Roots Mural Adds New Flair to South Street West

Perhaps last weekend you enjoyed a day of music at the Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier. Tonight, you may enjoy the stylings of the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And maybe you’re like us and still listen to Phrenology once every couple of weeks. No matter, there’s no denying that the Roots have been one of the most impressive musical success stories to come out of Philadelphia in recent decades. And now they’ve been immortalized in a new mural.

New mural

Last week, the latest work from the Mural Arts Program was unveiled in a ceremony in the rear of the World Communications Charter School at Broad & South with guests including the Mayor and most of the band. The artists for the mural are known as Amber Art and Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and include Ernel Martinez, Charles Barbin, Willis Humphrey, and Keir Johnston. According to Mural Arts, this new mural will be part of the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection, a series of murals “that uniquely capture the rich African American experience in Philadelphia.”

Closeup of ?uestlove

Last year, we were under the impression that this mural would be coming to 6th & South, on the side of a building that once held a McDonald’s but has been vacant for several years. We don’t know what brought about the location change, but we’re thinking that this is a better spot for the mural. This is not only because it’s a larger canvas, but also because that facade down the street needs windows (and the first floor space needs a tenant, too).

There’s no doubt that South Street West is smokin’ hot with new bars, restaurants, and stores popping up every month, but this new work of art adds yet another layer of buzz to this corridor. So next time you’re grabbing a bite at Quick Fixx or a pint at the Cambridge, take a quick walk down the block and check out the new mural. Trust us, it’s worth checking out in person.

Image from Mural Arts. Photo by Steve Weinik.