Artist plans 5-mile torrent of color along train tracks out of 30th St. Station

 Katharinia Grosse visits the project in the summer (Photo by Steve Weinik)

Katharinia Grosse visits the project in the summer (Photo by Steve Weinik)

SEPTA and Amtrak commuters traveling through Philly can look forward to a lot of color in the spring as Berlin-based artist Katharinia Grosse begins painting dilapidated buildings along the tracks.

 Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden said riding the train through Philly will be more than just a mode of transportation — it will be an art-viewing experience.

“For many years we’ve been thinking about creating a linear gallery that you see when you’re leaving 30th Street Station and headed up toward New York because it’s this industrial area that just seems to be crying out for some beautification and art,” Golden said.

Golden said that’s finally going to happen. With a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Grosse  will put up five miles of color along the train corridor on buildings, rubble and rocks.

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“She’s going to be painting on the facade of some of the older deteriorated industrial buildings,” Golden said. “Many of the buildings are peeling, having broken windows, they’re covered with very very old graffiti.”

Golden hopes the art will capture viewers’ imaginations and stimulate interest in the section along the train route.

“Her work is quite abstract, quite conceptual. So it will be really bold color!” Golden said. “Someone described her work once as ‘shock and awe!'”

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