Three Black Philadelphia artists will create original murals throughout the city as part of the Adult Swim Festival Block Party August 5-7.
The three-day event takes place in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia and will feature more than 15 music and comedy acts.
The Adult Swim Mural Project originated in Atlanta, Georgia in 2020. It was done in conjunction with the local non-profit Living Walls. The plan was to build large-scale murals and instruct new artists in the mural-making process. This served two purposes for the artist: to gain experience, and the city now boasts a magnificent work of art that illuminates the city’s neighborhoods.
Branche Coverdale, Zeinab Diomande and Nazeer Sabee have been chosen to create murals in Philadelphia.
The goal of the Adult Swim Mural Project is to start a conversation about the identity of artists in today’s public spaces and to introduce new black artists and innovators.
Adult Swim and Living Walls recruited the three Philadelphia artists in collaboration with Ginger Rudolph, curator of the Mural Arts’ Fellowship for Black Artists, and Conrad Bennet of Department of the Streets, a local blog celebrating street art.
Zeinab Diomande, a 22-year-old University of the Arts student and Philadelphia transplant from the Ivory Coast, explained what it meant to her to be chosen for this unique experience.
“I got involved in the Adult Swimming Project as an intern this year. Apparently, they submitted several artists and not all of them were going to be selected by them, but I made the cut,” she said.
It’s a great opportunity for a young artist to showcase their art so prominently, especially in Philadelphia.
The city contains many murals depicting people who have had a significant impact on the city or who are from Philadelphia but have left their mark on the world. Diomande shared how he wants to contribute to this artistic legacy.
“One of my goals is, especially for Black Philadelphians, to get their work seen. Most of the murals here are of famous Philadelphians or big figures, but I think a mural that just shows everyday people makes Philadelphians regulars feel represented,” he said.
The emerging artist shared what she hopes the experience will do for her.
“I feel like it will help me get more exposure. It will also give people access to my work instead of having to go to galleries,” she stated.
For the project, each artist was able to choose their own theme.
“Each artist can make his own mural. We have people helping us through the process, especially since it’s our first time for most of us. It’s an adjustment, painting in the privacy of the studio and going on a huge wall,” Diomande said.
“For my specific mural, it was already a painting I made. We blew it up with a projector and drew an outline on the wall,” he added.
Diomande is excited about the idea that her work will be in a public space for the world to see.
“It’s impressive to me to have people from all walks of life registering my work. It’s refreshing and rewarding. It’s amazing,” he said.
Mural installations have begun at their various locations and artists will preview their works in progress on their personal social media accounts, with the final presentation during the week of the Festival.
From Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7, the Adult Swim Festival Block Party makes its debut in Philadelphia’s popular Fishtown neighborhood on August 5 with live music, comedy, live panels, screenings at ‘outdoors, food trucks, rides and more at the Fillmore Philly, Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia and Punch Line Philadelphia and spend the weekend. For more information about the murals or the Adult Swim Festival and Block Party, visit adultswimfestival.com.