Public artist Meg Saligman is one of Philadelphia’s biggest Eagles fans.
So it’s nothing for her to jump on 135-foot crane to get hoisted to the facade next to the historic Hale Building in Center City, where she and her team are finishing up the mural commemorating the Eagles Super Bowl victory — just as the Eagles open the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons.
“We like it up that high,” said Saligman, a seasoned muralist who is known for painting on large surfaces. “Because next year when we’re all at the Super Bowl parade, we’re going to look up and say, ‘Is that an eagle carrying the Eagles flag?’… It’s going to have a nice sight line.”
Best viewed on the corner of Broad and Sansom streets, the “Bringing It Home” mural is scheduled for completion this week. It will depict an image of a giant eagle, soaring toward City Hall, carrying and team’s flag and the Lombardi Trophy in its talons.
For Saligman, it’s been a labor of love, but it hasn’t been easy. Because the mural wall is squeezed next to another building, getting to it can be dicey. Earlier this week, Saligman and her team were stuck in the crane’s arm extension for three hours.
“Because we have to go up and over above another building, we had to go straight down to come down. Otherwise we would have crashed,” she said.
Still, she says it’s worth it.
“C’mon! This was the first time the Eagles have won the Super Bowl! When people see it they’re going to get a big smile and remember what we all experienced last year.”
“Bringing It Home,” is the second Super Bowl painted by Saligman. The first, which graces the wall of her South Philadelphia studio, is, well, a little more irreverent.
It’s still an image of an eagle, but instead of holding the Lombardi Trophy in its talons, the bird is holding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is floundering helplessly. The Eagles beat the Patriots, 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.
Even though a photo of the mural went viral, Saligman didn’t think it would be wise to recreate it in Center City.
“The Eagles helped sponsor our mural, and full disclosure? They didn’t want anything to do with dissing another team,” Saligman said.
But that doesn’t mean the original South Philly creation will be painted over anytime soon.
“We’re Philly fans, right?” she said. “We’re not all rah-rah. We want something to be against.”