Revolutionary Philadelphia is a series of collaborative artworks produced through a process of research and discussion. The artwork is developed through a guided course led by artist Mat Tomezsko and is offered through the University Community Collaborative, a media-based social justice initiative that provides leadership programming for high school students in Philadelphia. Over six weeks, student participants explore local figures and groups who have made revolutionary contributions to civil rights, criminal justice, racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, health, food, arts and culture, and more. Through a series of presentations, analysis, and hands-on creative work, participants directly contribute to the final artwork by making a section of the composition that represents their voice. 

 

Revolutionary Philadelphia connects the past to the present, the individual to society, and offers an opportunity to reevaluate our shared historical narrative. The resulting artwork has been made by many minds and contains the contribution of students across the city with varying points of view. By making art in a way that is inclusive, accessible, and empowering, the concept of the artwork is also embodied in the method in which it is made. 

 

The first Revolutionary Philadelphia took place in the summer of 2021. The mural that was produced is installed at Mazur Hall at 11th and Berks Street on Temple University’s Main Campus. The second course took place in the summer of 2022 and the mural is currently in progress. The third iteration was selected for the Velocity Fund Award and will take place in 2023.

Revolutionary Philadelphia, 2021

Contributors: Rubee Carter, Abdullah Conway, Malaysia Oliver Gass, Zenaya Mason, Jess Munz, Ishmael Kesselly, Mark Reid, Samir Ross, Vashti Valentine

Lead Artist: Mat Tomezsko

Special thanks to: Adesh Dasani, Liyanni Smith

The class was supported in part by a grant from the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation.
The mural was supported by Global Philadelphia and Temple University.

Read more about the composition and process here: https://news.temple.edu/news/2021-11-12/new-mural-gives-high-school-students-opportunity-show-what-fighting-inequality-means

Revolutionary Philadelphia, 2022

Contributors: Tonya Carter, Layla Green, Nasir Green, Michael Holman, Jihad Manning, Mark Reid, Ameen Rone, Vashti Valentine, Ethan Way

Lead Artist: Mat Tomezsko

UCC staff: Adesh Dasani, Sanaa, Laila 

Photography by: Ryan S. Brandenberg

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