For the next few months, one of the El's train cars will double as a moving neuron.
Student art wrapped around a train has transformed it into a moving mural as part of a Mural Arts program to showcase students’ work. Students worked with artist Ben Volta on the We Are All Neurons project, learning about the history of transit art while exploring connections between the brain, art, and creativity. The result is a train car wrapped with a colorful map of a brain, and connections between the neurons like the El connects the different neighborhoods of the city.
The project is part of the Mural Arts Leap (Local Emerging Artists Program) to create opportunities for local emerging artists in unconventional ways. We've already seen Design in Motion, the campaign that painted murals on trash and recycling trucks. Then we saw trash being tossed into trucks colored with garden scenes. It was unconventional and a very nice change for a formerly plain recycling truck.
Meanwhile, Septa has been consistently making changes in various parts of the city to improve some of its aging infrastructure. For example, last year new murals were painted under the El at 46th & Market in West Philly. More recently, a $4M project entirely rehabbed and updated the Septa loop with improvements including a green roof, at 33rd & Dauphin. And there are plans to transform the 40th Street Trolley Portal in West Philly at Baltimore Ave. into a much more active plaza, also with a green roof. As the city experiences redevelopment across the board, it will need an improving transit system- and projects like this show continued investment in public transit in Philadelphia.
All images courtesy of Septa.