Tucked away from foot traffic and behind some seedy bars, Philadelphia’s Percy Street was a typical spot for neighborhood crime. The spot is now shining brighter than ever thanks to a recent neon light art installation.
The piece, titled ‘Electric Street’ is a collaborative effort between artists David Guinn and Drew Billiau as well as local art-loving residents. For years, the residents had been trying to brighten up the area with public art, but progress was initially stalled. After speaking to Guinn at a holiday party, it was learned that he was awarded a Knight Grant and needed to engage in a civic art project by a certain date. From there, Percy Street Project was born!
The project has received lots of buzz and excitement and has even been revitalizing the area more than anyone could have expected. As the installation is a bit hard to find it’s bringing a great amount of foot traffic to the area, especially after dark. The installation is becoming a popular spot for Instagrammers and people have been making a point to check out the otherwise under-visited area in order to get their selfies in. This has inadvertently been keeping crime in the area down, and boosting local business as more people are walking around in search of the bright lights.
Electric Street is the first phase in the larger Percy Street Project, yet no one is certain what’s coming next. The installation was installed largely in secret, and the team has been very quiet on their end. Be sure to stay tuned!