Murals and Mosaics in PhillyOdd shaped blue, red and yellow colored glass cut into different formations and creative painted murals liven up murky walls in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The usually nondescript walls lining Philly’s alleyways reflect years of wear and tear in these desolate-looking narrow spaces. But throughout the city, many such walls have been transformed into bright and lively murals. Impressive mosaics tell stories of people’s history, accomplishments, trials of life.

After eating a must-have Philly cheesesteak at Jim’s in South Philly, I spotted my first of many murals and mosaics. An eye catching design on Kater Street shows a multi-dimensional man with faces, hats, body figures and scrabbled lettering. Colors bright and cheerful with a diversity of materials gave the impression of a neighborhood full of moving people. Throughout the city, I found hundreds of murals story telling about the Philadelphia community with expressive, hand-painted scenes and portraits.

I remember as a child seeing art murals along the Los Angeles freeways, but that artwork is disappearing as time marches on. Philadelphia’s wall art, in rough neighborhoods and swanky upscale parking lots alike, is transforming the city.

This article was revised from the original article.

San Diego ReaderPublished October 2010:
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