“How To Turn Anything Into Something Else”, Mural Arts of Philadelphia
Having been a Philadelphia resident for 11 years prior to moving to Lakewood Ranch, I would frequently come upon one of the over 1,300 murals that paint Philly’s downtown landscape. The Philly Mural Arts Program is an anti-graffiti mural program bringing professional artists and graffiti writers together to create new murals in the city along with involving and educating children in the arts.
With some free time this past weekend while in Philly, I took a tour of some of the works in Center City. The image above particularly stood out with its bold colors and background story. I thought it served as a perfect illustration for a metaphorical “Door” theme, where one can open it into “an ever-changing world.”
“Though the images in the mural appear strange and whimsical, they hold a mirror to the world the kids inhabit in real life – there are systems of travel, places of danger and places of rest, spaces of darkness and of light. There are factories that pollute the water, and there are portals that hold new possibilities. A dragon’s back turns into tracks and supports a freight train, a lemon transforms into a bird taking flight, a boat becomes a whale, and scissors’ arms break apart to sprout separate individuals. This was aptly summarized by 10-year-old Marquis Fabii, (ultimately becoming the title of the mural), How to Turn Anything Into Something Else.
“Together we made a world that is at once a version of the one we inhabit, the one of which we are afraid, and the one for which we hope.
“Towering over everything in the top-right corner is the many-muscled Kira, a direct representation of a drawing by Big Picture student Shakira Lowery. Kira is the strongest woman in the world, has flashlight eyes and sees through darkness. She casts a guiding light on this new, uncanny place. We decided to use Shakira’s image as a welcoming beacon for folks on the sidewalk and as a tribute to the strength and creativity that is demanded of us all as we set out into an ever-changing world.”