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Got art? Philadelphia celebrates murals in October

Special to the Los Angeles Times

Art is in the air in October as Philadelphia celebrates many of its more than 3,500 murals during Mural Arts Month.

What began in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network has blossomed into the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Muralist and founder Jane Golden redirected the energy and creativity of graffiti artists from marring neighborhood walls into murals, and the program now gives birth to about 150 murals a year.

Highlights of “31 Days, 31 Ways: Art Ignites Change” include mural dedications, outdoor celebrations and free tours.

On Oct. 7, two murals at the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets will be dedicated. “Acknowledgment” and “Apprised,” by muralist David Gordon, explore contradictions in the United States Constitution. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

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From 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 12, How Philly Moves will be dedicated. This 85,000-square-foot mural, completed in July, spans the parking decks facing Interstate 95 at the Philadelphia International Airport. The mural, by artist/photographer JJ Tiziou and lead muralist Jon Laidacker, features 26 figures of dancers and is designed for viewing while traveling at highway speeds.

From 10 a.m.-noon each Saturday in October, Bank of America is sponsoring free mural arts tours -- by trolley, foot, bike and subway -- departing from various bank locations.

Info: Mural Arts Program, (215) 685-0750. (On Saturday, www.muralarts.org/31, a link that details all the special events, is scheduled to go live.)

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