In June, 1984, Jane Golden, a young muralist from Margate, New Jersey, headed up a project that was originally planned as a six-week youth program in the fledgling Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. This small exercise in fighting graffiti grew into the most vibrant public art project in the United States. Led by Golden and dozens of artists, neighborhood residents, and volunteers, the Philadelphia Murals Art Program has adorned the city with over two thousand murals. In the process, this vibrant art, painted mostly on city walls, helped to change the look of the city, creating an enduring legacy in all of the neighborhoods in which the murals were added.
In this lavishly illustrated chronicle of the Mural Arts Program, you will see the murals in all of their beauty and learn about their inspiring legacies in neighborhoods throughout the city. Go behind the scenes to find out how murals are made and why the process is as much an art of diplomacy and consensus building as paint and perspective. Discover through pictures and text how murals give communities a new way to define themselves, not in terms of the people who came together to create something of dramatic beauty.