Monumental Tour is an outdoor sculpture show that empowers social change through art. This traveling exhibition will stop in Philadelphia now through January 31, 2022. Visit the sculptures placed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Delaware River waterfront.

The display, presented by Kindred Arts, features works by these acclaimed American artists: 

  • Arthur Jafa 
  • Coby Kennedy 
  • Christopher Myers 
  • Hank Willis Thomas 

Each work is an invitation to viewers from any background to learn about and connect with a narrative or era they may not have endured personally, but one which continues to impact the African American experience. 

The exhibit encourages visitors of all backgrounds to: 

  • Examine aspects of the African American experience. 
  • Explore themes that may be outside their personal experience.  
  • Interact with the various pieces. 
  • Learn about their cultural significance. 
  • Develop their own interpretations and ideas around the movement. 

The artworks honor and examine aspects of the African American experience including:  

  • The first slaves brought to America in the 16th century.  
  • The present-day prison pipeline.  
  • The struggle for liberation in-between.  

Individually, the sculptures invite the viewer to consider themes such as:  

  • Colonization.  
  • Oppression.  
  • Privilege.  
  • Black middle-class labor.  
  • The decline of industry. 
  • Black pride, Black power, and Black joy.  
  • Subjugation. 

The exhibit is supported by The City of Philadelphia and Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. 


An audio walking tour covers the length of the exhibit. It provides information and context on the exhibit and featured works. The tour was created and narrated by: 

  • Marsha Reid, Monumental Curator 
  • Michael Spain, Director of Education at Center for Architecture and Design (CFAD) 
Honoring a hero  

The audio tour also honors the achievements of Julian Francis Abele. Born in Philadelphia in 1881, Abele was the city’s first African American architect. He made many contributions to the city’s cultural landscape in the first half of the 20th century. His works include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Central Branch of the Free Library. Despite these contributions, Abele remains relatively unknown outside of Philadelphia’s architectural community. Listen to the audio tour to learn more about Abele and his accomplishments.

Big Wheel IV by Arthur Jafa.


Hank Willis Thomas: ALL POWER TO ALL PEOPLE 
Eakins Oval – 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 19130

This 28-foot tall artwork combines the Afro pick and the Black Power salute. Both are icons of Black identity and empowerment. The work symbolizes community, strength, perseverance, comradeship, and belonging. The sculpture’s title references a legendary Black Panther Party slogan.

Christopher Myers: CALIBAN’S HANDS
Shakespeare Park – Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Logan Square, 19130

This piece represents the indigenous cultures occupied and suppressed by European colonial societies. It speaks to the dynamics of privilege, oppression, and forced servitude. The title references a character from Shakespeare’s Tempest.  

Thomas Paine Plaza – 1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard, 19102

This steel and glass sculpture is a protest work. It replicates the dimensions of a solitary confinement cell. The exterior features texts and graphs that explore the U.S. prison system. 

Arthur Jafa – BIG WHEEL IV
Cherry Street Pier – 121 North Columbus Boulevard, 19106

This piece includes four seven-foot monster truck tires laced with a mesh of iron chain. It reflects Jafa’s childhood obsession with monster vehicles. It also represents deindustrialization and the transition to the service economy. This change, experience by Jafa and his generation, dashed many Black middle-class aspirations.

Find detailed artist bios and descriptions of the artwork, and information on the self-guided walking tour and sculpture locations.