Today I rode a bright red electric bike through the streets of Philly to one of my next mural sites. Despite my efficient and energy saving steed, I couldn’t locate 907 Hamilton Street -- home to the Bethesda Project who's goal is uplift the poor and abandoned in Philadelphia. Some kind gentlemen on the corner of the street noticed me riding about obviously lost. They stopped to talk to me first about the bike, “Is that electric?” and then about what I was doing in the area. Not only did they subsequently lead me in the right direction to 907 (turned out I was right in front of it), but also one of the men carried my rather heavy bike up the stairs to the main office. When I thanked him, he said, “Well, it’s no problem. I would want someone would do this for my girls.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all helped each other up the stairs? This moment led to the inspiration for the mural proposal that will go before the city of Philadelphia. Since the city owns the building, we'll have to wait and see if it gets approved. Still, I figured I'd share the idea with you all.
The sketch sans color:
The sketch with some rough coloring in photoshop:
People from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities help each other up a set of stairs symbolizing the various stages and troubles of life. The mural emphasizes the benefits of community, friendship, hard work, teamwork, and ambitious dreams. The words around the scene say, “I dream of a day when every man and woman in brotherhood live as one another’s angels. How far we could go together up life’s staircase.”