Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Credit Where It's Due...the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program


If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake


...just got back from the eye doctor because my artificial doors of perception are badly scratched...missing a nose piece, and, since I stepped on them on getting out of bed last week, badly mangled enough I decided finally to do something about it...could be there’s a metaphor in that somewhere...


As long as we associate happiness with getting what we want, we’ve associated it with exactly the opposite thing that makes us happy. Getting what we want doesn’t make us happy, not wanting makes us happy.
Adyashanti


...it's easy to envy the bliss we see in little kids, especially when it's brought on by so little...an ice cream cone or a favorite cartoon coming on...but, then, with that, there's the total abject wailing despair when the ice cream cone falls on the sidewalk or mom decides that's enough TV for today....there's definitely something to be said for the kind of quiet equanimity you see in older people...


Some say they can recall a thousand years
Some say they have already visited the next thousand years
On a windy day I am waiting for a bus.
Ko Un (stolen from the legendary Brooks, who got it from Yoga for a World Out of Balance, by Michael Stone)


...for a while now, been biking around Philly taking pictures of some of the amazing street art that’s appeared over the past couple decades, and have quite shamelessly used it to illustrate Yoga for Cynics posts (particularly this one and this one) as well as an Elephant Journal article. It wasn’t ’til recently, though, that I found out where all the art was coming from, and realized I’d been severely remiss about giving credit where it’s due. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, led by Jane Golden, began as an offshoot of the city’s anti-graffiti network, channeling the talents of graffiti artists to benefit their communities as well as themselves, and is now, as America’s largest public art program, responsible for Philly having more murals on its walls than any city in the world, working with a variety of non-profits, including Philly’s own Yoga Unites, to empower young people through art. I should mention I’ve showcased only a tiny handful of more than 3,000 in the city, and simply the ones I happen to have biked, walked, or driven by and liked with camera handy. In fact, they're everywhere, including neighborhoods where you probably wouldn’t expect to see dazzling public art (and, actually, a few of the photos here were taken very quickly before skedaddling away...making it highly inconvenient to realize suddenly that my back tire was going flat)...




13 comments:

TheRiverWanders said...

I've seen a few of the murals, and they are indeed stunning. You can be in a conversation with someone one minute, look up, and have an amazing piece of art in front of you. The whole city feels like a museum. I did not, however, use my quiet museum voice. :)

RB said...

The thing about the little kids and ice cream..I've been noticing lately how often I fool myself into thinking that when I'm really happy, I've achieved bliss through yoga, or I'm enlightened.

I'm only now realizing that accrediting the universe when good things happen does not count as enlightenment. It's just being that kid with the ice cream..being blissfully excited about something small.

That still doesn't prepare me for when the ice cream cone falls.

Wise post! Lots to think about!

the walking man said...

If this were a vote I think I would have to go for the fourth from the top. So many implied architectural and cultural influences melded together makes it impossible to ignore.

LauraX said...

the murals are amazing Dr Jay...It's been so many years since I lived in Philly...looks so different in your photos. What a great program idea!!! Equanimity...the thing is wanting equanimity is still desire...right??? Hmmm.

Brooks Hall said...

Those murals are amazing! Good to get one's glasses fixed, too. And bliss, well it is what it is when it is, and when it's not it's not. …a time and a place for everything, I suppose.

Anyway, enjoy your day! And thanks for sharing the words and pictures! …really enjoyed it! The word verification is "opheast", yes it is very appropriate after thanksgiving, a veritable feast of images and words—satisfying and dee-lish!

WR said...

Greetings. As always I thoroughly enjoy your blog. The photos are wonderful! Posted the site on Face Book

patti said...

Thanks for sharing these, they are truly amazing!

Eco Yogini said...

beautiful murals Jay...

earthtoholly said...

Sorry 'bout your glasses, drjay...I'm lucky...my often-mangled ones are for reading, so are easily (and cheaply) replaced at the drugstore.

The murals are beautiful. It's amazing how much undiscovered talent is out there, and it's great that the city was open to such a project...looked outside the box. It not only gives the city unique beauty, but hopefully helps some deserving folks discover their callings as artists.

"Skedaddling"...hee. I like that word.

word verification: artign...hmmm

Lana Gramlich said...

Sorry about your tire!
There was a mural program like this in the Niagara region when I lived there. Some of them were really beautiful!

Lea said...

I live in an extremely small community, but there is one building with a painted mural. I wonder what some of the tourists think when they are looking the mural over and happen to notice that there's a man in an outhouse in it :)

Anonymous said...

All stunning! Consider too the people who don't think of them in the same way. Lets hope none of these befall the fate of the famous Bansky murals that get painted over.-Franny

Lydia said...

More than 3000 murals in the city? That is impressive. Impressive also are the shots that you have shared here. I appreciate seeing them and appreciate knowing the source.