Philly's Full of Love

The artwork is being turned into a film

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl but girl doesn't know boy exists. Boy paints murals along Market Street to get her attention.

It's not quite the classic story, but it works.

The Mural Arts Program was created by Overbrook native Steve Powers and kids from West Philadelphia. It's a series of 50 love letters -- a project called "A Love Letter For You" -- in the form of roof-top murals based on a fictional love story. The ambitious project is also being turned into a partly-scripted documentary, two books and a gallery exhibition.

These brightly colored, hard-to-miss signs are designed to be viewed from the El Train, where the mystery girl will see them as she goes to and from work every day, according to Ryan Derfler at Mural Arts.

"The story is loosely based on the experiences of Steve Powers," said Derfler.

Powers, a graffiti artist from West Philly formerly known as "Espo," now lives in New York.

The murals are short, vibrantly colored and to the point -- one reads "Prepay is on, let's talk till my minutes are gone" with two cell phones painted on either side. Another looks like jumbled letters on a refrigerator which have been clumsily arranged to say "If you were here I'd be home now." 

They aren't only based on the love story, though, anyone can find meaning in them.

"The murals, which are best viewed from the Market-Frankford elevated transit line, collectively express a love letter from a guy to a girl, from an artist to his hometown, and from local residents to their West Philadelphia neighborhood," according to the official Web site.

Tours of the Love Letters are offered every Saturday through Feb. 27. The tour leaves from Love Park at 10 a.m. and cost $17 (cost includes a SEPTA token.

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