63 x 124′ mural painting
AT&T Building, 25th & South Streets, Philadelphia
A vivid display of intersecting lines and geometry., “Convergence” is a celebration of the Schuylkill River and surrounding environment as it winds through Central Philadelphia. The faceted facade of the iconic AT&T building juts up from the banks of the Schuylkill River, seen close up from the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, and more distantly from across the river and beyond into West Philadelphia. The angled walls cause a dynamic, visual unfolding of the mural, heightened by contrasting faces of imagery that reveal differently to the passerby depending on the vantage point.
Overlapping lines, angles and curves are visual cues in the surrounding landscape: the river, railroad, trails, roads, bridges, ramps, and boardwalk that criss-cross and converge on this part of Philadelphia. The lines of the right two mural walls illuminate these intersections. The left wall’s colorful interlocking, faceted forms and linear spaces that connect to the right side, have multiple meanings: they evoke reflections of light on the water; aerial maps, tectonic processes, and pathways. The Schuylkill River Trail, envisioned to connect Philadelphia with the river’s headwaters in the Appalachian mountains a hundred miles away, is currently being extended Southward to other parts of Philadelphia. All together, “Convergence” represents the connectivity of the Schuylkill river, its trails, and roads that lead to regions beyond.
Color holds symbolic weight in the mural. The anchoring blue, white, black and gray palette is inspired by the river, sky and neighboring glass architecture, while the bright, warm colors are suggestive of the South Street Odunde Festival – a festive celebration of African heritage and part of the cultural history of the Schuylkill River and Philadelphia. This annual event commences with a ceremony along the South Street Bridge directly adjacent to the mural – an offering of fruit, flowers and honey dropped into the river. This festival is the largest African American street festival in the U.S. and a reflection of Philadelphia’s diversity.
The bold and graphic nature of the mural is meant to have a compelling yet harmonius presence within the surrounding area. The mural’s location invites the attention and imagination of the millions of pedestrians and cyclists who use the Schuylkill River Trail and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, kayakers in the Schuylkill River, and drivers traveling the Schuylkill Expressway. “Convergence” celebrates a stretch of the Schuylkill River that brings together diverse forms of transport, pathways, and the people of Philadelphia.