Mural Arts Philadelphia and PIDC unveil new public art projects which begin an ongoing collaborative partnership at the Navy Yard. The Navy Yard has always been a place of innovation, production, and discovery, and now it’s also a site for creative experimentation and exploration through public art.
The Navy Yard public art features the work of two artists. Nate Harris has designed multiple installations, all inspired by the history of the Navy Yard and rendered in different formats and media, and Miriam Singer has created a new graphic look applied in variety of ways, including wraps of the Navy Yard’s vehicle fleet.
Harris is a local artist who works in graphic design, illustration, printmaking, and woodworking. He has created a variety of installations that recall the history of the Navy Yard, including flags that evoke ship sails and banners affixed to building columns, all designed with bold, high-impact shapes and colors. He also designed a mural that pays homage to naval designs dating back to World War I, as well as bright, patterned graphics for the Central Green sunlawn, turning everyday steps into a welcoming place to sit and gather.
“I was inspired by nautical themes, such as sails hung from masts, gatekeepers who seem stoic and proud, and the ‘dazzle’ patterns of camouflaged ships in World War I,” Harris explained.
“Each installation is notably different from the other, in order to create a sense of discovery for the viewer. I did my best to approach each piece with sensitivity to the respective space, keeping in mind how viewers may interact with each piece.”
Singer, a Philadelphia-based artist who frequently collaborates with Mural Arts, has designed a striking graphic expression for the Navy Yard. Her design will make colorful appearances on marketing materials and wrapped shuttle buses that travel to and from the site.
“In creating a new and contemporary graphic look for the Navy Yard, I was inspired by the site’s evocative history and spirit,” Singer said. “My design is fictional cityscape—it expresses the Navy Yard as a collage of noise, pattern, and density, and reflects the layered changes that the historic industrial port has seen over time. It metaphorically builds and disappears at once, as a metaphor for the way time changes and fluctuates.”
This is the first collaboration between Mural Arts Philadelphia and PIDC, which manages and develops the historic waterfront district. This celebratory event today serves to dedicate the new projects, which will be available for public view throughout the summer and beyond. Visitors are highly encouraged to discover these Mural Arts projects positioned around the waterfront, parks, historic buildings, naval ships, and more.
“The Navy Yard is a rich and vibrant place, with historic and maritime assets that make it like no other setting in Philadelphia,” said Prema Katari Gupta, PIDC’s Senior Vice President of Navy Yard Planning and Development. “We are thrilled that our public art partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia will give the public another reason to explore the Navy Yard.”
“The Navy Yard is a place that has long held Mural Arts’ attention and interest and we are thrilled to be doing projects there,” said Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “We are so grateful to PIDC for understanding the role public art can play in our built environment. Additionally, we applaud PIDC for their support of local artists and the way they have embraced the Navy Yard as a platform for creativity and a place to show off emerging artistic talent.”
Pictured: Navy Yard projects by Nate Harris. Photos by Steve Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to understanding with projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world, and with programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, which has earned Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “City of Murals.” For more information, call 215-685-0750 or visit muralarts.org. Follow along on social media: @muralarts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.