New Kensington Mural Protests Separation of Families

A new mural in Kensington offers a forceful artistic response to the separation of families at the southern U.S. border.

The mural features a Hispanic family, with a baby in a sling, together despite the threats that loom just over their shoulders: drug cartels, dangerous immigration journeys and human trafficking.

"Families belong together, not in cages," the mural reads.

The mural was designed by Chilean artist Ian Pierce and Mural Arts Philadelphia. Mural Arts wanted to send a message about the plight of separated families, said Cathy Harris, director of community murals.

And it is a good way to represent Philadelphia, which is a sanctuary city, Harris said.

The mural is located at 2536 N Front Street, between Fishtown and Kensington, a mostly Hispanic neighborhood. “We chose this specific area because of the Hispanic population, and even the owner of the wall agreed about the topic,” Harris said.

The mural was completed Monday.

Pierce, who is known as Artes Ekeko, traveled between Chile and Philadelphia to create the design, which took about a month.

Pierce also worked with a local artist César Viveros, who brought a bright texture to the piece.

“It is very rare that it took just a month, because usually a huge project takes more time," said Harris.

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