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2015-041 Frequencies PAN

Frequencies, 2015


Benjamin Volta with teaching artist Brad Carney and youth from the Lenfest Center in Hunting Park: Juanielle Jimene, Kimani Scott, Nazir Murray, Mytris Sanders, Patrice Compas, Jhoanny Belliard, and Maniya Bey.


Created in partnership with the Paint Quality Institute, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Science Festival; sponsored by DOW Chemical and the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services, with additional support from the Mural Arts Program Restorative Justice GUILD.


Beginning in December 2014, students participating in a Mural Arts after-school workshop at the Lenfest Center in Hunting Park explored the generative power of art and science with artist Benjamin Volta. The students first took a trip to the Franklin Institute to view the Brain Exhibit. Franklin Institute program developer Al Bruno also made visits to the Lenfest Center, to share how patterns that are visually interesting and beautiful engage the brain. Students learned that the brain’s neural pathways are both modular and malleable, which means that creative and innovative patterns—whether in art, individual habits, or community life—have a unique power to generate positive change.


The students began exploring patterns using one of two sets of interlocking circles, where they could trace and connect lines and points to find interesting geometric patterns. They then participated in the collaborative process of choosing the most creative and innovative patterns to use in the mural, helping with the selection of colors and layout. In the finished mural, complex patterns occupy the interior space of the silhouettes, drawn from this rigorous yet improvisational exploration of pattern making and pattern recognition—a jazz ensemble of creative thought. The wavelengths in the background, also chosen from students’ grid explorations, connect the two silhouettes through a dynamic flow of energy.


The 3400 sq/ft mural was installed on the wall of Nicholas Scrap Metal at 3812 Old York Road during July and August of 2015.






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