While Paris may have the Louvre, and New York City has the Metropolitan Museum, an argument can be made that Philadelphia is every bit as artsy as the established art capitals of the world. In fact, the City of Brotherly Love’s abundance of mural art has earned it another nickname: Mural Capital of the World.
Art is all around you in Philadelphia, whether airbrushed on brick walls or on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the city’s appreciation for the arts has attracted both established names as well as up-and-coming artists. Philadelphia’s patronage for emerging talents has created a home for local artists who are inspired by the city and inspire its residents in return.
Our Philadelphia homes, Common Frankford and Common at Broadridge, are immersed in Philadelphia’s art scene, and members at each home are just a short walk away from some of the city’s best local art. Common members also have access to some of Philadelphia’s most attainable rates, in addition to a number of amenities like on-site laundry, professional cleanings, and thoughtfully designed spaces with breathtaking views that make you feel like you’re living in a work of art.
For when the view isn’t enough — and you’re determined to find some of Philadelphia’s best local art — here’s where to start.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
The decades-long upcycling project of one of Philly’s original muralists, Isaiah Zagar, the Magic Gardens has sparked a full-blown renaissance in the city’s local art scene over the last 50+ years. Visitors of the Philadelphia Magic Gardens are met with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling mosaics of a mix of tiles and found goods, guaranteeing a local art experience you can only find in Philly. The Gardens also showcase works from local artists, and have created a vibrant community atmosphere in the South Street neighborhood.
A museum rich with… interesting… history, the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (you read that right) is just a short walk from Common at Broadridge. The building was established as a mausoleum showroom in 1865, (much) later serving as the birthplace of the Mad Decent Block Party. Now, the space is a performing arts center which hosts over 300 events a year, including film festivals which cater to true cinephiles. For the obscure, the DIY, and the underground, there’s no better place in the city than PhilaMOCA.
Crane Arts & Crane Old School
Few places foster Philadelphia creativity like Crane Arts and Crane Old School. Housed in the historic (and massive) Crane Company Building, Crane Arts hosts a number of different galleries in the converted seafood warehouse. Making good use of the existing structure, one tenant, The Icebox Project Space, utilizes the building’s enormous walk-in freezer. Crane Arts is five minutes from Common Frankford, as is the organization’s visual arts space: Crane Arts Old School. In the theme of honoring Philadelphia’s historic structures in a unique and creative way, Old School is located in — you guessed it — a 19th Century red brick school house.
Elevating emerging talents while bringing international artists to Common Frankford’s Fishtown neighborhood, the collection at Corridor Contemporary is as eclectic as the neighborhood it occupies. Works from rising Philadelphia talents are punctuated by those from Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, creating a unique artistic experience for visitors. Common Frankford members are just steps away from Corridor Contemporary, and we can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday morning than by sipping a draft latte from La Colombe before perusing some Picassos.
Finding Philadelphia’s best local art doesn’t mean hiking up the Rocky steps, and there are countless other local art galleries left to discover. Explore our Philadelphia homes, and see how every day in Philly can be a work of art.