muraLAB is the Mural Arts Program’s experimental creativity hub for investigating muralism in the twenty-first century – a think-tank for advancing Mural Arts’ dual role of expert in traditional community-based public art practices and leader in the conversation about muralism’s future.
muraLAB organizes public events and exhibitions, artist residencies and special projects that investigate the rapidly evolving intersection between muralism, public art and contemporary art. These activities draw on a widening circle of artists, curators, social scientists and urban leaders from around the world to infuse our explorations with fresh perspectives, broader contexts and new urgency.
One of muraLAB’s foundations is the tradition of community-engaged artmaking that has been central to Mural Arts’ work for decades. This means exploring new ways of engaging communities in deep and meaningful ways, examining issues that are timely and relevant to people’s lives, and giving voice to marginalized populations.
Another foundation is the tradition of muralism, a worldwide movement from which Mural Arts draws great strength and to which Mural Arts lends vision and leadership. This means looking at how muralism will evolve as artistic media evolve, as new technologies and techniques emerge, as the concepts of real and virtual communities merge, and the lines between public and private space continue to blur.
muraLAB’s work is not only essential to Mural Arts’ creative development, it is also a leader in advancing the field of public art in Philadelphia and beyond. The conversations muraLAB instigates find their way into Mural Arts’ everyday artistic practices and the projects it is planning for the future. They are also a prominent voice in the vigorous discussions that are taking place about the relationship between public art and urban change.
muraLAB’s Thought Experiments and Artist Residency programs are funded by the Ford Foundation.
muraLAB’s Visiting Curators Initiative is funded by the Pew Cultural Management Initiative.