Nestled on the corner of 22nd and Ellsworth Streets in Philadelphia, the We the Youth mural by Keith Haring stands as a vibrant testament to the city's artistic legacy. Spanning the entire west-facing wall of a private row-house, the mural is a breathtaking sight to behold, with its bold colors, playful figures, and poignant message.
“We the Youth” was originally created by pop artist Keith Haring in collaboration with children from CityKids Philadelphia and New York, in partnership with the Brandywine Workshop in 1987.
For over three decades, the We the Youth mural has been a beloved landmark and cultural icon in the city's vibrant South Philly neighbourhood. It has become a source of pride for the local community, serving as a symbol of unity, diversity, and creative expression.
City Kids of Philadelphia + NYC
The We the Youth mural has undergone several transformations over the years, but its essence and impact have remained constant. In 2013, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Keith Haring Foundation joined forces to restore the mural to its former glory. The restoration process was a labor of love, involving meticulous cleaning, repainting, and touch-ups to ensure that the mural looked as vibrant and captivating as it did when it was first painted in 1987.
We the Youth
To complement the restored mural, a small garden was also installed in the area below it. The garden serves as a beautiful and tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the surrounding cityscape, providing visitors with a peaceful space to reflect on the mural's message and significance.
Today, the We the Youth mural and garden continue to attract visitors from all over the world, who come to marvel at its beauty and pay homage to Keith Haring's artistic vision. The mural's enduring legacy is a testament to the power of public art to inspire, educate, and unite communities.
Keith Haring - We the Youth
Brandywine Workshop and Archives. A CityKids Foundation project entitled "We the Youth" in Philadelphia. Keith Haring collaborated with children from the Philadelphia Brandywine Workshop to create the mural in 1987.
The mural is a stunning display of Haring's signature dancing figures, rendered in bold and bright colours that leap off the wall and captivate the viewer's imagination. The figures are arranged in a playful and dynamic composition, creating a sense of movement and energy that is both joyful and up-lifting.
Detail of Keith Harings We the Youth
What makes "We the Youth" even more special is that it is the only collaborative public mural by Keith Haring that is still intact and at its original site. Haring created the mural in partnership with Brandywine Workshop, a non-profit arts organisation based in Philadelphia. The mural was designed to promote unity, diversity, and social justice, themes that were close to Haring's heart and central to his artistic vision.
We the Youth
Despite the passage of time and the challenges of weather and wear, "We the Youth" has retained its beauty and power, continuing to inspire and engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds. It is a testament to Keith Haring's enduring legacy as an artist, activist, and humanitarian, and a shining example of the transformative power of public art.
Mural by: Keith Haring
- Mural restored: 2013. Restored by: City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
- Artists: Kim Alsbrooks, Jennifer Procacci, Charles Newman, Laura Velez, Malachi Floyd.
- Sponsors: Keith Haring Foundation, City of Philadelphia.
- Partners: Keith Haring Foundation.
- Project Manager: Kate Jacobi.
Alistair is a passionate traveler who has explored a diverse array of cultures and countries, having visited over 50 destinations across multiple continents.
Currently in: London, United Kingdom — @0_7734