New Trans and Non-Binary Mural

Trans Mural
Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Philly is known as a city of murals, and next week, the whole city can get involved in creating the latest additions.

On July 28, Mural Arts Philadelphia and Morris Home are hosting a free public paint day and celebration in Clark Park (4300-4398 Baltimore Ave.) Taking place from 5 to 8 p.m., members of the public are invited to help paint panels of two future murals in a paint-by-number style.

The murals were inspired by both Mural Arts and Morris Home, the only residential recovery program in the country to offer comprehensive services specifically for the trans- and gender-nonconforming community. Wit López (they/them), one of Mural Arts’ 2021 Black Artist Fellows actually curated weekly art workshops at the latter. López, an internationally recognized, award-winning, multidisciplinary maker, performance artist, writer, and cultural advocate based in Philadelphia, led conversations that focused on healing to supplement the ongoing services at Morris Home.

Two other artists, Ali Williams (she/her) and Kah Yangni (they/them), also led workshops with residents to shape their mural designs. And now here is where next week’s artistic focuses come in: Williams’ mural will be installed at Philly Aids Thrift, 710 S. 5th Street in Queen Village, and Yangni’s will be installed at Cake Life Bake Shop, 1306 Frankford Ave, in Fishtown. The artists will paint the murals over the summer, and plans are underway to dedicate both of them officially in the fall of 2021.

About the Artists

Kah Yangni (they/them) – Kah Yangni is an illustrator living in the city of Philadelphia, PA. They make heartfelt, neon visions of justice, queerness, and joy. Their art has been shared by people like Indya Moore and Alok V. Menon, and they’ve worked with the New York Times, Vice Media, Bust Magazine, as well as with projects like the National Women’s Law Center, Rock the Vote, and the Movement for Black Lives. Kah’s recent projects include a billboard on the sacredness of trans people in Richmond, TX and participating in the First100Days project with Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Instagram: @kahyangni.

Ali M. Williams (she/her) – Ali Williams is a Philadelphia-based artist and public muralist. She is interested in how visually altering a space with public art affects the surrounding environment. Ali has been a visiting teaching artist at LycĂ©e Rochambeau (The French International School), The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Moore College of Art, Fleisher Art Memorial, Project Learn School, The Hillside School, and Riverside Correctional Facility. She has worked with numerous education and community outreach programs such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Twist Out Cancer, Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health, The Youth Violence Reduction Partnership, and many more. Some of her clients include Zappos, Primark, Nasdaq, Marriott Hotels, The Wells Fargo Center, and Blick Art Materials. Her murals invite you inside a collaged, fabricated dreamscape of paint, mysterious beauty, and contemporary iconography. She’s interested in combining realism with abstract concepts and design to create a surreal experience. Symbolic elements, graphic imagery, and vibrant bursts of color are frequent components of her work. She is drawn to bold, color palettes, and loves to incorporate neon pink as much as possible. See more of her work on Instagram at @alimwilliams

Wit López (they/them) – Wit López is an internationally recognized, award-winning, multidisciplinary maker, performance artist, writer, and cultural advocate based in Philadelphia, PA. They are the Founder and Artistic Director of Till Arts Project, a grassroots arts services organization serving LGBTQ+ artists in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

Williams’ mural is “a memorial and life celebration of trans Philadelphians,” while Yangni’s text in the mural was collectively created through a workshop with Morris Home members. Williams’ mural also features Nizah Morris, a Black trans woman who was attacked and died from a head injury in 2002, and for whom Morris Home is named. For Yangni’s, photographs were also taken of members of Morris Home at Bartram’s Garden, and they were used as reference images to inspire the illustrations.

Nazah Morris

Nizah Morris was a Philadelphia transgender entertainer. On December 22, 2002 Morris suffered a severe head injury from which she did not recover. Morris died on December 24, 2002, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, when she was removed from life support.

Read Related Posts...

COVID-19 Recovery Fund

The Marsha P. Johnson Institue’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund provides one-time direct relief in the amount of $500 to BLACK transgender or non-binary identified people. As

Trans Athletes

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill to discriminate against athletes

A bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting their ability to participate in their school’s sports programs as the gender they identify with was condemned by the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus after a House Education Committee hearing on the proposed Republican legislation, according to the caucus’ co-chair, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila.

Nizah Morris

Justice for Nizah Morris

Eighteen years ago, after receiving a courtesy ride from a Philadelphia police officer, Nizah Morris, a Black trans woman, was found hit over the head. She died shortly after. After years of asking for police transparency and answers, Nizah’s murder is still unsolved.

Deja Alvarez

Trans Experience

Five trans women sharing their experiences and views in a candid discussion. Hosted by Colours Organization and lead by Deja Alvarez

Straight Talk at Arclia-Adams Trans Resource Center

Beginning this month, the Arcila-Adams Trans Resource center of the Wiliam Way LGBT Center will be hosting a bimonthly podcast centering the experiences of Black folks that are under that big ole trans umbrella.

Deja Alvarez

Trans Activist Deja Alvarez Campaign Announcement

With a platform highlighting quality of life issues, infrastructure, healthcare, and economic recovery, Deja Alvarez is running to become the first openly trans Latina member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Moving Forward When the World Stopped: Queer Life

The pain of suffering through the pandemic, the shifts in our relationship with technology, the immense amount of loss, the calls to action, and our strength to carry on as a community are all themes explored by artists of this show.

Why Anti-trans Sports Bills Hurt Us All.

We are witnessing a National wave of legislation that is targeting specifically Transgender people in America. Our own Commonwealth has experienced this in the past