Jane Golden, founder of the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, will be the featured speaker at Rosemont College’s annual Presidential Lecture Series, scheduled for Thursday, September 19, at 7 p.m. Golden’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled "A Conversation with Jane Golden: Public Art and Social Change." The event will take place at the McShain Performing Arts Center. Registration is required.
An art educator and expert on urban transformation through art, Golden has supervised over 3,500 landmark works of public art through innovative collaborations with community based organizations, city agencies, non-profits, schools, the private sector and philanthropies. In addition to coordinating Philadelphia’s city-wide Mural Arts Program, she is an instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Mural Arts Program was born in the 1980s when former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode hired Golden, then a young artist, to help combat the city’s growing graffiti crisis. Golden reached out to graffiti writers to help turn their destructive energies into creative ones. In the process, she recognized the raw artistic talent among the graffiti writers as she began to provide opportunities for them to channel their creativity into mural-making.
The murals themselves transformed city neighborhoods suffering from years of neglect and hardship. In 1996, the Mural Arts Program was reorganized under the City of Philadelphia Department of Recreation and Golden was named as its director. Since then, Golden has been a driving force for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, overseeing its growth from a small city agency into the nation's largest mural program and a model for community development across the nation and around the globe.
In addition to developing the Mural Arts Program, Golden has overseen many other innovative and award-winning public art projects, including How Philly Moves, an 85,000 square foot mural at the Philadelphia International Airport; Lightdrift, an interactive light project in and along the Schuylkill River created by a team from MIT; and Love Letter, a narrative series of 50 text-based images visible from the Market-Frankford El developed by Stephen Powers.
Golden has received numerous awards for her work, including the Philadelphia Award, the Hepburn Medal from the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center at Bryn Mawr College, The Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art, and the 2012 Governor's Award for Innovation in the Arts.
Golden holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and degrees in Fine Arts and Political Science from Stanford University. In addition, Golden has received honorary PhDs from Swarthmore College, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Widener University, and most recently, Haverford College and Villanova University.
The Rosemont College Presidential Lecture incorporates the themes of the College’s mission, which stresses trust and reverence for the dignity of each person; diversity in human culture and experience; and persistence and courage in promoting justice with compassion.