Tag Archive: Dedication


Citywide Installation: The Gallery at Market East

The Citywide Mural was taken down on October 11th from 30th Street, and a few weeks later was reinstalled in a new location at the Gallery just inside the 9th and Market St entrance.

As it turns out, the mural found a home on a wall that was big enough to accommodate all the sections in their proper order. Our thinking for months was that the mural would be divided into seven sections and distributed throughout the gallery, in fact the design itself was created around the fact that it would eventually be in seven equal parts. We’re all thrilled that we can get one final look at the entire mural. Its going to be up for a long time as well. Last I heard it may still be there through the holidays and into January! Between The Gallery and 30th St, the mural has found an incomprehensibly vast audience.

There is going to be another event as well. On Wednesday December 9th at 11am there will be an event held on site at the Gallery to rededicate the mural and announce the list of permanent host sites for many of the mural’s sections. With any luck the event will help find a permanent home for any final panels that remain.

Big thanks go out to Kathryn Ott Lovell, Deborah Zuchman, and Cheryl Durgans of the MAP Staff for finding the time to take on the unenviable task of managing the remainder of this project, and finding it various homes throughout the city.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, here is a link to a WHYY interview with Peter Crimmins that aired the day of the Dedication at 30th St.

WHYY Peter Crimmins Interview


Click Photos to view Slideshow



30th St Dedication Photos

The Citywide Mural was officially dedicated at 30th St Station on September 25th. The event was well attended, despite the early 2pm start time. The crowd was filled with familiar faces of the people who volunteered their time during the workshops and paint days.

I wish I could remember the names of all the people who got up to speak during the ceremony, and the specific name of the choir that performed, but almost two months have passed between the dedication and right now. I’m lucky I found some time to post.

What I can remember is that the event was overwhelming, but in a good way. We got a lot of positive vibes from the crowd, and a lot of praise for the job that we did. The music from the choir filled the entire building, everything seemed larger than life. The staff at Mural Arts really outdid themselves putting this event on, I can honestly say it was the best dedication I’ve ever had.

That night Michelle, Kien, Myself and a few friends went to Yakitori Boy, rented a karaoke room and celebrated. I’m going to miss working with those guys, we worked together well as a team. Hopefully this wont be the last time we collaborate.

Click any thumbnail to view slideshow
all photographs by Mike Reali






30th Street Installation!

The Citywide Mural is up and can be seen up close in the North Waiting Room of 30th St Station.

Kien and I set everything up for the Stagehands Union to hang, all in all the process took 3-4 hours. Peter Crimmins of WHYY was on hand to interview us for a segment that will air Friday morning. Ill post the audio when I get it.

Dedication Friday at 2pm!

click for expanded view

Citywide Mural Completion and Dedication

Mural Dedication: This We Believe City-wide Mural Project

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 · 2:00 – 3:00 PM
30TH STREET STATION
NORTH WAITING ROOM

Celebrate the Mural Arts Program’s first Philadelphia-wide mural project, a cornerstone initiative of the 25th Anniversary Celebration! This We Believe was created by artists Eric Okdeh, Michelle Ortiz and Kien Nguyen through eight months of community forums, a public vote, and community paint days to create a collective work that expresses the beliefs of the city.

This project was made possible by the support of: The Sunoco Founation, WHYY, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, Penn Project for Civic Engagement, Philadelphia Daily News, 6abc, Philly.com, IATSE, Amtrak at 30th Street Station, PREIT and the Gallery at Market East.

Call 215.888.9166 or e-mail events@muralarts.org for more information.

The Citywide Mural titled Living in the Presence of History was completed in studio earlier this week, following an intense 6 weeks of painting and tying together all of the work from the 7 paint workshops and the men from my SCI Graterford Mural class. We’ve had well over 300 volunteers take part in the murals painting and it was up to my teammates Kien, Michelle and I to bring the work together and make it seamless.

We took a photo of our progress every 15 minutes and I created this video out of the shots.


The final remaining paint days open to the public took place over 3 days

North Philadelphia
Saturday, July 11 · 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
The ARC/PDDC, 2350 West Westmoreland Street

South Philadelphia
Saturday, July 18 · 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Columbus Square, 12th and Wharton

Southwest Philadelphia
Saturday, July 25 · 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Myers Recreation Center, 5800 Chester Avenue

The following thumbnails were from those dates. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and spent an afternoon with us painting this massive mural.

Click any Thumbnail to begin the slideshow

Busiest. Month. Ever.

Its pretty hard to believe that its been more than a month since Ive updated this thing, especially considering all of the posts I could have made about mural events and related craziness.

I’m almost at the end of one of the busiest craziest months ever. All month long I have been hard at work with Michelle Ortiz and Kien Nguyen on our “This We Believe” citywide Mural design. I cant really post much on this yet as we are still in competition. The designs will be presented to the press on the 30th and the online voting happens between May 4th-18th. I personally have never put so much work into one of my designs before, its enormously detailed, and Im very proud of the sheer scope of it.

Here’s a fun fact: The Photoshop file of the design is almost an entire gigabyte in size, and takes a full 15 minutes to save!

In the coming weeks look for a full description of the design complete with photos and details.

Right after our preliminary design review on April 8th, I drove straight to 52nd and Master to the site of my “From Behind The Mask” mural. The next week would be spent finally installing the mask, checking for air bubbles, and sealing the mural. I worked with a different team for the installation: Joseph Verdi and Matt Dougherty of Nicholas Della Vecchia Construction. Joe and Matt were on hand to make sure the mask was properly installed to the wall. I was confident in my plans, but because the sculpture would be hung 20 feet high over a parking lot I wanted to make sure the installation was tight. Joe and Matt were great to work with, and the mask was up without incident in 2 days. Here is a slideshow of the final mural.

With the mural finally finished it was a race to wrap up the content of two Flash based webpages I was working on for the “Visual Restoration” Exhibit. The pages consist of the murals themselves, you can click on any area of the mural to get more photos and information of the particular section.

Here are the links to the sites, please note the button on the bottom right which expands each page to fullscreen.


Greenfield Year One: Restoration


Greenfield Year Two: From Behind the Mask

Each computer in the Eakins House Lab were set to the sites, and people were given a sheet of questions to research and answer. Those with the most answers correct were entered in a drawing to win tickets to this year’s Wall Ball.


The companion book to the projects, Visual Restoration by Phoebe Zinman was officially released that night as well. Phoebe did a great job of covering both years, and all of the photography, writing, painting, and events that went with them.


The show had a decent turn out opening night, it should be up for another month.

This past Sunday was the dedication in West Philly for From Behind the Mask. A lot of people in the neighborhood came out, it was a good time hosted by the Bibleway Baptist Church.
Pics will be up as soon as I can get them.

Now that these big events are over, I have to spend the remainder of the month finalizing the Citywide design, and finishing up the Anthropologie Mural with my Corps students.
We’ve been feverishly painting throughout the month to try and get this done. Next week is our last week to work, then Kien and I will take the Mural to NYC for installation. The opening will be on the morning of May 6th. Our classes will have to board the chartered bus at 6am.

On the night of May 6th, I will sleep the sleep of ages.

Transformation Dedication and Press

There will be a large dedication celebrating the completion
of my “Transformation” mural this Friday September 12th at 11am.

The ceremony will be held at 41st and Market Sts. It promises to be a huge event, staff and members all 6 organizations that participated in the project will be in attendance. Come and be a part of the ceremony as well!

here is the official invite

in addition the mural has gotten some press in anticipation of this event.
Tomorrow, I will be doing a short interview with channel 6 news, Im not sure when it will air, as of yet

Here are a few write-ups the mural has received, click on the links below to view the scans in PDF format

Delaware County Daily Times Article

University City Review Article

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