La Borinqueña mural dedicated in North Philly
The comic's creator, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, worked hand-in-hand with student artists from the Mural Arts Philadelphia program.
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Philadelphia is the site of the first mural inspired by the graphic novel character, La Borinqueña. To bring the comic book to muralism, the creator of La Borinqueña, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, worked with a group of students from the Mural Arts Philadelphia program.
The mural is located in North Philadelphia, specifically in Norris Square, one of the neighborhoods with the largest Puerto Rican population.
As explained to AL DIA by the artist and project manager of Mural Arts, Alaina Ewins, the mural is about 27 feet high and took three years to complete. The mural was unveiled and dedicated last Friday during an event open to the public and neighbors of the community. Artist Celso Gonzales and Miranda-Rodriguez gave a talk at Las Parcelas on Palethorp Street.
“Having a mural that celebrates the culture of the people that live there is incredibly important, and to me, it’s a way to acknowledge the community and their history,” said Ewins.
Over 100 people were part of the process to make the La Borinqueña mural possible. Among them were young people, Mural Arts teaching artists, and the "army of people" who participated in the painting of the mural.
How would you describe artistically the mural about La Borinqueña?
In an email interview, we asked Ewins how she would describe artistically the mural about La Borinqueña and this is what she told us:
“This mural is an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. Close your eyes and picture this: a lush palette of blues and greens form the sky and the land that takes you back to Puerto Rico. La Borinquena soars above, a look of joy and pride on her face, the Puerto Rican flag billowing triumphantly in the wind. Iguacas join her in flight, riding the air.
The ancestors -- Pura Belpré, Julia de Burgos, Celestina and Gregoria Cordero Molina, Mariana Bracetti, and Lola Rodríguez de Tió -- fondly gaze upon her and you, the viewer, backed by white puffy clouds.
Suddenly, you find yourself nestled beneath the tall and powerful 100-year-old Ceiba tree, full of warm browns and olive greens; within its branches are peek out a mischievous macaque. In the foreground are vibrant flowers peppered with coqui, one of which being flor de maga which is rendered in a saturated red.
I hope that when people walk past it, they stop for just a moment and are able to find peace in being transported back to the island,” concluded Ewins.