City seeks input on public artwork coming to Penn’s Landing

Penn’s Landing Arch
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Philadelphia is known for many things, but art has always been at the heart of the city.

From local artists to larger-than-life murals to world-renowned museums, Philadelphia’s art scene is truly something special. And now local residents can help it thrive by giving their opinion on an upcoming project.

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) are seeking public input on six semi-finalist artist proposals for a new, site-specific public artwork at the Delaware River Waterfront. Commissioned through the City’s Percent for Art Program, this public artwork will be part of the new 11.5-acre park at Penn’s Landing due to be completed in 2025. Philadelphians can participate by reviewing the proposals and completing an online survey by July 11.

“The public input provided through this survey is vital to commissioning a new public artwork that will represent and connect with the community while telling the story of the space,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer in a statement. “We are excited about this opportunity to be part of the Park at Penn’s Landing project through our Percent for Art program.”

The new Penn’s Landing Park is part of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which guides public and private development along six miles of the Central Delaware River Waterfront. The Park at Penn’s Landing is being developed in partnership between DRWC, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Transportation. The associated site-specific Percent for Art public art commission will have the potential to tell the many stories that correlate to the park’s potential to speak to all Philadelphians and visitors with meaning, inclusivity, and thoughtfulness.

“The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s mission is to develop and steward public spaces along the river for all Philadelphians to connect with and enjoy,” said Joe Forkin, President of DRWC. “Community insight and participation is the driving factor in creating an engaging public space and we look forward to the input provided through this survey.”

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A budget of $700,000 has been allocated for this Percent for Art commission. The Penn’s Landing Percent for Art Committee chose six semi-finalists from 158 nationwide applications. The six competing artists/artist teams are:

  • Tristan Al-Haddad
  • Diana Al-Hadid
  • Alice Aycock
  • Douglas Hollis
  • Olalekan Jeyifous
  • Michelle Lopez & Sharon Hayes

The Committee is comprised of members from Philadelphia organizations including Asian Arts Initiative, Friends of the Rail Park, All That Philly Jazz, and Central Delaware Advocacy Group as well as artists, arts administrators, and residents; the architects of the park at Penn’s Landing; and representatives from the Office of Councilmember Mark Squilla; The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS); DRWC; and OACCE.

The public input will help inform the committee on which design best connects with the community when they make their final selection in the next few months.

For information or to fill out the survey, visit