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
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.