This paper uses the findings of a pilot study of wall art in two Philadelphia neighborhoods to examine how community art is embedded in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. During the summer of 1994, three SIAP research assistants--Laura Amrofel, Gina Abrevaya Dyer, and Alison Wolk--hung out in the neighborhoods around two wall murals (one in South Philadelphia, one in West Philadelphia), talked to residents, and observed the way the spaces around the murals were used. They found that the impact of the murals on their neighborhoods was connected to the demography and ecology of the community, but not in a simple way, and in fact was more complex than current theories of art and society suggest. The authors concluded that the role of a wall mural could not be separated from its specific community context--a phenomenon they described as "embeddedness."
Date Posted: 22 April 2017