In 1986, Philadelphia officially launched a city-wide beautification initiative called the Mural Arts Program, designed to curb street graffiti and encourage youth involvement in the arts. Today, the City of Brotherly Love is filled with thousands of vivid street murals. Now, in South Philadelphia, Gizmodo reports, they're going electric to curb crime.
Percy Street recently received a large-scale light installation, fittingly titled "Electric Street," that's located on an alley wall south of 9th and Wharton streets. It was created by artist David Guinn and lighting designer Drew Billiau, and supported by Mural Arts and the Knight Foundation.
According to Philadelphia street art website Streets Dept., the glowing mural is part of a grassroots civic arts initiative dubbed the "Percy Street Project." Due to the secluded street's dim lighting, it often attracted criminal activity. In 2014, local residents informed Guinn—who had received a Knight Grant to create a public art project, and received matching funds from Mural Arts—that they were interested in revitalizing the dark thoroughfare. Guinn ended up collaborating with Percy Street's inhabitants and Billiau to create the multi-colored lights project, intended to beautify the area while making it a safer place.
The mural's reportedly hard to find, so Streets Dept. pinned it on Google maps. Check it out in person, or get a sneak-peek via the photos below.
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