The Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia: The Big Picture

Youth Art Gallery, between Terminals D and E
June 6, 2003 - November 16, 2003

The Mural Arts Program (MAP), founded in 1984, has completed more than 2,100 indoor and outdoor murals throughout the city of Philadelphia. This innovative program has transformed the cityscape, turning graffiti-scarred walls into scenic views and community portraits.

In addition to the murals, a major component of the Mural Arts Program is its educational mission known as the Big Picture. This after-school program provides young students with fine art instruction and exposes them to the history and process of mural painting. Philadelphia area students, ages 8 to 18, follow a year-long curriculum designed to help them develop their art skills as well as gain confidence through community involvement.

Since its inception in 1999, the Big Picture Program has involved over 1,000 students and has grown to 36 workshop locations throughout the city including recreation centers, community centers, schools, shelters, churches, and art galleries. This exhibition is a sampling of artwork by participating students in the Big Picture Program.

The Mural Arts Program was created by former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode to address the city's growing graffiti problem and operated as part of the City's Anti-Graffiti Network. In 1996, the program joined the Department of Recreation of the City of Philadelphia.