Public Works is a residency program that places artists in Philadelphia government agencies or organizations to develop artwork that forges new connections between the agency’s work and the communities they serve.
Created in partnership with Mural Arts, Public Works is driven by the conviction that public art has the power to inspire real, positive public change and foster public spaces that are beneficial to all. It seeks to deepen the exchanges between community and institution, provide meaningful opportunities for artists, and give a voice to underrepresented constituents.
For the program’s inaugural year, Public Works has selected Philadelphia artist Anula Shetty, who will work with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to develop a project designed to inspire positive human connection through shared transit experiences.
Anula Shetty is an award-winning filmmaker and new media artist. She is the founder of Fire Work Media, a production company that uses AR/VR and mobile apps to tell stories about the environment and marginalized communities. She is a 2020 CAAM (Center for Asian American Media) Fellow and a recipient of a Pew Fellowship. She was previously awarded three Media Arts Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and was nominated for a USA Artist Fellowship. She received a Project Involve Fellowship, two Independence Foundation Fellowships, and a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award for her art and social change work.
Read more about the residency program here.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is one of the largest transit systems in the United States, serving five counties in the Greater Philadelphia area and connecting to transit systems in Delaware and New Jersey. Its services include regional rail, buses, trolleys, subway and a high-speed line to western suburbs. SEPTA, created by the Pennsylvania legislature in 1963, began operations in 1964. Many of its services and facilities date back further — as far as the early 20th century — and became part of SEPTA through other transportation companies and organizations absorbed during the authority’s first decades.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 35 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating over 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to mutual understanding through projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation.