Mural Arts Philadelphia begins the new year with several new projects and programs, all to further the cultivation of the arts in Philly.
Despite their omnipresence, every once in a while, we forget that Philadelphia is the mural arts and mosaic capital of the world (or at least North America. This isn’t a geography class… Back off!) and that is a very pleasant part of being a local.
And while I didn’t get the opportunity here to discuss the late autumn arrival of Mural Arts Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services’ Color Me Back project – Ellen Tiberino’s collaboration with Alvin Tull for 15th and Market Streets’ Suburban Station “Opposing Forces” mural and its accompanying painting project covering 200 columns in the SEPTA concourse along the Broad Street subway line, between City Hall and Walnut Street – there is even newer muralism to consider.
One recently designed and painted mural is the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters – at 1702 North 22nd Street in North Philadelphia. Completed right before Thanksgiving 2021, this new mural was executed by another Tiberino, this time Gabe Tiberino, with fellow painter Felix St. Fort who joined forces for a fresh mural honoring the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, a youth-oriented Philadelphia civil rights group who, under Moore’s tutelage, helped to desegregate Girard College in 1965.
Then, there is the fact that Mural Arts Philadelphia’s founder and curator Jane Golden appeared on the syndicated afternoon talk program, The Kelly Clarkson Show, with Mural Arts program participant Norman Bonk to discuss the Philly group’s works such as the Color Me Back: Same Day Work and Pay efforts that, in their words, position art as a catalyst for social change.
On January 12, Mural Arts Philadelphia will host a free Zoom chat, at 6:00 pm -The Black Paradise Project: Racial Trauma Within Black Communities. Moderated by Kimberly Ashby, Ph.D., the Zoom show’s reach extends into issues of mental health while dealing with the daily stress of racism and its trauma. Register for that event, HERE.
Not directly related to Mural Arts Philadelphia, but certainly honoring their work, on Friday, January 7 through Sunday, January 9 – and starting at South Street’s Theatre of the Living Arts – there is a two-hour walking tour of South Philly’s public art pieces throughout Bella Vista and Queen Village, which winds up at Isiah Zagar’s Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.