May 17

Windows of Peace: The newest addition at Al Aqsa

by: Carly Rapaport-Stein

For over 18 years, Parris Stancell has been creating incredible work with Mural Arts.

While he says that at the conclusion of each project, “every project ends up being my favorite,” his most recent mural, Windows of Peace, holds a special place.

Windows of Peace, the mural that now shines on the side of Al Aqsa, had a robust community process driving the design. Neighbors and leaders at Al Aqsa wanted the mural to be inviting, to draw in the community to a welcoming and peaceful space.

Each step of the process was filled with input and activity from members of the community. The joyous paint days at Al Aqsa reverberated with people and laughter. And beyond the paint days, members of Al Aqsa’s community made it a point to continue to help out with the painting process, driving up to Parris’ studio every week to assist the process.

Al Aqsa Paint Day. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Parris commented, “This was a hugely rewarding project to work on. I made a lot of strong, sincere new relationships with people in the community. It even affected working with my assistants – we all got a lot closer as we created this mural. It was a good experience all the way around.”

It was also an artistic journey for Parris. His colorful, organic style can be seen across Philadelphia, but the Al Aqsa mural added a new artistic facet. Parris reflected, “When you start to stretch out and do other things, you grow. I have all of these new ideas about pattern and form, ideas that will influence my next projects. It’s opened me up to new possibilities.”

Join us this Saturday to help dedicate Windows of Peace, and to celebrate the Al Aqsa community.

Last updated: May 31, 2016

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