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Art for Everyone

COLORFUL CREATION Kids in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, celebrate the completion of a mural in October 2019. STEVE WEINIK

When we want to see art, where do we go? The pandemic has made it hard to visit museums and galleries. But sometimes, we can find art outside in the neighborhood.

Murals are large artworks. They are painted on walls. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is known for its murals. Mural Arts Philadelphia has helped create nearly 4,000 of them. Often, these works represent the neighborhood in which they appear.

Lisa Murch is the director of art education at Mural Arts Philadelphia. “Art really belongs to everybody and should be everywhere,” she told TIME for Kids.

Mural Arts runs a youth program. The group teaches kids how to make murals. Students get a chance to work with professional artists.

Alaina Ewins joined Mural Arts when she was 13. She’s now a teaching artist for the program. Ewins’s first big project was a mural inside her local youth center. “We got to design the mural and paint it, which was awesome,” she says.

Ewins likes to see how making murals affects a neighborhood. Collaboration collaboration ELYSE LEWIN—GETTY IMAGES the process of working together (noun) All theater productions are a collaboration. with people in the community is important, she feels. Artists work with people in the neighborhood to design murals.

Art During Hard Times

COVID-19 has temporarily changed mural making. Artists have to practice social distancing. They are unable to work on the murals together in person. Murch says some artists are painting pieces of murals at home. The pieces will later be put on a wall. They’ll fit together like a giant puzzle.

Murch feels the youth program is crucial crucial PHIL BOORMAN—GETTY IMAGES very important (adjective) Flour is a crucial ingredient in bread. during the pandemic. “Art is a really freeing way of expressing a lot of things,” she says. “During this time of stress and anxiety . . . I think that’s a wonderful thing for kids to access.”