Wander around the city in the next few weeks and you’ll likely stumble across a new site-specific art project: a mural based on photos of neighbors made with black masking tape in the Italian Market, a massive abstract painting on the side of the Sonesta hotel at 18th and Market, a sticker raising awareness about criminal justice handed out by Shepard Fairey (the Obama “Hope” poster).
Fourteen artists, including five from Philadelphia, have been exploring social issues in various Philly communities for Open Source: Engaging Audiences in Public Space. The project is culminating this month in several site-specific art installations — some temporary and some permanent — and a series of related lectures, workshops, parties, and walking and trolley tours.
Open Source is from the city’s Mural Arts Program. The Graham Building at 15th and Ranstead, across from Dilworth Park, is the project’s public hub, open Wednesday to Sunday with exhibits, information about the artists and events, and a pop-up café.
Open Source kicked off Friday with a packed party at Bok, the former public school in South Philly that's been closed for more than two years and is now being turned into a mix of retail and service businesses and co-working spaces. Philly artists the Dufala Brothers will be onsite at Bok (Ninth and Mifflin) each Saturday in October turning discarded aluminum into artwork.
In addition to the art itself, upcoming highlights of Open Source include:
• Shepard Fairey discussing the work of Jasper Johns at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Oct. 14
• A block party celebrating the finale of Shepard Fairey’s Philly DJ Mural Project, a yearlong program focused on music education for students, Oct. 16 at 13th and Sansom.
• Artist presentations at muraLAB Live: Open Source, at the FringeArts building (Columbus and Race) Oct. 20.
• One City, Many Voices, Oct. 22 at the Rec Center at Eighth and Diamond, where kids will shown off their own artwork against the backdrop of Shinique Smith’s outdoor “mural amphitheater.”
For more details, stop by the Graham Building or go to Opensource.muralarts.org.