Philadelphia Foundation, Mural Arts unveil new legacy mural
The mural, titled “Strength in Our Bonds” is a culmination of 18 events throughout Greater Philadelphia, highlighting the many faces of the city and building community.
To culminate a months-long partnership, Philadelphia Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia unveiled a newly completed mural Nov. 7.
The mural, which is 20 feet high and spans 120 feet wide, is a dedication to the Philadelphia Foundation’s first century and the launch of its second century of leadership and service to the Greater Philadelphia region.
It is the result of 18 total workshops and public paint days throughout seven counties, where community residents got together to create an impact.
“This mural stands as a testament to the power, the potential and the energy of people doing with and for each other — a testament to community philanthropy,” said Pedro A. Ramos, president & CEO of Philadelphia Foundation.
The mural is titled “Strength in our Bonds,” and embodies how working together can help support efforts towards the economic, civic and social vitality of our community.
The mural, which stands at the PECO parking lot located at 23rd & Market Streets, is composed of a myriad of colors and mosaics, as well as some of the faces of the 1,000-plus residents who helped create it.
“We wanted to have this mural represent all of the neighborhoods and all of the different people that make up our region,” said Diane Melley, executive director of second century initiatives & corporate partnerships, at Philadelphia Foundation.
Other speakers at the unveiling noted that the partnership between Philadelphia Foundation and Mural Arts is a representation of the power of art, and its ability to bring people together.
“What art does is it levels the playing field, it shines a light on our diversity, it lifts up and underscores our commonality, and in our world today, that is absolutely critical and invaluable,” said Jane Golden, founder & executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia.
The 18 events in which community members participated in included poetry workshops, mosaic creation, photography, sketching and painting. The artwork produced by those activities was then used to create and complete the mural.
“I love the fact that this was a very ambitious project,” added Golden.
Lead muralist, Ernel Martinez said that another goal of this project was to strengthen the bonds of the different communities across the city, and throughout surrounding areas.
“A lot of great, public art starts with a conversation,” he said. “The mural is really meant to reflect those interactions.”
Overall, the mural is dedicated to showing the diverse faces that make up the city of Philadelphia.
It answers the core question: Who are we as Philadelphians?
“This is a snapshot of the city and our region, and I think it’s brilliant and inspiring,” said Golden.