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A Love Letter for You

From: Yowei Shaw
Series: Philly Street Level
Length: 02:25

A sound portrait of graffiti artist and West Philadelphia native, Steve Powers, who painted a love letter across 50 walls facing the Market elevated train in West Philadelphia.

Ll-ill-wait-close_small Picture a huge poster board with the words: will you go to prom with me? The Love Letter project, a collaboration between artist Steve Powers and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, has the same kind of blatantly honest and cringingly sweet feeling of teenage romance. In the summer of 2009, Steve Powers, with the help of 40 local and international artists, painted a love letter across 50 walls facing the Market elevated train in West Philadelphia. 

Steve hasn't been around to see the decline of the thriving Market Street corridor over the past decade since the beginning of reconstruction on the Market elevated train line, but he grew up in West Philadelphia tagging the very rooftops he's legally painting now, with the blessing of the City of Philadelphia. He says he loves West Philadelphia and hopes to serve the Market Street community with the Love Letter project, which also includes a sign school and shop that will provide training for area youth and free signage for businesses on the corridor. 

In my opinion, it's really a love letter to West Philly he's writing.

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Piece Description

Picture a huge poster board with the words: will you go to prom with me? The Love Letter project, a collaboration between artist Steve Powers and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, has the same kind of blatantly honest and cringingly sweet feeling of teenage romance. In the summer of 2009, Steve Powers, with the help of 40 local and international artists, painted a love letter across 50 walls facing the Market elevated train in West Philadelphia. 

Steve hasn't been around to see the decline of the thriving Market Street corridor over the past decade since the beginning of reconstruction on the Market elevated train line, but he grew up in West Philadelphia tagging the very rooftops he's legally painting now, with the blessing of the City of Philadelphia. He says he loves West Philadelphia and hopes to serve the Market Street community with the Love Letter project, which also includes a sign school and shop that will provide training for area youth and free signage for businesses on the corridor. 

In my opinion, it's really a love letter to West Philly he's writing.

1 Comment Atom Feed

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Keep striving for the Best.

This type of piece could have been considered a promotional advertisement for Mr. Powers project, "A Love Letter." However, this perception became a distorted opinion once he spoke about what the project truly meant to him. He became vulnerable allowing the audience to genuinely get to know more about himself. Within a few minutes he described how this form of art became personal to him, but more than anything grew into a positive outlet. He's driven to empower others within his community, pouring love into them through his art. To show his pride in his community. "Why does it have to be words? What about the people who can't read," was a line that stuck out to me. It symbolized how sincere he on his quest to incorporating his community within his art, to represent them as a whole.

Beside his heart felt emotions, I loved how the different sounds were embedded within the piece. Especially the opening sound, "Doors are closing." I honestly felt like I was on the platform about to get onto Septa. Even afterwards I could still hear the train, as he spoke, but it wasn't distracting. It was more like his pieces theme song, as he traveled on the train tracks of pride. The community being involved, also gave flare to this piece. My favorite would've been the little girl. Although she wasn't very clear, she was adorable. There one could see that the paintings were created for various age ranges.

I enjoyed the piece. One suggestion I have would be to include a description of at least one of the paintings, so that I could've connected more with it. Also, to show what the end result was, within the mist of confusion to what he considered represented the community. That alone would've reeled me in even more. Overall, I believe it was stringed together very well. Something I'd expect from my Radio Mentor: Yowei Shaw!
Keep striving for the Best.