The Philadelphia Zoo’s Centennial District Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), to be located near Girard Avenue and 34th Street, is currently under construction and slated for completion summer 2013. The mural to be installed on the southeast facing façade of this new parking garage will be a main visual attraction for the more than 18 million passengers who annually travel Amtrak and SEPTA Regional Rail as they enter and exit Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
In response to an RFQ released nationwide to identify an artist to design and produce this mural for the ITC, Mural Arts received applications from 36 artists/teams of artists representing 15 states and the District of Columbia. From among this pool of applicants, the Philadelphia Zoo and Mural Arts commissioned the development and presentation of a design for this mural from two Philadelphia-based artists and one New York City artist. The Artist Selection Committee – including representatives from the Zoo; Mark Focht, Executive Director, Fairmount Park; Margot Berg, Public Art Director, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; and Philadelphia-based artist James Dupree – were unanimous in their selection of Philadelphia-based Eurhi Jones as the artist to be awarded this project.
Funded by The Barra Foundation and the Philadelphia Zoo, the primary goals of this mural project are to 1)transform the southeast façade of the Zoo’s new parking garage structure into a cohesive artistic composition that integrates elements of motion and surprise, 2) evoke the connection of people and wildlife with the environment we share, 3) create a visually bold graphic gateway to Philadelphia and the Zoo visible from Amtrak and Regional Rail trains, and 4) at the request of The Barra Foundation, provide employment as assistants on this project to alumni of the Guild, part of Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice Program.