Growing up, I looked at street art almost unconsciously, paying more attention to it visually rather than conceptually. Now, after years of seeing thousands of misleading corporate ads with the sole intent of collecting money from me, it has become both relieving and exciting to find imaginative public exhibitions of art scattered throughout cities.
I can understand why graffiti might be bothersome to businesses and communities, but at the same time, should city walls and alleys remain devoid of all artwork? Take Philadelphia for example: The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was started in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network and has now become the largest public art program in the United States, responsible for over 3,000 murals.
Showing just how important art can be, the Mural program has been used to tell the stories of different neighborhoods, as a tool for improving education, and a restorative tool to prevent crime and violence in communities.
Here are a few of my favorites: