This post is written by a guest writer.
Created in the summer of 2009, the renowned Love Letter street-art project was the work of the Philadelphia-born artist, Stephen Powers.
The Love Letter is a collaborative community project of fifty murals and street signs consisting of artistically designed text, spanning the corridor that runs from 46th through to 63rd Street in West Philadelphia. Designed to resemble love notes from a boy to his unrequited love travelling on the daily train, it can also be interpreted as a love letter from an artist to his home town. The murals now grace the same buildings where Stephen Powers learned his own graffiti skills as a youth.
Love Letter Train Tour
The murals are best viewed while travelling on the Love Letter Train Tour that takes visitors on a five miles per hour urban adventure on a decorated train that probably even has breakdown cover. The train travels on the elevated track along Market Street to give the same view as the letter writer’s imaginary lover would have of the murals and tour guides provide detailed stories that highlight the difficulties and delights of relationships about each individual work.
Stephen Powers is an artist with the sometimes controversial Exterior Surface Painting Outreach, or ESPO. His works have been displayed at the Liverpool and Venice Biennials. As a Fulbright scholar, he created murals in the Shankhill area of Belfast and in Dublin with local teenagers. He has also written a book of graffiti history, ‘The Art of Getting Over’.
The Philadelphia Mural Arts Programme
Part of the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Programme, the largest public arts programme in the United States, the Love Letter project has a size, scope and appeal that have never been seen in the city before.
The corresponding film, Love Letter, of documentary footage and narrative was made by Power’s long-term collaborator Joey Garfield. There is also a book called ‘A Love Letter For You’ containing photographs taken by Adam Wallacavage and Zoe Strauss.
Image via jonny goldstein‘s flickr stream.
*This post made possible by Green Flag.
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