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Living Our Dreams Creating Our Future

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In the summer of 2011 volunteers and members of the North Philadelphia neighborhoods came together to paint a mural at the Cecil B Moore Recreation Center Playground at 22nd and Lehigh Avenue. This grass roots project began with childhood friend, Teyona Jackson, who met a group of girls called the P.I.N.K. Ladies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she gave educational tours. They invited her to their Recreation Center where she felt inspired by the positive energy involved in the youth mentorship program. Interested in pursuing Arts Management, Jackson used this opportunity to engage her skillset. She pulled together sponsors for supplies and invited me on the team as Lead Artist.

Seeking to build trust and respect with the residents of the area we focused on the use of educational workshops, meetings at the community center, and social networking to ensure participation toward this mural’s success. The community’s ideas stimulated discussion and interaction among the neighborhood and a consensus was reached about the mural’s theme. Working with the guidelines to incorporate singer and song writer Jill Scott in the mural who grew up around this area along with some of the children’s recreational activities at the playground the mural design was brought to life. I wish to provide the possibility for more people to have pride toward their public art and I appreciate everyone that came out to help build this mural. The wide range of stories, emotions and walks of life I observed converging at the recreation center playground will now have more to admire about their environment. This work of art draws attention to universal human commonalities and helps make sense of our motives and how we relate to each other. The key to my philosophy is that we can all use critical thinking to connect and help each other create something larger than ourselves. My goal for this mural project is to inspire others as my mentors did for me.

Over the course of 14 weeks our education team brought on friends DonChristian Jones, Eve Hall, Kanids Hutcherson, and Lanita Sims as assistant artists and dedicated supporters. Painting directly on the wall was a challenge because of graffiti, so we decided to paint indoors and hang the mural on the wall upon completion so that the community can see the big picture all at once. With high standards for visual clarity the team mixed a variety of vibrant paint colors and researched efficient use of materials to proceed. Projecting digital figures onto scaled parachute cloth we developed a paint-by-numbers aesthetics in hopes of combing all proficiency levels and increase observations from collaborative learning as various volunteers were be able to tackle more complex problems. We overcame the obstacle of acquiring insurance and funding for scaffolding. Realizing the lack of time and financial resources our prevail was to carefully use tall ladders to help prime and paste the mural onto the 21ft tall by 73ft wide wall. I find it interesting that the style of the mural is unique compared to most murals around Philadelphia. I am inspired at what a small group of dedicated individuals can accomplish.

Follow this link to watch the making of the mural

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In the summer of 2011 volunteers and members of the North Philadelphia neighborhoods came together to paint a mural at the Cecil B Moore Recreation Center Playground at 22nd and Lehigh Avenue. This grass roots project began with childhood friend, Teyona Jackson, who met a group of girls called the P.I.N.K. Ladies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she gave educational tours. They invited her to their Recreation Center where she felt inspired by the positive energy involved in the youth mentorship program. Interested in pursuing Arts Management, Jackson used this opportunity to engage her skillset. She pulled together sponsors for supplies and invited me on the team as Lead Artist. Seeking to build trust and respect with the residents of the area we focused on the use of educational workshops, meetings at the community center, and social networking to ensure participation toward this mural’s success. The community’s ideas stimulated discussion and interaction among the neighborhood and a consensus was reached about the mural’s theme. Working with the guidelines to incorporate singer and song writer Jill Scott in the mural who grew up around this area along with some of the children’s recreational activities at the playground the mural design was brought to life. I wish to provide the possibility for more people to have pride toward their public art and I appreciate everyone that came out to help build this mural. The wide range of stories, emotions and walks of life I observed converging at the recreation center playground will now have more to admire about their environment. This work of art draws attention to universal human commonalities and helps make sense of our motives and how we relate to each other. The key to my philosophy is that we can all use critical thinking to connect and help each other create something larger than ourselves. My goal for this mural project is to inspire others as my mentors did for me. Over the course of 14 weeks our education team brought on friends DonChristian Jones, Eve Hall, Kanids Hutcherson, and Lanita Sims as assistant artists and dedicated supporters. Painting directly on the wall was a challenge because of graffiti, so we decided to paint indoors and hang the mural on the wall upon completion so that the community can see the big picture all at once. With high standards for visual clarity the team mixed a variety of vibrant paint colors and researched efficient use of materials to proceed. Projecting digital figures onto scaled parachute cloth we developed a paint-by-numbers aesthetics in hopes of combing all proficiency levels and increase observations from collaborative learning as various volunteers were be able to tackle more complex problems. We overcame the obstacle of acquiring insurance and funding for scaffolding. Realizing the lack of time and financial resources our prevail was to carefully use tall ladders to help prime and paste the mural onto the 21ft tall by 73ft wide wall. I find it interesting that the style of the mural is unique compared to most murals around Philadelphia. I am inspired at what a small group of dedicated individuals can accomplish.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

There is so much to see and learn about, and for that my passions are extremely charged and my artworks are the by-product of my consciousness. Similar to a public diary entry, each installation reveals pieces of an evolving story. For me, art is a catharsis.

CONTACT

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, requests, advice, stories, jokes, etc.

BIOGRAPHY

Overflowing with color, energy, and optimism: I’m a social activist and proud Kutztown University alumni immersed in community building and entrepreneurship. Philly Voice’s Historic Philadelphia Ten- a selection of 10 women making bold statements through art. 

ABOUT

© Nile Livingston. All Rights Reserved.