March 20, 2021 4 min read
After weeks of snow, upon snow, upon snow – we finally made it to the first stop of the #MHROADTRIP. And, of course, our first stop HAD to be in Philadelphia. Already near and dear to our hearts, Philly was where Motherhood Maternity was born back in the 80s. It’s also a city known for its murals and color. We partnered up with local mama Coral, expecting her second baby in May 2021, to explore some of the color and sites of the city.
Stronger than Diabetes Mural: Fishtown
Coral started her colorful walking tour of Philadelphia in the Fishtown neighborhood, specifically on Frankford Ave: home to multiple murals done by artists and volunteers alike. But there’s one in particular that’s been a standout in the community. The Stronger than Diabetes mural showcases a big fish painted by volunteers with juvenile diabetes who hope to raise awareness surrounding diabetes, and the education and prevention available for the condition. It’s bright, colorful, and bold—just like the borough of Fishtown itself. You could stand and admire this mural all day … it’s almost like it’s fishingfor compliments. Take a page out of Coral’s book and stop and smell the fishes, mama.
Front Street Walls: Fishtown
Another Fishtown staple: the Front Street Walls. Stop and gaze at Kid Hazo’s amazing installation, found on one of the walls here. Hazo’s work was so inspirational and successful, it simply called for more work from other artists – like London-based artist Ant Carver, who installed an awe-inspiring mural with a brilliant use of color. Other artists include street artist Amberella, who weaves messages close to her heart into her art, like mental health, self-care, and body image (just to name a few). Her hearts along the Front Street Walls will instantly put a smile on your face and give you a boost of confidence. That’s just a few of the pieces that adorn these beloved Fishtown walls. Each installation is sure to breathe a little extra color into your world.
Freedom Apothecary Outdoor Mural: Brown Street, Northern Liberties
Coral headed to Brown Street next, in the nearby neighborhood of Northern Liberties. A popular hub for millennials, Northern Liberties is no stranger to art, global eateries, and hip coffee spots. Dora Cuenca—a Costa Rican artist and mother—decided to make her mark on the neighborhood with her first outdoor piece, supported by the Freedom Apothecary. Cuenca embodies what our Life & Color campaign is all about, as seen on her website: “Her work is guided by curiosity, a love for nature and the everyday motherhood experience. In her art she blends the abstract and figurative to paint the way things feel rather than the way they look. Her process and final pieces cultivate, transform and transfer energy through color and shape.” Coral was taken by this beautiful, earthy, empowering mural, as are we here at Motherhood! It celebrates mothers, women, and color. What’s not to love?
Common Threads: Broad and Spring Garden Streets, Center City
Our Life & Color series continued with Coral in Center City, where a piece titled Common Threads, painted by Philly-based artist Meg Fish Saligman, showcases where history and the modern world collide. This 7,500 square-foot outdoor mural will leave you feeling contemplative and mesmerized. It depicts young people posing as historical figures. Some are painted larger than others; some mirror each other; some are painted wearing similar demeanors. And if you’re a fan of the show “This is Us,” you’ll probably recognize this mural as it was featured in an episode! Saligman describes her mural on her website: “Common Threads is one of Philadelphia’s most iconic landmarks in contemporary muralism. Commenting on shared humanity, this work parallels today’s youth with classical aesthetics.” There’s one word that will come to mind when standing in front of Common Threads: “wow.”
Folding the Prism: 12th and Spring Garden Streets, Center City
Completed in the summer of 2019, nothing says Life & Color quite like this bold, geometric mural. Located just north of Callowhill, you’ll notice how this rich installation embodies the neighborhood’s textile history through its dynamic style that includes typography, patterns, colors, and shapes. As far as Instagram opportunities go? The limit doesn’t exist. From every angle, this mural is grid-approved. Bad day? Come here, gawk, and stay awhile. There’s no shortage of saturated colors, shapes, and design elements to keep you feeling inspired from day to night. Artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn wanted to showcase “urban topography, patterns found in nature, and woven textiles” according to the Mural Arts of Philadelphia website. We at Motherhood would say: mission accomplished.
The Electric Street: Percy Street, South Philly
To wrap up our colorful tour of the city with one of our favorite Philly mamas, Coral, we headed to South Philly —“The Electric Street,” to be more specific. This permanent installation can be enjoyed during the day or at night; however, to experience this street in all its neon glory, head there after the sun sets. Mural artist David Guinn combined his artist’s touch with lighting designer Drew Billiau to bring the city of Philadelphia (and beyond) one of its favorite photo opportunities (only after you have a cheesesteak from Pat’s and Geno’s down the block, obviously). What was once a plain 30-by-15 feet wall in a neglected alleyway is now home to more than 200 feet of colorful, LED lights.
Stay tuned for our next stop: Atlanta!
P.S: Support mothers and babies from local communities in Philadelphia simply by purchasing our Mamma tee. $2 per tee supports Maternity Care Coalition, throughout the month of March.
Follow Coral on her Instagram @CurlswithCoral
Catch up with our mama from the Motherhood Road Trip here.