Here's the release:
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR NUTTER, MURAL ARTS PROGRAM ANNOUNCE GATEWAY PROJECT AT PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Philadelphia, February 2, 2010 – The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is pleased to announce How Philly Moves, a project that will place an extraordinary and vibrant new work of community-based public art on the parking decks facing Interstate 95 at the Philadelphia International Airport. The nearly 50,000 square foot mural, incorporating the photographic work of and designed by artist Jacques-Jean “JJ” Tiziou, will be produced over the next 18 months and is scheduled to be dedicated in June 2011. The project, developed in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia Office on Transportation and Utilities, will employ 35 artists and individuals in various Mural Arts Program workforce development and re-entry initiatives.
How Philly Moves will celebrate Philadelphia and welcome guests from all over the world. This mural will give visitors a first taste of the liveliness that awaits them in the City of Brotherly Love. Across the top decks of the airport parking garages, a diverse range of luminous dancing figures will swirl, unified in a rich field of black. At 60 m.p.h., the energy of the movement will be unmistakable. The joy of dance is easy to share; it is infectious, universal, and accessible to all. From Philadelphia’s long-standing tradition of tap dance to the traditional Aztec dance brought by more recent immigrants, the variety of the imagery will foster an appreciation for every element of our shared community through the common bond of dance and feature dancers from all over the Philadelphia region.
Philadelphia International Airport is the busiest gateway to the Delaware Valley region, hosting nearly 32 million passengers per year who travel on commuter, national, and international flights.
The main visual feature on the Interstate 95 approach to Philadelphia International Airport is the parking garage that stretches from Terminal A to Terminal F — nearly a half-mile-long façade of concrete deck parking in three structures. The parking garages are visible to traffic entering and exiting the airport as well as from Interstate 95.
In 2010 and 2011, the Mural Arts Program will transform a large portion of the parking garage into a memorable “gateway” for travelers and visitors to the region, adding spectacular beauty and color to the airport’s landscape and enlivening the travel experience of millions. The How Philly Moves project builds on Philadelphia’s long-standing commitment to the production of public art and will culminate in the creation of a dynamic and iconic new ‘postcard’ image for the city.
This project, in collaboration with Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler, is part of a new initiative by the Mural Arts Program to create stunning and exciting gateways into the city. “I was stuck in traffic on I-95 near the airport one day and took a look at the parking garages. It occurred to me that this was a perfect canvas for a gateway to the City project, so I called Jane Golden to discuss a collaboration. I am excited to participate in a great public art project that welcomes people to the City of Philadelphia and captures the spirit of Philadelphians in a bold way.”
“The How Philly Moves is a project that combines many areas of great importance to this administration, including workforce development, the creative economy, access to the arts, and tourism,” said Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia. “For millions of national and international visitors to Philadelphia this mural will provide a spectacular first impression of our city.”
In the preliminary phase of production on the project, JJ Tiziou brought together over seventy dancers and a large team of volunteers to produce an initial series of photographs that served to inform his proposed design concept for How Philly Moves. On March 5-7, 2010, an additional 60 dancers will be photographed by JJ Tiziou at the Painted Bride Art Center and a selection of these images will be incorporated into the final design of How Philly Moves. Both professional dancers and those who simply like to dance are invited to submit an application to be photographed. The 60 dancers selected will be notified in advance of this three-day event. Information on applying can be found at www.muralarts.org or www.HowPhillyMoves.org.
Lead artist JJ Tiziou stated, “Because every viewer can see his or herself somewhere among these dancers, this installation will go beyond just providing a beautiful piece of art to the viewers. Rather it will awaken viewers to the art in the movement around them and provide an inspiration to go out and create more.”
JJ Tiziou is a photographer specializing in portraiture and movement documentation; he has never encountered an un-photogenic person in his life. His images are used both in corporate and editorial contexts as well as arts and activism. Based in West Philly, JJ uses his work to celebrate the beautiful people around him who are working to make the world a better place. Born in Washington, DC, to French parents, he has called Philadelphia home since 1997. Samples of his work can be found at http://www.jjtiziou.net
Jane Golden, Executive Director of the Mural Arts Program said, “The How Philly Moves project is a nexus of Mural Arts Program initiatives to transform public space, impact individual lives, stimulate economic development, and generate tourism. Having created more than 3,000 works of public art to date, we have a new interest in creating gateways into the city and providing welcoming points at all entrances to Philadelphia. This project helps build Philadelphia’s international presence and gives us a fantastic opportunity to greet the world with our most creative foot forward.”
Other aspects of the How Philly Moves project include a documentary produced by The Big Picture Alliance, and a permanent exhibition inside the airport’s public space which will provide the context of the project as a whole. Everyone who participates in the photo sessions will be in the permanent exhibition, if not in the full exterior mural.
How Philly Moves is funded by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the Philadelphia International Airport, Bank of America, and US Airways.
Philadelphia International Airport is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia. The Airport is a self-sustaining entity that operates without the use of local tax dollars. It is one of the largest economic engines in Pennsylvania, generating an estimated $14.2 billion in spending to the regional economy and employing a workforce of nearly 42,000. Visit the official Philadelphia International Airport website at www.phl.org.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is an integral part of the City’s efforts to provide an efficient, well-organized transportation system that serves the needs of the public and encourages economic development. As such, the PPA’s responsibilities range from managing parking and related traffic management programs on the streets of Philadelphia, to building and operating parking lots and garages.
The Mural Arts Program is the nation’s largest mural program. Since 1984, the Mural Arts Program has created over 3,000 murals and works of public art, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.” The Mural Arts Program engages over 100 communities each year in the transformation of neighborhoods through the mural-making process, while award-winning, free art education programs serve nearly 2,000 youth at sites throughout the city and at-risk teens through education outreach programs. The Mural Arts Program also serves adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities. Each year, nearly 10,000 residents and visitors tour the Mural Arts Program’s outdoor art gallery, which has become part of Philadelphia’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration. For further information, call (215) 685-0750 or visit www.muralarts.org.