New mural in SEPTA's Suburban Station aims to uplift Philadelphians
When artist Lisa Kelley needs to clear her mind, she walks to a park and listens to the chirps of bluebirds, wrens and chickadees flying overhead.
Driving the news: The three birds are the inspiration behind Kelley's first-ever mural inside SEPTA's Suburban Station. The piece, "my art gives me a voice," is being dedicated today by Mural Arts.
- Kelley said birds, with messages of hope dangling from their beaks, help uplift her spirit, and she hopes they do the same for people walking by the sprawling, 120-foot mural.
The inspiration: The piece, meant to conjure feelings of healing and growth, is a bold and colorful splash of suns, flowers, geometric shapes and mandalas, which are seen as a source of spiritual transformation.
- The collection of designs are taken from printmaking workshops that Kelley led for participants of Philadelphia Mural Arts' Color Me Back, a same-day work program helping people needing money and social services.
What they're saying: Kelley — who grew up in Kensington and watched classmates, friends and her foster son struggle with addiction — sees art as a way of restoring hope in her community. She believes it can help people heal from trauma while reconnecting with their inner child.
- "People have said, 'it helps me forget for a little bit about what's going on in my life.' Almost like you're a kid again," Kelley said.
What's next: Kelley is ironing out details with Mural Arts to collaborate on another piece with students at a Kensington school.
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