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 pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.