About the Project
Power Map: Historic Mural Activations is a series of five newly commissioned events, performances and workshops activating murals created in Mural Arts Philadelphia’s first 20 years (1984-2003) that depict power and empowerment. Five diverse figurative murals serve as the starting point for an exploration of the history of their creation and the neighborhood change that the murals have witnessed. They also offer a prompt for thinking about how power is depicted in public art today and in the recent past. Featured artists include Mark Strandquist & Courtney Bowles with Tripod, Studio 22 (Nasheli Juliana Ortiz, Marién Vélez and Lorna Mulero), Eva Wǒ, Marie Alarcon and Ken McFarlane. This project has been developed on the occasion of MAP’s 35th anniversary by guest curator-in-residence Daniel Tucker.
The title of the project is inspired by the practice of “power mapping” which is a form found commonly in community organizing. One of the conventions of a power map is to create a visualization of who might be in agreement or disagreement around a particular issue. This emphasis on Agree/Disagree, or Yes/No, can be seen as the foundation of politics, but it also connects with aesthetic questions essential to the history of muralism in terms of the representation of affirmative or negative depictions of a community. Additionally, the use of the Mural Arts Philadelphia organizational acronym: MAP in the title of the project is intentional and indicates an opportunity for the project to expand upon the rich organizational history.
Activations which took place between the Summer of 2019 and Fall of 2020 include:
- In July of 2019, artists Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist collaborated with the TRIPOD program (an ongoing photography and writing program of Writers Room at Drexel connecting high school students, YouthBuild Philadelphia students, Drexel students, and older community members) to create a series of projects inspired by the mural Boy with the Raised Arm by Sidney Goodman (1990)/Brian Senft (2002) at 40th st/Powelton Ave.
- The design collective 22 Studio (Nasheli Juliana Ortiz, Marién Vélez and Lorna Mulero) responded to “Puerto Rican Statue of Liberty” by Dietrich Adonis, Carlos Vasquez, Glenn Hill, Jane Golden (1984) at 1701 Mount Vernon St. This led to a week-long activation at the Mural location in November 2019 developed in collaboration with the Spring Garden CDC.
- Photographer Ken McFarlane created new portraits responding to the Dr. J mural by Kent Twitchell (1990) at 1234 Ridge Avenue.
- Organizer and photographer Eva Wǒ made a new digital artwork and corresponding zine responding to “Pride and Progress” by Ann Northrup (2003) at 1315 Spruce Street on the side of The William Way Center.
- Filmmaker and photographer Marie Alarcon made a new online work responding to “Black Family Reunion” by Dietrich Adonis and Jane Golden (1988)/Ernel Martinez (Restored 2008) at 4020 Parkside Ave. The work was screened in October 2020 at Mamie & Weaver’s Ultra in the Belmont neighborhood.
Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist
The Public Art Archive (PAA) is pleased to launch the virtual exhibition, Power Map: Historical Mural Activations, as a celebration of the partnership between WESTAF’s Public Art Archive and Mural Arts Philadelphia. The organizations have collaborated over the past year to centralize thirty-five years worth of data surrounding Mural Arts’ extensive history of public art and community engage- ment, all of which will be available on PAA as these records are activated and made accessible to the public.
Curator: Daniel Tucker
Project Manager: Kathy Poole
Print Design and logo identity for Power Map: Rosten Woo
Web Gallery: Lori Goldstein
Thank you to the following people Mural Arts: Genny Boccardo-Dubey, Victoria Boyer, James Burns, Caitlin Butler, Caitlin Chase, Noni Clemens, Emily Cooper-Moore, Jane Golden, Cathy Harris, Kate Jacobi, Amy Johnston, Norah Langweiler, Ernel Martinez, Magda Martinez, Jamera McNeil, David McShane, Aislinn Pentecost-Farren, Kathy Poole, Netanel Portier, Shira Walinsky, Steve Weinik, and Corin Wilson
Thank you also to Leah Appleton, Dino Pelliccia, Maori Holmes, Ezra Nepon Berkely, Sharon Hayes, Karyn Oliver, Irit Reinheimer, Emily Bunker, Patti Phillips, Joanna Jenkins, Cecelia Fitzgibbon, Lori Goldstein (from the Public Art Archive), Eric Trianafillou, Josh MacPhee, Rebecca Zorach, and Alina Josan (Art Department librarian at the Free library).
Nick & Dee Adams
City of Philadelphia