CCD’s on-street teams painted the boards black – both to cover graffiti and to minimize the potential for recurrence. CCD crews are continually painting over any new graffiti as it appears on the protective plywood boards, which have been installed by business owners at 56 premises throughout the downtown.
At a handful of these locations, CCD then worked with Mural Arts to select artists for the Storefront Artwork Initiative, which might be expanded if businesses need to remain closed for a longer time period. The works of art were printed on 6-by-6-foot panels of parachute cloth and applied with acrylic gel adhesive to the boards, an installation method utilized by Mural Arts for many of its projects citywide. The size was chosen in order to adapt the art works to different sizes of windows, from a single panel that will work for smaller storefronts to multiple panels displayed gallery-style on larger display windows.
“It’s important in these unprecedented times to make sure that Center City remains ready to welcome back workers, students and shoppers as this crisis ends,” CCD President and CEO Paul R. Levy said. “A clean, safe and attractive downtown has been our mission since 1991, and this initiative is a way we can temporarily brighten the physical environment, engage local artists and send the message that through creativity and innovation we will prevail.”
“Mural Arts Philadelphia is pleased to partner with the Center City District for the first time on the Storefront Artwork Initiative,” MAP Executive Director Jane Golden said. “We are thrilled to employ talented artists, have their work showcased in this open gallery of sorts, and bring beauty to Philadelphians when they need it most.”
The participating artists, all of whom live in Philadelphia or have strong ties to the city, are: Dora Cuenca, Molly Egan, David Guinn, Jim Houser, Destiny Palmer, Martha Rich, Darin Rowland, Miriam Singer, Gina Triplett, Shira Walinksy and Lauren Cat West.
The locations are: Brü Craft & Wurst (1316 Chestnut Street), Eye Encounters (1325 Market Street), Sephora (1714 Chestnut Street), Subway (1319 Market Street), Swarowski (1421 Walnut Street), Tinsel (116 S. 12th Street), Tradesman’s (1322 Chestnut Street), West Elm (1330 Chestnut Street) and Woody’s (202 S. 13th Street).
“Boarding up Brü and Tradesman's is the hardest thing I've had to do as a business owner. Closing the doors was bad enough, but then I'd check in daily and see more trash and graffiti, adding insult to injury,” said Teddy Sourias of Craft Concepts Group. “CCD working with Mural Arts as well as local artists creating temporary artwork on the temporary barricades will provide a message of hope to neighbors and passersby.”
View images of the artists’ work below. High-resolution images of the artwork and a map of the mural locations is available to media upon request.
About Center City District
Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated since 1991 to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. For more, visit www.centercityphila.org.
About Mural Arts Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. For more, visit www.muralarts.org.
May 4, 2020 | New initiative brings artworks to shuttered businesses, U.S. News & World Report (via AP)
May 5, 2020 | Adding art to boarded-up storefronts in Center City, Philly Voice
May 6, 2020 | Boarded-up Center City storefronts feature works by Philly artists, The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 12, 2020 | 'Storefront Artwork Initiative' adding brightness to closed store fronts in Philadelphia, 6abc Action News