Shepard Fairey in Philly for Mural Arts' "Open Source"

November 04, 2015

Shepard Fairey was in Philadelphia earlier this month to launch a new body of work as part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Open Source exhibition. Fairey’s new series centers on prison reform and mass incarceration, de-stigmatizing incarceration by highlighting the stories of people who have returned from prison and become integral members of society. Fairey also made a series of sticker designs about the intersection of incarceration and art, which are downloadable on his website.

Fairey and his team painted the first mural in the series, The Stamp of Incarceration: Amira Mohamed, on the side of The Friends Center, home to a number of Quaker organizations that tackle prison reform in their work. Amira Mohamed was incarcerated, and now she works part-time for Mural Arts while studying for a degree in architecture at a local college.

The second mural, The Stamp of Incarceration: James Anderson, was designed by Fairey and painted on sheets of cloth by men incarcerated in Pennsylvania. It’s in the process of being installed now, and that installation team includes Amira Mohamed.

Open Source culminates this month with projects from over a dozen artists including JR, MOMO, Shinique Smith, Swoon, and Odili Donald Odita. Click here to check out the full artist lineup and the calendar of events.

Photography by Joe Russo and Steve Weinik.