• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

New mobile mural rolls on the Market Frankford Line

The Mural Arts Program and SEPTA took the concept of bringing art to the people to a new level today when they unveiled "We Are All Neurons," a student-designed mural wrapped around Market Frankford Line car 1156. 

The "mobile mural" will travel on the Market Frankford Line (MFL) for approximately three months, adding a flash of color to the journeys of the line's 200,000 daily passengers. 

Artist Benjamin Volta and students in a Mural Arts summer program designed the mural with inspiration from the "BRAIN" Initiative - a research effort to understand and map the brain that President Obama announced last spring. Together the students explored the unknowns of the brain and drew countless neurons. They even painted a giant neuron on the floor of Volta's studio. 

"I'm so proud," said eighth-grader Ailisha Goodwin-Dancy who helped design the mural. "I see some of mine in here," she said. 

While SEPTA has wrapped train cars for advertisements before, this is the first time SEPTA has done so for solely artistic purposes.

Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden praised SEPTA for never saying no to art. Golden said that one of the Mural Arts Program's most successful projects is "Love Letter," the series of murals that can be seen from the MFL as it travels west of Center City. She said she is especially excited by this new train wrap because, unlike Love Letter, the project will reach passengers on the entire MFL. 

"Art should be integrated into our lives," Golden said. "We believe every citizen in Philly should have access to art."

    • The car will run on the Market Frankford Line for about three months
      The car will run on the Market Frankford Line for about three months
    • Ailisha Goodwin-Dancy, an eighth-grader who helped design the wrap, admired the final product
      Ailisha Goodwin-Dancy, an eighth-grader who helped design the wrap, admired the final product
    • The students pointed to various neurons they drew during the 6-week summer program
      The students pointed to various neurons they drew during the 6-week summer program
    • The design is based on creative exploration of the brain
      The design is based on creative exploration of the brain
    • This is the first SEPTA wrap that has been done solely for artistic purposes and not as an advertisement
      This is the first SEPTA wrap that has been done solely for artistic purposes and not as an advertisement
    • The colorful wrap is on Market Frankford Line car 1156
      The colorful wrap is on Market Frankford Line car 1156
    • The SEPTA and Mural Arts collaboration explores the unknowns of neuroscience
      The SEPTA and Mural Arts collaboration explores the unknowns of neuroscience
    • Panels on the inside of the car explain the project
      Panels on the inside of the car explain the project
    • Artist Benjamin Volta and his son looked down the Market Frankford Line tracks
      Artist Benjamin Volta and his son looked down the Market Frankford Line tracks
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About the author

Christine Fisher, Transportation reporter

From 2012-2014 Christine covered transportation, writing about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments sent her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covered community news for Eyes on the Street, where her work ranged from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website. 


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