In 2023, I embarked on a creative journey, graciously supported by my second Black City Music grant. As a visual artist, my mission was to honor the vibrant musical legacy of Philadelphia, paying homage to the legendary black musicians who have shaped the city's cultural identity.
With just three months to bring my vision to life, the challenge was formidable. How could I encapsulate the essence of Philadelphia's rich musical history within a single canvas? The answer lay in a carefully designed composition.
My approach was to curate a select group of iconic musicians, both past and present, who have left an indelible mark on the city's musical landscape. From the rhythmic beats of Three Times Dope to the soulful harmonies of Boyz II Men, from the enchanting voice of Phyllis Hyman to the groundbreaking partnership of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, each artist found their place in the artwork.
The painting, measuring 28x53 inches, unfolds like a musical journey, transitioning from night to day. A graceful dove guides viewers through this melodic odyssey. It's more than just a collection of portraits; it's a visual narrative, a celebration of the city's profound musical heritage.
This project marked my first venture into such a large-scale endeavor, and it was both challenging and exhilarating. The final result is an oil masterpiece dedicated to the city of Brotherly Love and its enduring musical influence.
In essence, my mini mural is a heartfelt tribute, a testament to the power of creativity to encapsulate a city's history and culture. It's a reminder that profound stories can be told through the stroke of a brush.
As you encounter this artwork, let it transport you into a world where the notes of history and melody harmonize on canvas. It stands as a timeless testament to the enduring influence of music and the dedication of artists like me who continue to breathe life into the stories of our cities.