Micro to Macro

Micro to Macro by Benjamin Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Micro to Macro by Benjamin Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

About the Project 

Micro to Macro serves as the final product of a yearlong partnership between Mural Arts and the Morton McMichael Elementary School in the Mantua section of Philadelphia.

Since September 2013, artist Ben Volta has worked closely with the school’s 7th grade science and math teachers to develop programming that integrated art into the existing math and science curriculum of each class. Additional afterschool programming with interested middle school students allowed Volta to assemble a group of students to design, paint, and drive the final mural project. By working both in and out of school, Volta was able to reach an average of 50 students weekly with varying levels of participation in the project.

Through this arts-integrated approach, Volta and his students created Micro to Macro, encouraging students to explore the evolution of nature and community. The creation of this mural allowed students and community members alike to connect with the larger world, while highlighting their individual influences.

Micro to Macro by Benjamin Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This is one of two projects Mural Arts Philadelphia is currently conducting which integrate art into school curriculums. Mural Arts Philadelphia has learned over the past 30 years that rigorous art programs can have a huge impact on the lives of our Art Education students.

- Jane Golden, Executive Director, Mural Arts

The mural features a map of the world that on one side morphs into trees, which branch out to images of neurons, then zooms in on DNA, atoms, and finally particles. On the opposite side, the map scales out, providing images of the earth and the larger universe. Each aspect of the mural incorporates drawings directly from, or inspired by the students who participated in the programming.

Detail of the mural. Photo by Steve Weinik.