A mural grows at K&A


Ann Northrup in front of her mural
Ann Northrup (left) in front of her new mural at K&A

We at Artblog are picky about our murals. We like what we like and some murals we are just not fans of. One of our very dear friends, Ann Northrup, is a mural painter. I don’t claim to be objective here but I think Ann’s murals are some of the best in the city. Ann works with communities in the traditional Mural Arts Program fashion and then she takes the wall to another level–somewhere way back to the Piero della Francesca days where perspective matters and people are shown as heroic within a context of the city. Ann is a classically-trained painter and brush strokes matter to her even when they’re 15 feet off the ground.

Ann Northrup, speaking at the mural dedication.
Ann Northrup, speaking at the mural dedication.

Ann’s mural, The Heart of Kensington, at Kensington and Allegheny, was dedicated Saturday. Mayor Nutter was there.  We saw his mayoral vehicles rush up Allegheny with their lights flashing.  But instead of zipping right up to the mural in his big car, they parked a block away and the Mayor and his team walked up and waded right into the crowd. He looked cool in his long sleeved white shirt and pink tie — in spite of the 90 degree weather and burning hot sun. Nutter spoke briefly and his focus was on the Kensington neighborhood and how his administration would make stopping the drugs, guns and violence there a priority. He mentioned that the head of the Mural Arts Program, Jane Golden, was in Vietnam helping that government launch a mural program and how great it was that she was bringing her successful experience here to other parts of the world.  Before and after he spoke Nutter shook hands and posed for photos with everyone who wanted to have their picture taken with him. He’s not a rock star and yet his charisma is great.

Mayor Nutter ready to cut the ribbon
Mayor Nutter and others preparing to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Check the size of the ribbon cutting scissors!

We are still awaiting the appointment of the city’s Office of Arts and Culture head. We can’t wait in fact!  And we hope for the announcement to come some time soon. The town’s artsand culture scene has energy to burn and it would be a missed opportunity for the city to not help lead and steer the discussion towards an even better future.


a kiss for mayor nutter, ann northrup, philadelphia mural arts program



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