Pittsburgh's Outdoor Murals and Public Art, discovered on bicycle around the Burgh bike


by Kemel Poindexter multiple artists

2227 N Charles St (Ferris St and N. Charles St)
Perry South, Pittsburgh PA 15214

Multiple artists: Kemel Poindexter, Abdula, Andrea Cunningham, Addul-Fattah, Malig Hazlip, Shyaire Howard, Abdur-Rahman, Malcolm Walker, Michael Williams, Eric Worlds. July/Aug 2013.

We stopped by to get some preliminary information while the artists were still working on this one. Once they've finished we’ll return for more photos to show some of the details.

This is another of the MLK Community Murals, where an artist works with neighborhood kids to do a lot more than create public art. The kids are hired for several weeks to work on the project. In most of the murals done by the MLK organization, the kids have been allowed to do only a little bit in the way of design additions. A small figure or character added here or there... but no major design input. That changed with this project. The artist supervising this mural, Kemel Poindexter, explained that his student artists were each given space to design and create something with meaning to them. There are ten rectangles along the bottom of the mural where those designs are coming to life. But that wasn’t the only design input this group of young artist had. While they were working on this mural they heard the trial verdict regarding the death of Travon Martin and wanted to create a tribute to the teen. The image of Travon Martin is now the centerpiece of the mural and the image of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is going to be moved from the top (where Travon’s hoodie is), to another location on the mural.

UPDATE: When we stopped by on both 11 and 16 Aug 2013 the mural was not yet completed, but several changes in the design had been made. As previously mentioned, the artists had decided that Travon’s hoodie should should be complete and so they re–positioned the image of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

The image of the Reverend is now on the left side by Mr Bill Strickland and Jordan Miles.

The mural’s theme is civil rights and includes people that have made an impact on that. Some of them have been leaders and inspirational figures. Sadly, some included on this mural are here because they were victims. What happened to them focused the community and/or the nation on the civil rights violations that continue to occur. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream speech we see images here that make us feel that it is still only a dream. Thankfully, we also see images here that give a sense of hope that the dream is slowly (sometimes excruciatingly slowly) getting a foothold in reality.

The artists were still adding to the right side of the mural. Kyle Holbrook (founder of MLK Community Murals) explained that the door is the doorway to history. Some of the leaders they’ve included here are Malcom X, Shaka Zulu, and Booker T. Washington.

Along the bottom of the mural is where the kids were given their own creative space.

Oct 2013
We returned to see the finished mural and there were several changes.

On the left side of the mural we found the addition of Medgar Evers, a WWII veteran and prominent Mississippi civil rights activist. Mr Evers was known for the sayings: Violence is not the way. and You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea. He was murdered in 1963 – shot in the back by a cowardly, white segregationist who managed to escape conviction for the crime for almost 31 years. His death helped to rally support for the Civil Rights Act the following year.


TAGS mural, Perry South, Medgar Evers, Trayvon Martin, Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Nate Smith, Malcolm X, Shaka Zulu, George Washington Carver, freedom, education, graduation, emancipation, connection with Africa, heritage, success, achievement, sports, Kemel Poindexter, multiple artists, MLK,


We strive for accuracy. If you can offer any updates or corrections, please email pghmurals@gmail.com



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12/26/2014 @ 23:11 paulheckbert Great job on this mural (both the painting of it and this web summary). What does the crescent wrench represent? ____________ -----Paul, we don't have confirmation of this, but we believe the wrench represents the Bidwell Training Center, which is a part of Bill Strickland's program of youth arts education & adult career training. When it started in the 60's, BTC's focus was on construction-trade skills. Bill is depicted above the wrench in the same artistic style and color.

04/16/2017 @ 11:42 Kh I did most of the imagery like three when were in the middle and all the realistic faces the guy with the P hat near the top Kemell Poindexter did him , he was Jamar Robinson life long friend of myself and Kemel...Kemel was the manager of the youth for four weeks he took them through MLK mural curriculum and each one of the youth designed their iwn piece under Kemels supervision... I was the lead artist and designed the top above were the kids painted - kyle holbrook

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