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Emerald Street Underpass 

Garden Of Rare And Resilient Plants is a mural featuring hundreds of individual sections of imagery painted by participants of the Mural Arts’ Color Me Back: Same Day Work and Pay Program, an initiative that combines participatory art-making and access to social services in a unique model offering individuals who are experiencing economic insecurity an opportunity to earn wages. Working from stencils, each participant was encouraged to create their own interpretation of the imagery and leave their unique mark on the mural, resulting in a vibrant array of diverse voices expressed throughout the composition. 


Located in the Emerald Street Underpass in Kensington, the mural weaves together different aspects of the neighborhood. It draws inspiration and input from the residents, the program participants, and the setting itself. It is intended to recognize the individuality of the contributors while celebrating the strength, resilience, and distinct character of the community as a whole.

LEAD ARTIST: Mat Tomezsko


ASSISTANT ARTISTS: Hector Luis Alicea, Kyle Henry, Jamaar Johnson, Kevin McCloskey, Adrian Reyes.

PARTNERS: 100+ Participants of the Color Me Back: Same Day Work and Pay Program

SPONSORS:  Sheller Family Foundation, the City of Philadelphia, and the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services



©2022 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Mat Tomezsko

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