Three Black Philadelphia-based artists are going to create original murals across the city as part of the Adult Swim Festival Block Party taking place Aug. 5-7.
The three-day event takes place in the Fishtown-section of Philadelphia and will feature more than 15 music and comedy performances.
The Adult Swim Mural Project originated in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2020. It was made in conjunction with the local non-profit, Living Walls. The plan was to construct large-scale murals and instruct new artists in the mural-making process. This fulfilled two purposes for the artist: he or she gained experience, and the city now has magnificent artwork that illuminates the city’s neighborhoods.
Branche Coverdale, Zeinab Diomande, and Nazeer Sabee have been chosen to create murals in Philadelphia.
The objective of the Adult Swim Mural Project is to initiate a conversation about the identity of artists in public spaces today 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 Mural Arts’ Fellowship for Black Artists and Conrad Bennet of the Streets Dept, a local blog that celebrates 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 with the Adult Swim Project by being a fellow this year. Apparently, they were pitching several artists and not everybody was going to be selected by them, but I made the cut,” she said.
It’s a great opportunity for a young artist to have their art displayed so prominently, especially in Philadelphia.
The city contains lots of murals depicting individuals who have had a significant impact on the city or who are from Philadelphia but have left a mark on the world. Diomande shared how she is looking to contribute to that arts legacy.
“One of my goals is, especially for Black Philadelphians, that their work can be seen. Most murals here are of famous Philadelphians or big figures, but I feel that a mural just showing everyday people makes regular Philadelphians feel represented,” she said.
The up-and-coming artist shared what she’s hoping the experience will do for her.
“I feel like it’s going to help me gain more exposure. Also, it will 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 subject matter.
“Each artist gets to do their own mural. We have people helping us through the process, especially since for most of us it’s our first time. It’s an adjustment, painting in the privacy of the studio and going to a huge wall,” Diomande said.
“For my specific mural, it was already a painting that I made. We just blew it up with a projector and drew an outline on the wall,” she added.
Diomande is excited about the thought that her work will be in a public space for the world to see.
“It’s impressive for me to have people from all walks of life register my work. It’s refreshing and gratifying. It’s amazing,” she said.
The mural installations have begun at their various locations and the artists will preview their works-in-progress on their personal social media accounts, with the final unveiling occurring during Festival week.
From Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7, the Adult Swim Festival Block Party makes its debut in Philadelphia’s popular Fishtown neighborhood on Aug. 5 with live music, comedy, live panels, outdoor screenings, food trucks, attractions, and much more at the Fillmore Philly, Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia, and Punch Line Philadelphia and goes through the weekend. For more information on the murals or the Adult Swim Festival and Block Party, visit adultswimfestival.com.