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New Mural Invites Viewers to Challenge Their Own Stigma Towards Formerly Incarcerated People

December 1, 2021

New mural, titled Point of Triangulation: Intersection of Identity, invites viewers to challenge their own stigma towards formerly incarcerated people. Located at 21st Street and JFK Boulevard, the mural was created by artists Michelle Jones and Deborah Willis with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Here’s more about this artwork from the project’s website: “The piece is designed to visually depict a choice that an observer has to make. The choice is whether or not to stigmatize a person based on the fact that they are formerly incarcerated. It is a visual examination of how stigma may be weaponized. The medium of photography and the platform of the public mural are used to investigate and interrogate the production of stigma upon the justice-involved, by juxtaposing the perception of the formerly incarcerated person with the individual’s greater identity. The viewer should complete the point of triangulation and understand how the imputation and weaponization of carceral stigma require their participation. The artists, Michelle Jones and Deborah Willis, were part of the 2019 cohort of Reimagining Reentry, a 20-month fellowship designed to support formerly incarcerated artists who are applying their creative practices to address critical issues of mass incarceration in Philadelphia.”

Incredible work! And I have to encourage you to hear more about this project from the artists themselves in Episode 8 (Season 1) of the Art Ignites Change Podcast that I produce and host for Mural Arts. In the episode, I talk with the artists about this work and its resulting mural. You won’t want to miss it, if you haven’t heard it yet!

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