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The Barnes Foundation & Mural Arts Philadelphia Present “Visions”

Exhibition featuring new work by artists from the Guild program & SCI Phoenix
July 5–August 26, 2024

Philadelphia, PA, June 11, 2024—This summer, the Barnes Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia present Visions, an exhibition of original work created by artists from Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Guild program and artists at State Correctional Institution Phoenix (SCI Phoenix), southeast Pennsylvania’s maximum-security prison for men. The Guild is a paid apprenticeship program that gives justice-impacted young people the opportunity to develop marketable job skills, reconnect with their community, and explore the transformative power of art. Free with general admission to the Barnes, Visions will be on view in the first-floor classroom of the Collection Gallery from July 5 through August 26, 2024. A preview of the exhibition will be available on Monday, July 1, during Wawa Welcome America’s Free Museum Day at the Barnes.

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Restorative Justice program engages individuals who are incarcerated or on parole, probation, home detainment, or work release, and those with open criminal cases, by providing opportunities to reconnect with society in productive ways through community engagement, skill-building, and collaborative mural projects. The Barnes and Mural Arts launched their collaborative restorative justice initiative in 2018 with art education classes led by Barnes educators and printmaking workshops held at Philadelphia studios. Workshops have taken place at the print studio at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and, for the past several years, Second State Press.

Throughout the spring, Guild members participated in art education classes in the Barnes collection taught by instructor Christine Stoughton and Bill Perthes, Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education, and art-making workshops at Second State Press led by executive director Emma Flick. Additionally, Perthes visited SCI Phoenix—where Mural Arts works throughout the year—to discuss the role art can play in conveying both what one sees and experiences daily and what one aspires to see.

Visionsis the culmination of this spring’s initiative, and the artworks in the exhibition bear witness to the artists’ lived experiences, manifest their creative spirit, and evoke unrealized dreams. The exhibition gives voice to the perspectives of individuals who are otherwise largely silent in our society.  

“Continuing the Barnes’s more than 100-year institutional commitment to restorative justice, our collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia’s program and the Visions exhibition highlight the creative spirit and personal determination of artists impacted by the criminal justice system,” says Perthes.

“The artwork showcased in Visions compels us to see beyond the prison walls, revealing each artist’s profound humanity and boundless creativity,” says Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “By bringing these powerful perspectives to light, we not only honor each artist’s personal journey but also ignite a deeper dialogue about the transformative power of art, particularly in communities affected by the criminal justice system.”

Lead support for community engagement and family programs is provided through the Comcast Center for Community Engagement at the Barnes. Generous endowment support for community engagement programs is provided by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Visions and the Barnes’s restorative justice programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Pam and Tony Schneider, along with Joan and William Goldstein, Margaret Harris and Phil Straus, an anonymous donor, and other generous individuals.

Visions is made possible through an ongoing partnership between the Barnes and Mural Arts Philadelphia.

The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned canvases by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside African, Asian, ancient, medieval, and Native American art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” A visionary collector and pioneering educator, Dr. Barnes was also a fierce advocate for the civil rights of African Americans, women, and the economically marginalized. Committed to racial equality and social justice, he established a scholarship program to support young Black artists, writers, and musicians who wanted to further their education. Dr. Barnes was deeply interested in African American culture and became actively involved in the Harlem Renaissance, during which he collaborated with philosopher Alain Locke and Charles S. Johnson, the scholar, and activist, to promote awareness of the artistic value of African art.

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes Foundation has expanded its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice, teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways, investing in original scholarship relating to its collection; and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its programs.

The Barnes Foundation is situated in Lenapehoking, the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people. Read our Land Acknowledgment.

Hours and ticket prices are listed on our website.

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary with the theme Roots & Reimagination, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating over 4,300 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to mutual understanding through projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public arts preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, earning Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “Mural Capital of the World.” For more information, call 215.685.0750 or visit


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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Mural Arts Philadelphia: Tamara Yvette Day, Signature 57