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In-progress: New Fishtown Mural by Kah Yangni Celebrates Trans And Non-binary Philadelphians

September 6, 2021

(Photos by Conrad Benner and Streets Dept Contributor, Eric Dale)

New mural going up in Fishtown right now by Philly-based artist, Kah Yangni celebrates trans and non-binary Philadelphians! Located at Frankford Avenue and Thompson Street, Kah created the mural with Morris Home and Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light program, along with assisting artists Sammy Kovnat and De’von Downes.

Morris Home, if you didn’t know, is the only residential recovery program in the country to offer comprehensive services specifically for the transgender community. So before you scroll any further, please click here to learn more about how you can support them.

The mural says, “We’re trans/ we’re survivors/ we are joyful/ we feel rage/ we are universal!” And it features two large-scale portraits of two residents of Morris Home, Tazmere Stephens (left) and Jourdyn Carter (right) surrounded by blooming floral imagery and a butterfly in flight.

As you see in the photos of this post, the artwork was first painted on parachute cloth in-studio. It’s now being installed on-site. Some final painting was taking place when I went to go photograph the mural’s progress today. The artist estimates the mural should be completed in a week or so (weather always plays a role in determining that exactly.) Creating a mural parachute cloth like this, and finishing it with a final coat of a protective clear layer, allows a mural to age its best protecting it better from rain, wind, sun, and snow damage.

I can’t tell you how much I love this mural. You know, this wall has been blank for so many years, and that’s surprising because this is one of the most prominent walls on one of the busiest commercial streets in a Philly neighborhood.

I’ve known a few artists over the years who’ve pushed to create a mural on this exact wall; their plans never coming to fruition for one reason or another, as is the nature of the creative progress you just can’t win them all. But what’s emerged with this mural, this artist, and this idea is spectacular. Congrats to everyone involved, I can’t wait to see it when it’s complete!

Regular readers of this blog might remember that Streets Dept worked with Kah Yangni twice in the last year, and you can see Kah’s work for those Streets Dept-led projects here: To The Polls 2020 and First 100 Days! See other works from Kah Yangni around Philly here.

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