Friday Arts

Paul Santoleri AKA Pawzant



February 17, 2017

Paul Santoleri AKA Pawzant
Producer: Michael O’Reilly

If you are a French-speaker and try to say Paul Santoleri’s name it often gets run together and shortened to Pawzant. After hearing this many times, Santoleri embraced this name while working in Paris and other parts of Europe. He makes a living as a painter – both here in the US and abroad – and is known for his large, flowing and expansive compositions. If you’ve traveled in Center City, Philadelphia you have seen his work: the multi-sided mural of a cityscape and bike gear silhouette at 2nd and Spring Garden; on the towpath of the Manayunk Canal and the adjacent Fountain Street steps (created with Beth Clevenstine); the “Tower of Babel” mural in the downstairs lobby of WXPN. 

Many of the large works are private commissions, but Paul got his start painting public murals for the well-known Mural Arts Program. If you are headed to the airport you may have seen one of his first and largest Mural Arts creations – a giant cityscape on the side of an enormous oil tank at 2600 Penrose Ave. FRIDAY ARTS picks up the Pawzant trail there and follows it inside the airport where Paul has been awarded the commission to create a large tile work as part of the Percent for Art Program (PFAP). This city program obligates developers who are building on land acquired and assembled by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to dedicate at least one percent of the total building construction costs toward the commissioning of original, site-specific works of art. The PFAP works with the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy to not only commission new work like Paul’s interior tile creation, they also do conservation, like taking care of the Billy Penn statue on top of Philadelphia City Hall. We talk with officials from the Philadelphia Airport Art at the Airport program as well as the PFAP and Pawzant himself to navigate artistic and municipal issues that can seem as complicated and slow-moving as an airport TSA queue itself.
 

Paul Santoleri: Visual Artistry
Producer: Michael O’Reilly
Editor: Ryan Roe

After years of displaying his fantastic murals and drawings in every Philadelphia neighborhood, Paul Santoleri has mastered his craft of creating organic artworks that illustrate the unique qualities of the surrounding environment. His latest piece is being displayed in the Philadelphia International Airport to welcome and represent the city to visitors from all over the world.