Mural Arts Philadelphia, the public art organization that creates social change through art, has jumped into action during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Mural Arts Philadelphia Space Pad Project launched last week, created by Mural Arts staff and artists.

Mural Arts will supply grocery stores throughout Philadelphia with vinyl Space Pads they can use to encourage proper spacing for customers who are waiting in check-out lines — 6 feet apart per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Each Space Pad will be designed by a Mural Arts artist and will combine beautifully-designed imagery or text with helpful public health facts related to COVID-19 and/or a message of hope.

Four artists are each designing five decals: Felix St. Fort, Dora Cuenca, Shira Walinsky, and Adam Crawford. The Space Pads will be provided at no cost to the store, will be delivered to the site, and each store will install their own supply.

The pads will be approximately 14 inches by 14 inches in size and each store will receive a kit of 20 Pads, including installation materials and instructions. The vinyl Pads are being fabricated by Sign & Design in Holland, Pennsylvania.

Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, said, “When one of our project managers, Kate Jacobi, suggested the idea, we knew that Mural Arts should jump at the chance to be involved. We know that art can help magnify public health messaging, in addition to beautifying unusual places when we need it most.”

The Space Pads will be installed at Philadelphia-area grocery stores. The first store to install them was the ShopRite of Whitman Plaza at 330 West Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia, which is owned by the Colligas family, longtime supporters of Mural Arts Philadelphia.

The initial designs are created by artists Felix St. Fort and Dora Cuenca. If grocery stores or small markets wish to receive the Space Pads, they can reach out to Mural Arts Philadelphia at

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For more than 35 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 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 Follow along on social media: @muralarts on Twitter and Instagram, and @MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.

Tribune Staff Report

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