More Press, Art Show, and a Book / by EricOkdeh

This site is just about 6 months old and I already have a ton of catching up to do. Since my last post, Ive finished up two large mural projects: The Forgiveness Mural (13th and Erie Ave) and Gault @ 40 "Rights and Responsibiities" (Inside Family Court on Vine St). Both projects are written and documented in my Murals section on the main site. Ive been interviewed several times for both projects and even made an appearance on a Canadien Television Broadcast about Philadelphia Murals. 

Natalie Pompilio of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an article entitled A son's legacy of forgiveness. To view it click the link below. 

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/10699382.html 

Natalie came out on a seriously stormy day in October as I was wrapping up the project to conduct the interview. It went to print a week after the Mural Dedication. I shot a lot of footage of the dedication, look for it in the coming month in my video section. Ive also compiled a massive Promotional DVD of the project, complete with progress shots, workshop photos with the women of the shelter and the neighborhood kids, as well as Video from the dedication and my "Time Lapse" video of the mural itself. If you are interested in a copy please email me at ericokdeh@ericokdeh.com 

Ronnie Polaneczky of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a fantastic article covering the Gault project. I designed and painted this series of 8 indoor mural panels with the help of my Graterford Prison Class and close to 60 teenagers in placements and detention centers in and around the city. Ronnie's article presents the history of the project and the plight of Gerald Gault who, 40 years ago, was sentenced to a placement for 6 years for making an obscene phonecall. The article is titled 43 years later, a boy's ordeal inspires art. To view it click the link below. 

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/11634277.html 

Also in October i was interviewed by ListenUpTV's Lorna Dueck. ListenUpTV is a Canadien Christian Channel that paid Mural Arts a visit last fall. The Forgiveness Mural was a highlight due to its message and the inspirational story behind it. 

To view the Episode write-up, click this link http://www.listenuptv.com/programs/071104murals.shtml 
To view the actual broadcast, click this link 
http://cdn2.libsyn.com/listenuptv/325.wmv 

This month I will be taking part in two big events

 The first is:The Art of Restoration The Mural Arts Program Inside and Out,an exhibition highlighting the personal work of Mural Art's various Prison Mural Classes, of which Graterford is a highlight. The work is for sale, and its going fast. The Various Mural Porjects Ive done with the men in the last year are also on display. There is an entire room dedicated to the Forgiveness Project. The opening has already happened, I have most of it on video. Mayor Michael Nutter made an special appearance and shared some of his views on the Prison System with the crowd. Check the Video section of my site in the coming month for this and other lectures. 

 The second event occurs tomorrow night. Its a book signing for My North Philly: Neighborhoods. Murals. Stories. My Mural Collaboration with Centro Nueva is one of the many North Philly murals highlighted in the book. Myself and the rest of the Muralists, Community Leaders, and Book Creators will be on hand to sign copies. See below for info

Wednesday, February 13
Book Signing and Celebration for My North Philly: Neighborhoods. Murals. Stories.
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. -- Robin 's Books, 108 S. 13th Street Join us as we debut "My North Philly: Neighborhoods. Murals. Stories." This full-color coffee table book celebrates the culmination of a three-year mural project that traced the stories of four neighborhoods in North Philadelphia through the photographs and interviews that inspired the creation of seven landmark murals. Authored by Maria Moller with photography by Sabina Louise Pierce. For more information, please contact Aya Hales, Special Projects Assistant, at 215.685.0729 or aya.hales@muralarts.org.