Open Source

The largest outdoor exhibition in Philadelphia wasn't in a museum. It was in your own backyard.

Project Dates: October 1, 2015 - October 31, 2015

Open Source was a citywide exhibition that brought 14 extraordinary artists from around the world to Philadelphia. They worked with Mural Arts Philadelphia and guest curator Pedro Alonzo to create a new series of public artworks that explore and illuminate Philadelphia’s diverse urban identity.
Inspired by the co-creative principles of open source platforms, Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Open Source was a month-long, citywide celebration of innovation. A response to major public art events like Miami’s Wynwood Walls, Prospect New Orleans, Germany’s documenta, and the myriad street festivals injecting creative energy into cities around the globe, Open Source advanced worldwide recognition of Philadelphia as a culturally innovative and global city.
Curated by Pedro Alonzo, the 14 projects of Open Source reveal aspects of Philadelphia’s unique urban identity. Open Source encouraged artists to engage in community-centered explorations addressing a variety of topics, including immigration, recycling, mass incarceration, the environment, community reinvestment, and displacement—all of which inform Mural Arts’ long-term artistic and social practice.
Unexpected and profound, these collaborations ignited conversations about innovation, social change, and public space. It’s a response to the incredible outpouring of thought and creativity generated by Philadelphians, a response to the depth of feeling and pride that we have in seeing our city grow and excel.

Read more about Open Source at the Mural Arts Philadelphia Website

Pedro Alonzo, Curator, Open Source

Pedro Alonzo is a Boston-based independent curator. Currently an adjunct curator at Dallas Contemporary, he was formerly an adjunct curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2011–13) and the Institute of Visual Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (1996–2002). Since 2006, he has specialized in producing exhibitions that transcend the boundaries of the museum walls and spill out onto the urban landscape. In 2013, Alonzo organized the first solo museum exhibition for the French artist JR, winner of the 2011 Ted Prize, at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati and Dallas Contemporary. At the ICA/Boston, he curated Os Gêmeos (2012), Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand (2009) and Dr. Lakra (2010). He also curated Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape (2010) at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Generations UsA (2007) at the Pinchuk Arte Centre in Kiev, Ukraine.

Open Source: A Citywide Exhibition of Temporary Public Art

Introducing Open Source

Open Source Artworks

Jonathan Monk

About the Artist

British artist Jonathan Monk replays, recasts, and re-examines seminal works of conceptual and minimal art by variously witty, ingenious, and irreverent means. Speaking in 2009, he said, “Appropriation is something I have used or worked with in my art since starting art school in 1987. At this time (and still now) I realized that being original was almost impossible, so I tried using what was already available as source material for my own work.” Through wall paintings, monochromes, ephemeral sculpture, and photography, he reflects on the tendency of contemporary art to devour references, simultaneously paying homage to figures such as Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman, and Lawrence Weiner, while demystifying the creative process.

Sam Durant

About the Artist

Sam Durant is a multimedia artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. Often referencing American history, his work explores the varying relationships between culture and politics, engaging subjects as diverse as the civil rights movement, southern rock music, and modernism. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand. Durant shows with several galleries, including Blum and Poe, Los Angeles; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York City; Praz-Delavallade, Paris; and Sadie Coles Gallery, London. His work can be found in many public collections, such as the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Tate Modern, London; Project Row Houses, Houston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Durant teaches art at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.

Jennie Shanker

About the Artist

Originally from New York, Jennie Shanker has lived and worked as an artist in Philadelphia since 1982. She has served as an exhibition consultant for Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, worked on multiple community revitalization projects in North Philadelphia with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and was a founding member of Philadelphia’s Vox Populi Gallery. She currently teaches at Tyler School of Art and the University of the Arts. Shanker’s recent project, The Marcellus Clay Experiment, has led her to an interest in developing work that examines contentious current events where reductive, ideological, and political stances have degraded the potential for important, nuanced discussions. Shanker is interested in generating space for access, information, dialogue, and understanding.


About the Artist

JR was born in France in 1983 and currently lives in Paris and New York City. Since 2000, JR has pasted his large-scale photographs in streets throughout the world as a method of exploring personal identity. By merging photography with street art, JR covers entire buildings, walls, streets and other unconventional surfaces with his wheatpasted portraits, creating what he calls “pervasive” art. His work addresses important social issues and gives a voice to the underrepresented. In 2011, JR won the TED Prize and launched Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get print and wheatpaste their own photographs. JR has had solo exhibitions at museums including the Dallas Contemporary and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and his posters have been installed outdoors in multiple continents: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Photograph of artist Michelle Angela Ortiz

Michelle Angela Ortiz

About the Artist

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist, muralist, and community arts educator based in Philadelphia. She uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform “blighted” spaces, producing visual affirmations that reveal the strength and spirit of the community. Ortiz has designed and created over 30 large-scale public works around the world. She is a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts (2011), and a recipient of the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award (2008) and two Art & Change Grants (2012 & 2006). She holds a BFA from Moore College of Art & Design and a Master’s Degree in the science of arts and cultural management from Rosemont College.

Swoon (Caledonia Curry)


About the Artist

I have explored the historic and aural infrastructures of various cities—Lagos, Nigeria in particular—through my sound recordings and installations. These works try to understand cities, mostly through sounds they generate in the form of soundscapes, but also through audio materials found in the city’s archives, and in some cases, through entirely new compositions inspired by the cities.

My proposed work for Monument Lab intends to explore the city of Philadelphia through the concept of collective memory. Herein, I am interested in how Philadelphia remembers (or forgets) its past, and how over time these collective memories have been passed from one generation to the next.

Caledonia Curry, who exhibits her artwork under the name SWOON, is a classically trained visual artist and printmaker who has spent the last 14 years exploring the relationship between people and their built environments. Her early interventions in the urban landscape took the form of wheat-pasting portraits to the walls of cities around the world, and her public practice has expanded to using art to rebuild communities and humanize today’s most pressing social and environmental issues. She co-founded Konbit Shelter in 2010, an artist’s response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti that same year. Other community-based endeavors include collaborating on the construction of musical architecture in New Orleans, and a neighborhood revitalization project in North Braddock, PA. Alongside her place-based work, she has a studio practice of drawing, printmaking, architectural sculpture, and installations. Curry’s work has been collected and shown internationally at galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the São Paulo Museum of Art.

Shinique Smith

About the Artist

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Shinique Smith now lives and works in Upstate New York. Her work is inspired by the vast nature of ‘things’ that we consume and discard, which resonate on a personal and social scale. The Graffiti of her youth, Japanese calligraphy, and Abstraction are influences from which she extracts “the graceful and spiritual qualities in written word and the everyday.”

A survey of her work, <em>SHINIQUE SMITH: Wonder and Rainbows</em> was exhibited at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville in 2015/2016.

Shinique has created a new mural at Elk Camp in Aspen/Snomass for the Aspen Art Museum, which is now on view through October 2016, and created a performance space at a playground in Philadelphia as her contribution to Open Source a citywide public arts exhibition with Mural Arts in Philadelphia curated by Pedro Alonso. Her project for this show is being featured on Articulate with Jim Cotter for WHYY TV, along with Sam Durant and Swoon.

Smith’s work has also been exhibited in numerous exhibitions at prestigious venues such as The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison WI), The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington DC), Yerba Buena Contemporary Arts Center, CAC New Orleans, The New Museum (New York), MOMA/PS1 (New York), and The Studio Museum in Harlem among others.

Permanent public installations are on view at The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay in San Francisco, The Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot, New York MTA/Art in Transit and The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in collaboration with Art Production Fund.

Smith earned her BFA (1992) & MFA (2003) from Maryland Institute College of Art, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees and her MAT (2000) from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University.

Shinique Smith is represented by David Castillo Gallery in Miami

Brand New Gallery in Milan, Italy.

Ernel Martinez, Keir Johnston, Amber Art and Design

About the Artist(s)

Ernel Martinez was born in Belize and was raised in South Central Los Angeles and Detroit. He holds a BFA from Kutztown University and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2003, Martinez has been producing public art in the city of Philadelphia, and has worked with various nonprofits and social services to provide art to disenfranchised youth. In 2011, Martinez helped to found AMBER Art & Design, a collective of five Philadelphia-based public artists. His practice focuses on creative methods that give urban communities the tools to tell their stories through art making. Martinez uses their stories as a framework to produce social practice artwork that engages and builds dialogue.

Keir Johnston studied fine art at California State University at Northridge, and painted his first mural at the age of 18. He has been involved in the production of over 30 large-scale murals throughout the country, and is a founding member of AMBER Art & Design, a collective of five Philadelphia-based public artists. He has worked collaboratively in the production of murals with life inmates at state penitentiaries, the elderly, students, youth at detention centers, the mentally and physically disabled, and the general public. Through his art practice, Johnston acts as an advocate for social issues and community groups.

Odili Donald Odita

About the Artist

Odili Donald Odita was born in 1966 in Enugu, Nigeria and lives and works in Philadelphia. He received a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1994, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2001, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 2007. Also in 2007, his large installation Give Me Shelter was featured prominently in the 52nd Venice Biennale exhibition Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind. He has had solo exhibitions in museums and institutions including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita. Odita has been commissioned to paint many large-scale wall installations, most recently at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York (2011), Savannah College of Art and Design (2012), and the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011).

The Dufala Brothers

About the Artist(s)

Steven and Billy Dufala practice in a variety of media, approaching sculpture, theater, performance, music, digital media, and drawing with equal passion and zeal. Their 2009 solo exhibition, Trophy, at Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, explored concepts of use-value, sentimentality, exaggeration, and shelf-life through an absurd and trash-picked lens. For the 2005 FringeArts Festival, they organized a now infamous race through the streets of Philadelphia, for which they built 14 tricycles made out of repurposed toilets. In 2004, they rode a cardboard tank across Philadelphia on city streets during rush hour, amazing pedestrians, puzzling motorists, and providing their audience a dose of dark, dark humor. In 2009, the Dufala Brothers were awarded the West Grand Prize, an international juried prize in its inaugural year. Both Dufala Brothers graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and they live and work in Philadelphia.

Shepard Fairey

About the Artist

Shepard Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and received his BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. While at RISD, he created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. The OBEY GIANT imagery has changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. In 2009, Fairey’s portrait of Barack Obama was inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery as the official presidential portrait. Fairey has exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including: the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.

Heeseop Yoon

About the Artist

Heeseop Yoon’s artwork deals with memory and perception within cluttered spaces. She begins by photographing interiors such as basements, workshops, and storage spaces: places where everything is jumbled and time becomes ambiguous without the presence of people. From these photographs she constructs a view and then draws freehand without erasing, creating drawings, collages, and large-scale installations. As she correct “mistakes,” the work results in double or multiple lines, reflecting how her perception has changed over time. Yoon holds a BFA from Chung-Ang University, Seoul and an MFA from City College of New York. Her selected solo exhibitions include the John and June Allcott Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Smack Mellon, New York; Arario Seoul, Seoul, Korea; and Triple Candie, New York.


About the Artist

MOMO is an artist working in public spaces with homemade tools. His current interests lie with an evolving range of adapted masonry techniques to draft, design, and organize wall murals. Born in San Francisco in 1974, MOMO has travelled most of his life, lived in New York for six years and currently keeps a studio in New Orleans.

In 2008 Rojo published his first monograph “3AM-6AM;” in 2012 Studio Cromie published his second, “In 74 Pieces.” May Gallery recently hosted his immersive installation show “Butt Joints” in New Orleans; Studio Cromie produced a Caribbean painting tour and exhibition in Southern Italy; and the New York DOT commissioned a 200-foot-long mural between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in Dumbo, Brooklyn. In 2015 MOMO created a 250 ft wide lobby mural for the John Hancock Tower in Boston, a 250 foot tall mural in downtown Philadelphia, and a double-facade 5 story printed vinyl mural in Manhattan, as produced by Art Production Fund NY.

Open Source is presented by:

Lead corporate support provided by:

Generous additional support provided by:

Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Foundation, City of Philadelphia, Ford Foundation, The Barra Foundation, Sadie Coles HQ London, Paula Cooper Gallery New York, and Blum & Poe Los AngelesNew York, and Tokyo.




Dean Adler & Susanna Lachs Adler
PTS Foundation
Richard Vague


Comcast NBCUniversal
J2 Design Partnership
Nick and Dee Adams Charitable Fund


Blick Art Materials
Bridgette Mayer Gallery
Joe and Jane Goldblum
Neiman Marcus
Parkway Corporation
ShopRite Colligas Family Markets
Joe & Renee Zuritsky


Amoroso’s Baking Company
Arts & Crafts Holdings
First American Title Insurance Company National Commercial Services
Goldenberg Group
Kristin & Michael Karp
Relief Communications, LLC
The Paul and Emily Singer Family Foundation
Dana Spain




Photography and Videography:

Photography: Steve Weinik (unless otherwise noted)
Videography: Tweed Video productions