December 14, 2020 - October 12, 2021
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 world-wide pandemic, Philadelphia creative Mark Strandquist initiated an on-going visual arts project based on the question: How could artists fill our public streets with images and words to support folks emotional and mental health, share resources, dream of a more just future, and call out politics in this critical moment? It was his goal to enliven boarded up businesses and empty walls throughout Philadelphia with messages of comfort, advice, and positivity.
At a time when people are fearful, suffering, and struggling, Strandquist rallied the arts community to Fill the Walls with Hope to affect change through messages of support, love, and solidarity. Phrases such as Mask Up; You Are Not Alone; Standing Apart Means Coming Together; and If You Are Gonna Spread Anything Spread Help, Compassion, and Humor—all co-mingle, overlap, and repeat—to emulate Philly’s dynamic street art, an art form often utilized to raise public awareness of current societal issues.
Fill the Walls with Hope has received artwork from more than 75 contributors and has created over 1,500 street arts installations to date, mostly in the Philadelphia area with a few located in Los Angeles, Richmond, and as far away as the Netherlands.