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Garden Wall (2023)

Garden Wall is a mural that is collaborative in both design and implementation. Featuring imagery designed by participants of Color Me Back, the composition is made up of hundreds of colorful depictions of vegetation including flowers and grasses. Each triangle was painted by a participant of the program who was encouraged to create their own interpretation of the imagery and leave their unique mark on the mural. Just as each seedling grows into a unique representative of a particular plant based on its environment, circumstances, and chance; each painting represents the unique talents, vision, and expression of the person who paints it. 


This is one mural in a series made in this method. Each mural is different, as more imagery is added and painted by new participants. As an individual mural, Garden Wall is designed and made by the Kensington community. As a part of a series, it showcases the community’s efforts and reflects their ideas and voices.

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Community Garden (2022)

Community Garden is a dynamic arrangement of hundreds of colorful images of local vegetation including flowers, fruit, vegetables, trees, and grasses. Each triangle was painted by a participant of Color Me Back or by a participant of a community paint day held at the TaconyLAB Art Center. It is a collaboration between two neighborhoods and hundreds of people.

 

The imagery combines the concept of how the mural is made with what it represents: Just as each seedling grows into a unique representative of a particular plant based on its environment, circumstances, and chance; each painting represents the unique talents, vision, and expression of the person who paints it. No two people will paint the same plant the same way. The composition gains its power and strength when all of these different voices are harnessed together.

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Garden Painting: Ruth Bennett Community Farm (2022)

Envisioned as a tribute to the flowers and fresh produce grown by the Ruth Bennett Community Farm, the mural design features hundreds of individual sections of repeating imagery painted by participants of the Chester community. Tracing from stencils and working from templates, 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 visions and voices expressed throughout the composition.

The mural was made throughout Fall 2022. Participants were paid for their contribution. This project was supported by The TD Charitable Foundation, Widener University, and the Chester Housing Authority. 

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Revolutionary Philadelphia (2021-2023)

Revolutionary Philadelphia is series of collaborative artworks produced through a process of research and discussion. Over several sessions, participants of the University Community Collaborative explore local figures and groups who have made revolutionary contributions to civil rights, criminal justice, racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, health, arts and culture, and more.Through a series of presentations, analysis, and hands-on creative work, participants offered their contributions and made a section of the composition that represents their voice.

2021 - Mural located at Mazur Hall at 11th and Berks Ave on Temple University Main Campus

2022 - Painting located on 4th Floor of Gladfelter Hall in the Political Science Department of Temple University. 

2023 - Upcoming

Emerald Street Underpass

Garden of Rare and Resilient Plants (2021-22)

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.

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Free Paint (2019 - Present)

Free Paint is a series of free community painting events in public spaces. Participants are invited to paint freely and learn about color relationships and mark-making while creating a large-scale collaborative painting. 

 

The material produced during Free Paint events is re-worked into new compositions by lead artist, Mat Tomezsko. The resulting artwork is entirely collaborative and bears the mark of the community who made it. When the final compositions are publicly exhibited, all participants are credited on the wall label. 

 

Designed to be as accessible as possible, everyone is welcome to participate. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary. By using methods and materials that are entirely familiar and readily at the fingertips of participants, the work is intended to democratize art, empower, and remove barriers to understanding and appreciation. 

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Free Paint Murals (2020)

The Free Paint Murals are located next to the entrance of Pretzel Park in Manayunk, Philadelphia, at the intersection of Cresson and Cotton Streets. 

The murals were made in 2020 using community paintings created at a free event in the neighborhood. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing regulations were in effect. Participants painted one at a time, providing thoughtful contributions, and reading and interacting with the markings and words left by others. The material produced at the event was repurposed into strips that make up the mural. The composition alternates between bold stripes of solid color, and  panels made from community paintings. 

The goal of Free Paint is to offer a platform for expression and to make art in an inclusive and accessible way. 

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NOW (2021)

In the Spring of 2021, eleven paintings from NOW were installed publicly in the garden space of the Tacony Branch of the Free Library. Surrounded by grass, trees, and flowering bushes within the urban environment, the paintings’s textures and imagery reflected the setting and were enhanced by their surroundings. Each piece is unique, but is visually linked to the others through style, imagery, pattern, and language. Some of them are abstract, some look like flowers, some are assemblages, and some of them depict people from the neighborhood. 

The project was presented in a public outdoor space for several months, offering a free and safe experience for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was supported by the Tacony Community Development Corporation and the Tacony Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Flowering Axes

Flowering Axes (2018)

Flowering Axes is a mural in the 5th Street Vehicular Tunnel, which runs below the Ben Franklin Bridge in Old City, Philadelphia. The project is a collaboration with the Delaware River Port Authority and Mural Arts Philadelphia. 

Click Here for more info. 

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Symbols and Sources (2017)

Symbols and Sources is a series of 45 street banners installed along Torresdale Avenue in Tacony in Northeast Philadelphia. The banners were developed from paintings created during a 12-week civic-improvement focused artist residency that involved community engagement and outreach at the Tacony Library and Arts Building (LAB).

Click Here for more info. 

14 Movements

14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words (2016)

14 Movements is a multi-disciplinary temporary public artwork installed along the South Broad Street Median for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Synthesizing elements of visual art, music, and literature,14 Movements reflects the vibrant and interconnected arts community central to the culture of Philadelphia.

Click Here for more info. 

14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words (2016)

14 Movements is a multi-disciplinary temporary public artwork installed along the South Broad Street Median for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Synthesizing elements of visual art, music, and literature,14 Movements reflects the vibrant and interconnected arts community central to the culture of Philadelphia.

Click Here for more info. 

Look Long And Look Good

Look Long and Look Good (2011)

Created in 2011, Look Long and Look Good is a series of 30 paintings surveying the history and people of Manayunk. The finely rendered portraits are reminiscent of oil paintings, but are installed on the exterior of residences and businesses throughout the neighborhood. It was restored and updated with several new portraits in 2021. It is currently on view along Main Street in Manayunk, Philadelphia.  

Click Here and Here to see the full series

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