Philly’s First Augmented Reality Mural Connects The Haverford School and Shoemaker Mastery Charter School Communities
In partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia, students at The Haverford School and Shoemaker Mastery Charter School conceptualized and created a unique augmented reality mural in West Philadelphia.
“Art doesn’t just live in the classroom and art doesn’t even just live on the wall. Art reaches out and builds connections,” explained Chris Fox, Department Chair at The Haverford School, at the unveiling of one of the most unique augmented reality murals in the world.
Artists DJ King Britt and Joshua Mays unveiled Philadelphia’s first augmented reality mural, “Dreams, Diaspora and Destiny,” in West Philadelphia with students from The Haverford School and Mastery Shoemaker Charter School, who contributed to the design. This 125-foot by 27-foot mural, which stretches across 53rd Street and Lansdowne Avenue, comes to life through the use of the MuralArtsAR app.
This augmented reality mural is living proof.
Haverford School senior, Garrett Johnson, described how Mural Arts partner artist, Joshua Mays, helped students translate their brainstorming into abstract and representational drawings. Mays visited Haverford’s art classes to discuss the relationship between his work and music, and the power of combining the two. Johnson explained how students collaborated on designs by passing their sketches around for others to build upon.
World-renowned DJ, King Britt, worked with the students as well to add a musical to the mural. Through the app, different points on the mural are mapped to unique music and content, including interviews with residents regarding the past, present, and future of the neighborhood.
“We found it really important that community engagement be the focus of this project,” Johnson emphasized. “So, what we would do was go around the community and we would interview elders about what they thought the future would be.” Those words of wisdom and visions of the future are included in the soundtrack of the mural.
Fox and Headmaster Dr. John Naugle offered thoughts on how the arts play an integral role in each boy’s education at The Haverford School. “This mural is a great example of our connections outside of the school to the wider community of artists, but [also] to the community of people who live near us,” Fox said.
Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, Jane Golden, spoke during the event about her passion and love for art. She stressed how art builds connections and that it is not just based within the school. The main theme of the mural was community engagement and bringing everyone together to share in the excitement of art evolving and looking into the future of what could be.
As Headmaster Dr. John Naugle emphasized, the mural taught the students about more than just art. It taught them the core values of The Haverford School, how they have the power and responsibility to make a positive impact on the world. “One person with a big idea can inspire others and make a difference.”
You are invited to experience the arts at Haverford when you visit their Winter Instrumental Concert on Thursday, December 13th or check out their upcoming admissions events.