Open Source is sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. It is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages communities in 50–100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Each year, 12,000 residents and visitors tour Mural Arts’ outdoor art gallery on docent-led trolley and walking tours, as well as with audio guides and self-guided maps. The program has become part of the city’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration. Its tireless efforts have earned Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.”
The Sonesta Philadelphia has long embraced our love of art, from the walls in the lobby to the creative “Food Is Art” items on our menu. Our newly re-designed hotel gets much of its inspiration from the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, whose talented painters and sculptors display their work in our in-house gallery. Their breathtaking pieces – available for purchase and on rotation every six months – adds to the cultural landscape of the City of Brotherly Love, and enrich the lives of our guests and our staff.
This October, Open Source is bringing 14 international artists to Philadelphia. Their media vary greatly, from sculpture to community murals to street art. They will all work with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to create a new series of public artworks that explore and illuminate the city’s diverse urban identity.
We’re thrilled to be the go-to spot for talks, tours and visual documentation for this exciting event, beginning September 30. Hotel guests and city residents alike are invited to meet the artists and curator, Pedro Alonzo, during sessions at the hotel. We invite you to follow along on social media and via the hotel’s website to see the mural evolve and take shape.
What’s more, the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown is proud to offer up our 25-story building as a canvas as the artist MOMO from New Orleans creates a giant mural for all to enjoy and, no doubt, marvel at. MOMO is the standard-bearer for abstraction in street art and has installed murals in countries all over the world. Perhaps most famously, he is a perennial participant in the Italy’s legendary FAME Festival. If you’re in the neighborhood, we invite you to attend a special reception at the hotel for MOMO on Monday, October 5 from 6-8pm.