[one final note]
issue #3
summer 2000
Sun Ra Mural Wall Dedicated June 18


Philadelphia's 2000 Mellon Jazz Festival was dedicated to the memory of Sun Ra. Josey Stamm of Networkarts decided to be the creative effort behind the design of a Sun Ra Mural Wall in Vernon Park, Philadelphia, PA. She coordinated the efforts of 100 students to make her creative vision of a Sun Ra Mural Wall a reality. On Sunday, June 18 at 2:30 p.m. she held a ceremony that was attended by members of the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen and other in-the-know well wishers from the Germantown community in Philadelphia where Sun Ra lived.

During the dedication of the mural, she explained that the centerpiece of this mosaic tile mural art piece is a full standing image of Sun Ra with a keyboard across his chest symbolizing his main instrument of performance and his trememdous volume of compositions. There are red rays eminating from his head and there are reflective pieces of mosaic tile surrounding Sun Ra that appropriately reflect the sun which was shining on the mural during the dedication. To the left and right of Sun Ra are Egyptian designs and hieroglyphics that empahsize his interest in Egyptian mythology that had a great effect on his music and compositions.

On the right side of the wall is the image of a musician who represents all the musicians who have been with the Sun Ra Arkestra over the years. This musician was playing the saxophone with musical heat eminating from the bell of the instrument. At the far right and left ends of the mural wall are portrayals of the Sun, another key element in the Sun Ra legacy. On the left side of the mural, between the Egyptian designs and the Sun is a spacescape with planet Saturn being a prominent part of that section of the mural. Saturn was the label that Sun Ra created for the release of his music under the terms and conditions of his creative control, which he did not receive from commercial record labels at all times.

At the far left end of the wall is a dedication section with the names of all the people who worked for two weeks to make this design by Josey Stamm a reality. Also, throughout the wall are round inserts with names of Sun Ra albums, Sun Ra compositions, and other meaningful items to the Sun Ra omniverse. These inserts are "The Sun Myth", "Along the Tiber", "Pyramids", "Neptune", "The Magic City", "Sunset on the Nile", "Planet Mars", "The Heliocentric worlds of Sun Ra", "Jupiter Festival", "Jazz in Silouhette", "Mayan Temples", "Intergalactic Research Arkestra", and "Sun Procession". The Sun Ra Wall Mural is an important part of the ongoing legacy of Sun Ra and can be visited within Vernon Park at 5800 Germantown Avenue north of Chelten Avenue in Philadelphia, PA.

Greg Drusdow

reprinted by permission

 return to current issue          ofn archives          ofn links