Can art add to your quality of life? I suppose it matters the quality of the art, and what it means or how it speaks to you. What it reminds you of, and where it takes you once you’ve been exposed to it. Was it made in the spirit of love or joy? Was it thrown together in haste and despair? This could be the difference between aggressive graffiti, and the lovely murals and visual arts pieces we enjoy in Brewerytown and throughout Philadelphia. Good art can improve a community’s quality of life as a whole. When you are looking to have a community with a high quality of life, there need to be high-quality, low-cost, fun things for people to do. Events as simple as painting a wall, making a mural, are the types of small things that get people active and involved and unifies us as a community.
Philly is known for a lot of beautiful and awesome things. Food? We’ve got tons of food, across cultures, all the steak and cheese, soft pretzels, and Italian ices you could ask for. Our rich history includes but is not limited to the Liberty Bell, which signifies our city as the birthplace of freedom and the US Constitution. In fact the the entire city is a place of historical reference and happenings, which most people already know. What we have that often slips under the radar, but also adds to the quality of life in Brewerytown, and beautifies our atmosphere, are murals and visual art pieces. The walls in our little part of the city are covered in painted artwork often depicting a story, or message, with an array of colors, and textures that appeal to the eye, stimulate the senses and captivate the mind. And that’s what art is supposed to do, right? Brewerytown’s rich culture, and history is found in the many murals painted by artists who lend their talents to organizations like the Mural Arts Program.
There are many different factors which, added together make living in Brewerytown special. One of which is the budding arts “scene” embraced and cultivated by the young residents who love B-town so much. With the influx of creative professionals, and the legacy of residents who have been living in Brewerytown all their lives; the landscape in which we live has become a canvas for self-expression to the benefit of our community. Brewerytown is no square plain place, with square plain people, ideas, or outlets. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that….or the burbs, but this just isn’t it.) Brewerytown is a constantly growing, evolving, colorful part of town that is alive, awake and aware of its maturation in to something increasingly beautiful. We, the residents, and the people who come to visit, are the ones who make it so. And evidence of our human spirit is in the artwork.
Murals help to set the scene for parks, gardens, and gatherings. They go hand in hand with block parties, barbecue’s, and fireworks. Murals are the background pieces to the story of our lives; the grand play in which we all have a role, however substantial or infinitesimal. Often, murals are as beautiful as nature herself and, when we appreciate our surroundings, it sets the stage for creating more of what we already love about this part of town.
Since its bginnings, the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program has created, over 3000 murals city-wide and removed unwanted graffiti from over 40,000 walls. This explosion of artwork captures the essence of beauty, inspires hope, and facilitates change through its existence and its message. Murals are literally a sign that a place is vibrant, cool, and on the cusp of something extraordinary. Yup, that’s b-town.