To those who created John Legend’s mural, the art is all about dreams.
Thursday, May 25, 2023 10:48PM
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Music icon John Legend has roots in Philadelphia, and on Thursday, he took his place in the city’s rich mural art history.
Mural Arts Philadelphia dedicated a brand new design with Legend’s image front and center on the side of a venue he played in Northern Liberties.
The Fire at 4th Street and Girard Avenue is said to be the oldest live music venue in Philadelphia.
SEE ALSO | Tina Turner in Philly: Live Aid with Mick Jagger, Eastern State music video, 6abc interview
The new mural on its side is called “Legendary Performances.”
It features Legend at one of the Philadelphia clubs where he got his start.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to have worked on this mural,” says Alloyius Mcilwaine, a mural artist. “I was a John Legend fan before I came into the project, but I really got a chance to learn about The Fire and about the community in the area.”
“It made me realize the importance of what this place is and what it represents,” Mcilwaine added.
Legend graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.
He played many local venues in the years that followed, including The Fire.
To those who created Legend’s mural, the art is all about dreams.
“The central theme is about music’s ability to connect with all of us,” says Jane Golden, the founder and executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “You see that John Legend’s portrait is in dialogue with another portrait of Yasko Fujii, an opera singer who has performed with the International Opera Theatre of Philadelphia.”
The Fire is owned by opera singer and voice coach Karen Saillant. She says it’s Philadelphia’s only woman-owned venue.
After the mural dedication, the club hosted a Legend tribute show.
Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.