Exploring the Vibrant Street Art Scene in Philadelphia

Discover the famous street artists and graffiti artists from Philadelphia, PA who have made a name for themselves through their bold and thought-provoking creations. Learn about the roots of street art in the city and its impact on the community.

Exploring the Vibrant Street Art Scene in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love, is a hub for art and culture. From its iconic murals to its bustling galleries, the city has a rich history of showcasing diverse forms of art. One of the most prominent and unique forms of art in Philadelphia is street art and graffiti. The city is home to many talented artists in Philadelphia, PA who have made a name for themselves through their bold and thought-provoking creations.

The Roots of Street Art in Philadelphia

The roots of street art in Philadelphia can be traced back to the 1960s when graffiti started gaining popularity as a form of self-expression among the youth.

However, it wasn't until the 1980s that street art truly took off in the city. During this time, graffiti artists started using abandoned buildings and walls as their canvas, creating colorful and intricate pieces that caught the attention of passersby. One of the earliest and most influential street artists in Philadelphia was Cornbread, who is often referred to as the "Father of Graffiti." He gained recognition for his signature tag, which he would spray paint all over the city. Cornbread's bold and daring approach to graffiti inspired many other artists to take to the streets and express themselves through their art.

The Mural Arts Program

In 1984, the City of Philadelphia launched the Mural Arts Program, which aimed to combat graffiti by providing a legal outlet for artists to create murals on public spaces. This program not only helped reduce illegal graffiti but also gave a platform for local artists to showcase their talent.

Today, Philadelphia is home to over 4,000 murals, making it the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. One of the most famous murals in Philadelphia is the "Love Letter" series by artist Steve Powers. This series consists of 50 rooftop murals that spell out a love letter when viewed from a train passing through the city. The project not only beautified the city but also brought attention to the often overlooked neighborhoods along the train line.

Famous Street Artists from Philadelphia

Philadelphia has produced many talented street artists who have gained recognition not just in the city but also globally. One such artist is Shepard Fairey, who is best known for his iconic "Hope" poster featuring Barack Obama.

Fairey started his career as a street artist in Philadelphia and has since become one of the most influential figures in the street art scene. Another notable street artist from Philadelphia is Kid Hazo, who is known for his humorous and satirical pieces. His work often comments on current events and pop culture, making it relatable to a wide audience. Kid Hazo's art can be found all over the city, from street corners to abandoned buildings. Other famous street artists from Philadelphia include Joe Boruchow, who creates intricate paper cutouts that he pastes on walls, and Ishknits, who uses yarn to create colorful and eye-catching pieces. These artists have not only made a name for themselves in the city but have also gained recognition on an international level.

The Impact of Street Art in Philadelphia

Street art has had a significant impact on the city of Philadelphia.

It has not only beautified the streets but has also brought attention to important social and political issues. Many artists use their work to raise awareness about topics such as gentrification, racism, and poverty. Moreover, street art has also played a role in revitalizing neighborhoods and bringing communities together. The Mural Arts Program, in particular, has been successful in creating a sense of pride and ownership among residents of the neighborhoods where murals are located.


In conclusion, Philadelphia is home to a vibrant and diverse street art scene. From its roots in graffiti to the massive murals that adorn the city's walls, street art has become an integral part of Philadelphia's culture.

The city continues to produce talented artists in Philadelphia, PA who use their art to make a statement and bring about positive change. So next time you're walking around the streets of Philadelphia, keep an eye out for these incredible works of art that add color and character to the city.