Institute Partners on Mural Project
The Institute has partnered with Inglis Foundation and Independence Arts Studio on a mural designed and painted by residents of Inglis House, a skilled nursing care facility for adults with physical disabilities, located in Philadelphia. Inspired by the theme of the Society for Disability Studies conference, "Disability in the Geo-Political Imagination," hosted by the Institute and Temple University, the mural was unveiled on the penultimate day of the conference, June 4.
Nearly 30 Inglis House residents participated in the project under the direction of artists from the Independence Arts Studio, a professional design/arts studio in Philadelphia for artists with and without disabilities. At the end of July, the mural was installed permanently within Inglis House.
"They've worked diligently, and creatively ... to produce poetry that can be integrated into the work."
To create the mural, the artists met for a series of painting sessions in February, March and April. They began by identifying a series of symbols/images which are significant to all people, including those with disabilities and then painted with those symbols in black and white patterns, eventually adding color to the palette.
At the same time as the artists were painting, a poetry group was meeting to add their skill and artistry to the project. Project Manager Carol Marfisi, Instructor at the Institute, said that the group worked very hard to reflect both the theme of the painting and the theme of the conference. "This group has been very dedicated to the project," Carol says. "They've worked diligently, and creatively, over several sessions to produce poetry that can be integrated into the work."
Once all of the pieces were completed—black and white sections, color sections and the poetry section—the group met to determine how everything should come together. The final mural is in the form of a triptych and was installed in a busy corridor in Inglis House, frequented by many residents and their visitors.