I am excited and grateful to finish the #Tamanend mural . I know sometimes it may seem that these projects are coming together so quickly and effortlessly. In reality art and murals are hard work. I have been working with Erica from #VURT and building owner Don since June. We overcame several hurdles . This is not to say that it isn’t all worth it when I drive down Girard to get on 95 and drive by this landmark. I also feel that it is so important to celebrate this Native American Chief. Thanks to the community, Vurt, and Don. Special thanks to John C. Zerbe that came out and helped me paint this wall.
Don Allen, Building Owner
Here is The Tamanend Peace Mural I had commissioned for my building. My first thought was a message of peace in these divisive times, of course the Shackamaxon Treaties immediately came to mind due to its specific local relevance. My second thought was, peace is not a decree it’s an agreement. I realized I knew very little about the man who was technically the OG Fishtowner that made the agreement with Penn. a quick google search and rabbit hole later made it abundantly clear this is the man I wanted to commemorate as a testament of peace, that Philly is built from brotherly love and sisterly affection. This is my small thank you to Tamanend for greeting the Quakers with peace and friendship, allowing our city to grow and flourish. When VURT connected me to artist Leon Rainbow I knew it should be Tamanend (sent a million reference pics) should have a turtle for the turtle clan and a fish for Fishtown representing the old and new working together and the quote (soon realizing the full quote to be impractical). This is the masterpiece that Leon not only designed but executed so masterfully. I’m over the moon. I’m so glad he chose the reference specifically because I see a familiar face, reminding me that Tamanend is in our literal DNA. Sadly days before the work began my life partner suddenly passed. He was a 911 fire and medic dispatch for the city of Philadelphia for the past 23yrs and was so excited to see the mural. Luckily he did see the mockup. I am planning a dedication ceremony in his honor 11/21 (his birthday) details to follow. I am also starting a grass roots effort in his memory to raise funds for those in need. More information to follow. Thank you all for the support and hope to see you at the dedication ceremony