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A knitting workshop with Olek, held at the Barnes. Knitting photos by Steve Weinik

About the Project

The Barnes is collaborating with Mural Arts Philadelphia to creatively reuse our former guest services center. The small structure, uniquely situated at the edge of our site, is an ideal place for art activations that function as a critical bridge to communities near us.

What's On

Love Across the USA

This spring and summer, you’ll find New York–based artist Olek and her team using the studio as part of her 50-state community public art project, Love Across the USA. Olek will work with participants to create a portrait of an important Philadelphia woman through a series of workshops held here and throughout the city. Participants will create small crochet squares that will be sewn together to create a final mural.

Open Studio Hours + Workshops
Every weekend, you’ll find us in the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes, where we’ll be hosting crochet meetups and talking about the project.

Sundays, April 1–May 27, 1–4 pm

Love Across the USA: Artist Talk
Olek shares insight about her 50-state community art project and the entry for Philadelphia.

Sunday, April 29, 12–1pm
Barnes Foundation, Annenberg Court

Mural Assembly with Team Olek
Come see Olek and her team assemble the finished crochet squares to bring the mural to life.

Sunday, June 3, 10 am–8 pm
Barnes Foundation, Annenberg Court

Mural Dedication
The final mural will be installed and dedicated at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center.

Tuesday, June 5, 6–8 pm
Marian Anderson Recreation Center, 740 South 17th Street

Olek's Nina Simone mural in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Past Projects

Restorative Justice 

Mural Arts' Restorative Justice program engages individuals who are incarcerated, on probation, or on work release. The program provides opportunities for these individuals to reconnect with society in productive ways through community engagement, skill-building, and collaborative mural projects.

In January and February, the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes will host classes for the Guild, Mural Arts’ paid apprenticeship program, which helps formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults on probation forge bonds with their community while developing job skills. You’ll also find artists working with the program—muralist Ben Volta and former Guild participant and rising star Russell Craig—using the space as a studio.

Monument Lab

What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? That was the question posed by Monument Lab, a citywide public art and history project produced by Mural Arts in 2017. Our studio was used to host the Monument Lab field research office, where idea-gathering sessions, open houses, and artist activations were held over a number of months.