Frankford getting set for community paint days

Feel­ing artist­ic, Frank­ford? How about do­ing a little paint­ing?

Neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents who want to add their touches to a series of mur­als that will be placed in the Frank­ford busi­ness cor­ridor can par­ti­cip­ate in two “com­munity paint days” this Sat­urday and the fol­low­ing Sat­urday, Aug. 11, at the Second Baptist Church, 1801 Mead­ow St.

In­stall­a­tion of the four “Ima­gin­ing Frank­ford” mur­als cre­ated by Cesar Viver­os for the cityís Mur­al Arts Pro­gram will be­gin in Au­gust on Kens­ing­ton and Frank­ford av­en­ues. The mur­als’ im­ages are based on a lot of com­munity in­put, which in­cluded video­taped in­ter­views with res­id­ents.

Paint days par­ti­cipants will do things by the num­bers — lit­er­ally, said pro­ject man­ager Ne­tanel Por­ti­er.

Viver­os will have 5 feet by 5 feet pieces of “para­chute cloth” in which pieces of mur­al designs will be out­lined. Each out­line will be di­vided in­to numbered seg­ments and neigh­bor­hood artists will brush on numbered col­ors from cups of paint.

“It’s really simple,” Por­ti­er said in an in­ter­view. “It’s a gi­ant paint-by-num­bers.”

Para­chute cloth is a spe­cial fab­ric used for the pro­gram’s mur­als, she ex­plained in an in­ter­view last year. Mur­als are painted onto the cloth then placed on walls when ready.

When all the 5x5 pieces are put to­geth­er, they’ll be big, very big, Por­ti­er said.

“You’ll see the mur­als from the ground and the El,” she said.

Three of the mur­als are planned for “three really huge walls” near Wom­rath Park, where Kens­ing­ton and Frank­ford av­en­ues meet, Por­ti­er said, cre­at­ing “a really strong gate­way to the [busi­ness] cor­ridor.” One will be farther north on Frank­ford Av­en­ue.

“We’re a little bit later than planned,” Por­ti­er said. “There was so much to learn about Frank­ford … We wanted to feel con­fid­ent we were rep­res­ent­ing the com­munity.”

She said Mur­al Arts faced many chal­lenges in find­ing sites that were large enough and in good enough shape.

The mur­al at  4122-50 Kens­ing­ton Ave. will face Wom­rath Park and de­pict pre-in­de­pend­ence and in­de­pend­ence and re­volu­tion­ary his­tory.

At  4248 Frank­ford Ave., the im­ages will be of key fig­ures or mo­ments in Frank­ford his­tory.

The idea of the neigh­bor­hood’s po­ten­tial is the fo­cus at 4241 Frank­ford Ave.

The mur­al for 4428 Frank­ford Ave. still is be­ing de­signed. Com­munity and fam­ily will be its theme.

Re­port­er John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or

Col­ors of Frank­ford

Res­id­ents can help paint the mur­als that will be in­stalled on Frank­ford’s busi­ness cor­ridor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat­urday, Aug. 4, and Sat­urday, Aug. 11, at the Second Baptist Church of Frank­ford, 1801 Mead­ow St. For more in­form­a­tion, call Ne­tanel Por­ti­er at 215-685-0725.

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