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Odili Donald Odita addressed the social struggles faced by Philadelphia and the vital role that is played by community organizations such as Mural Arts in keeping the city thriving. Odita’s mural highlights the active role that citizens and organizations play in filling the institutional voids present in underserved neighborhoods. The weaving of color and form represents the fabric of institutions and residents whose joint involvement and commitment make Philadelphia a vibrant community. Odita presents the tension of contradiction and opportunity found in “calamity and potential”.
Odili Donald Odita was born in 1966 in Enugu, Nigeria and lives and works in Philadelphia. He received a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1994, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant in 2001, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant in 2007. Also in 2007, his large installation Give Me Shelter was featured prominently in the 52nd Venice Biennale exhibition Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind. He has had solo exhibitions in museums and institutions including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita. Odita has been commissioned to paint many large-scale wall installations, most recently at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York (2011), Savannah College of Art and Design (2012), and the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011).
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Open Source events:
Ephemerality, from Murals to Museums - October 4
© 2015, Odili Donald Odita. Our House, Brandywine Workshop and Archives, 728 S. Broad St, Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Steve Weinik.