South Philly mural honors The Roots

Painting a mural of The Roots, in a parking lot and on the rear of the World Communications Charter School building, poses challenges.

Brick and stucco textures. Cars. Weather.

Bathroom windows.

“That’s a little interesting,” deadpanned artist Ernel Martinez. “You paint like right next to it, and you definitely want to look in, and you have some, say, odors, coming out.”

The mural was a first-time collaboration for Amber Art & Design, which features Martinez, Charles Barbin, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Willis “Nomo” Humphrey, and Keir Johnston as artists.

The city’s Mural Arts Program will unveil the artwork Friday with members of the band slated to appear. It’s meant to honor the Grammy-award winning group, and tells the band’s story—especially that of founding members and Philly-natives Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. The two met as students at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Barbin said imagery from the band’s live performance inspired most of the artwork.

The artists offered the group several preliminary designs, “But The Roots are artists, too,” Humphrey said. “So they gave us concepts, then said just take it from there and do what you feel.”

The mural, which is located behind the school’s South Broad Street home, was painted first on Parachute Fabric in a studio, and then pasted in pieces to the 60-feet-by-65-feet wall like wallpaper. The artists then paint back over it.

Gel sticks the fabric to the wall, “So when the gel dries, it actually pulls the sheet tight to the wall,” Barbin said. “It can even help a decrepit building hold it together for a few more years.”

Fazlalizadeh said one of the reasons she wanted to come to Philly was because of The Roots and the city’s music scene.

“I’ve been in Philly for nine years, felt like I kind of grew up here,” said Fazlalizadeh, who moved to here from Oklahoma when she was 17. “So it’s a very special project.”

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…