The first Mayfair Spring Arts Festival celebrated art and announced a mural program on a picture-perfect day.
Last weekend was triumphant for the arts in Northeast Philadelphia and Mayfair.
The first-ever Mayfair Spring Arts Festival took over the stretch of Frankford Avenue between Princeton and Tyson avenues on April 14, which conveniently proved to be one of the sunniest days of the year. Officially starting at noon, the area had a great turnout by 11:55 a.m.
“Until it happens, you never know what the turnout will be like,” said Marc Collazzo, executive director of the Mayfair BID who spearheaded the event. “This is very exciting.”
Music wafted from the roof of Stein Your Florist as a band jammed out over the scene of vendors, visitors and public art. Artists from Art History 101 spray painted a van donated by Dunphy Ford, while painters decorated public trash cans.
The event also featured an announcement of an installation of seven or more murals in just over a mile created in conjunction with the Mural Arts Project. It will stretch across Mayfair, Holmesburg and Tacony.
“Public art is like a mirror you hold up to your community to say that your life counts, you have meaning, you have struggles and triumphs throughout your history,” said Jane Golden of the Mural Arts Project.
In her speech in a news conference in front of Stein Your Florist, Golden said the public art projects would feature opportunities for young people and every member of the community to make their mark on the city “in a big, bold, wonderful, inspiring way.”
The project is an effort among Councilman Bobby Henon’s office and numerous local businesses, organizations and residents. Henon emphasized the murals represent the fabric of the community, and said if anyone wants to make their voices heard, they should come to community engagement meetings to give their input.
The Mural Arts Project has created more than 4,000 works of public art since the mid-1980s, originally starting as an anti-graffiti network.
“We have turned Philadelphia into an outdoor museum,” Golden said.
Henon honored Patrick Kelly, current owner of Stein, and Dan Stein, the grandson of the florist’s founders. The business started in 1887 as a flower delivery service being delivered by horse and buggy.
“Patrick and his family continue the Stein Your Florist mission of making sure their customers are satisfied and celebrating life and joy,” Henon said.
Stein and Kelly were presented with a citation on behalf of the city of Philadelphia.
“I’ve been coming to this corner since 1981,” Kelly said. “It’s been a pleasure. Thank you all.”
The day also marked Collazzo’s birthday and the community sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
St. Hubert’s Lizanne Pando announced the school would be launching an arts academy, along with a STEAM curriculum.
Stein Florist, Dunphy Ford, Henon, the city, the Mayfair BID, Tacony LAB and Art History 101 sponsored the event.
The festival wasn’t the only artistic endeavor to happen that day — Tacony LAB also hosted an opening reception for its Artfull exhibition, which celebrates the past two years of the center’s artist-in-residence program.
It features paintings, graphic art, jewelry, sound art and photography from six artists. It will be on display at the center until June 2. ••
Photos by Logan Krum