In bloom in Southwest Philadelphia.

Assistant artist Thomas Walton works on Bloom, by Ben Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • location 54th and Chester
  • Neighborhood

    Southwest Philadelphia

  • completion date

    October 18, 2016

About the Project 

Not too long ago, the parking lot wall of the Great Valu grocery store at 5406 Chester Avenue was stained, topped with razor wire, and crisscrossed with hanging electrical cords. Now, this Kingsessing neighborhood wall is covered in a 166-foot-long mural, stretching out a blossoming branch across green, blue, and yellow triangles. Art gave the wall a second chance, just like the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership Guild participants who worked on it with artist Benjamin Volta. All YVRP members have either been formerly incarcerated or in trouble in some way, and all have found a new perspective through muralism.

The mural, titled Bloom, combines hundreds of drawings, each image reflecting an aspect of the idea of home. In the center of the mural, a small bird, constructed out of keys, balances delicately in the tension between freedom and responsibility. Where do we belong, and how can we get there? asks the artwork. The long, blossoming branch enacts the potential for connection, belonging, and growth that YVRP is all about.


Hummingbird Foundation
Connelly Foundation
Lenfest Foundation
City of Philadelphia