Industrious Light: A Tribute to Philadelphia’s Industrial History

Phillip Adams

Phillip Adams

There’s history everywhere in Philadelphia, if you know where to look. With his new mural series Industrious Light, artist Phillip Adams brings some of that underappreciated history to life on a grand scale.

In partnership with Hidden City Philadelphia, Mural Arts and Adams are creating a visual narrative of the city’s expansive history in brewing, textiles, tool making, railroads, and other key industries. The murals stand out thanks to Adams’ distinctive style of painting directly onto walls with charcoal.

Industrious Light: Ortlieb's Brewery © 2014 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Phillip Adams. Ortlieb's Lounge, 847 N 3rd Street.

Industrious Light: Ortlieb’s Brewery © 2014 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Phillip Adams. Ortlieb’s Lounge, 847 N 3rd Street.

The first mural in the series, Industrious Light: Ortlieb’s Brewery, went up in fall 2014 on the side of Ortlieb’s Lounge in Northern Liberties, next to the site where Ortlieb’s Brewery once stood. The piece celebrates Philadelphia’s long brewing tradition, incorporating machines and supplies from the original brewery into the design.

Phillip Adams at work on Industrious Light: Rowhouse Spirits.

Phillip Adams at work on Industrious Light: Rowhouse Spirits.

In April, Adams got started on the second Industrious Light mural at Rowhouse Spirits in East Kensington, located next door to Philadelphia Brewing Company.

But not all the Industrious Light murals will be about brewing and distilling. Below is a concept drawing for a proposed mural, Industrious Light: Textile Industry. Mural Arts hopes to continue the project through next spring and perhaps beyond, highlighting additional sites and historic Philadelphia industries.

Head on over to Rowhouse Spirits to see the latest piece in the Industrious Light series, and look for more Industrious Light murals and events with the Philadelphia Public History Truck, coming soon.

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