Graterford Press / by EricOkdeh

Recently in the past few weeks, we had a small dedication for an indoor mural my Graterford Prison class painted in the institution. The mural was installed in the senior visitor's center. The class' design focuses on life reflection as well as valuing the time you have with family during a visit. Poetry was written to this effect and included in sections of the design.

Here are some images of the final mural

The dedication was a big event and the funders from the Violette de Mazia Foundation arrived and brought the press. The following two links are articles written about the event.
The second article focuses more on the class' response to the economic crisis and its effects on the Mural Arts Program.

Graterford Prison Gets a New Paint Job

Inmates band together to save Mural Arts prison program

I was recently granted permission to bring my camera into the institution to photograph the murals that we've done inside. I finally have hi-res photos of everything! So I wanted to post a few shots of a mural that's long overdue.

In 2005 we painted a wall in the Prison's gym, the mural was in honor of Bernard Hopkins who has spent his formative years as a boxer incarcerated at Graterford. In interviews, Bernard doesnt shy away from questions about being an inmate, which is a good thing. People can stand to hear more about men and women who go through the system and emerge reformed. The high recidivism rate in our prisons casts a shadow on many of these success stories. The class decided to paint this mural in Barnard's honor, depicting his time training in the institution, and emerging as Champion. At the time Barnard had successfully defended his middleweight title a record 20 times.

Hopkins puts his finishing touch on the wall.

Bernard speaks at the dedication. This one of my most memorable moments on the job. This ones going on my highlight reel

Photo by Jack Ramsdale