Mark your calendars!

Coming up in just a few weeks, the Art Department and Urban Studies program at Rhodes are excited to be bringing Eric Okdeh and Noni Clemens from the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to our campus for a public art colloquim as part of the MOSS lecture series, sponsored by the Lillian and Morrie Moss Endowment for the Visual Arts. For over twenty years, the Moss Endowment has allowed exceptional artists and art historians to come to our campus to participate in a number of projects ranging from academic lectures to artists-in-residencies. This is such a great opportunity for not only the Mural Painting class, but also the whole community to learn more about the positive impact of public murals on the community. I've heard a little bit about the sort of mural 'epidemic' happening in Philadelphia, but honestly didn't know much about the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program itself. Their mission statement expresses their desire to work to improve public spaces through uniting artists through collaborative work and to execute murals that engage and have a positive influence on the entire community, with their ‘Golden Rule’ being, ‘when we create art with each other and for each other, the force of life can triumph. I think that this statement can easily be applied to the long-term aspirations of the mural painting class and that their lecture will offer a further boost inspiration.

So please join us in welcoming Noni Clemens, Administrative Manager for the Mural Arts Program's Art Education Department and Eric Okdeh, Master Muralist for a discussion on Public Art and Community Engagement on February 16th, 7pm in Orgill Room (in Clough).


The Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts began in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network’s effort to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. Since then, the organization has grown to become one of the largest public arts initiatives of its kind, producing more than 3,500 murals and providing critical art education and workforce development opportunities through its Community Murals, Art Education and Restorative Justice programs. As a hybrid of city agency and nonprofit organization, Mural Arts stands as a national and international model for arts organizations, with a 27-year track record of leveraging the community-based process of public art to catalyze true social progress and positive change within Philadelphia’s communities.

For more information, you can check out their website and be sure to come to the Lecture! On their website, you can also browse the many different murals around Philadelphia, such as the ones pictured above, along with each mural's unique story.

Image Description:

The Bottletree, 2010

Acrylic, Stained Glass, Mirror, Bottles with personal effects

An interactive work of public art spanning two buildings in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia. Images & writing lie hidden in glass bottles embedded in the tree and painted in the sky. The tree consists of 700sq ft of stained class.

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