Painting Begins on Community Mural at 11th Street Family Health Services
April 19, 2013 — Painting began at 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University on April 5 for the mural which will be placed on a residential building at 8th and Parish Streets upon completion. After months of group meetings with lead artist Ben Volta about the artwork’s theme and design, the participants are beginning to paint the first layers of the final mural. They are using permanent paint on sheets of parachute cloth; those painted sheets will be adhered in a grid to the buildings’ exterior walls to form the large image. The plan for the public art project also includes large-scale etchings of medicinal plants on 11th Street’s front windows.
The murals and window engraving are part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Porch Light Initiative, a public art approach to achieving health and wellness in Philadelphia that is sponsored by the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. 11th Street is one of three community health services sites where the Porch Light Initiative is conducting projects. A research team from Yale University headed by Dr. Jacob Tebes is documenting the Initiative’s impact.
The whole mural project is projected to be finished by October 2013. At that time, all members of the 11th Street, neighborhood, Drexel and Mural Arts communities will be invited to celebrate the end of the project at a dedication event.