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Local artist garners attention for mural ‘superpower’

Kelley Prevard has already left her mark locally.

The Atlantic City artists has used blank and marked walls around the area as a canvas for her work.

Now she’s been chosen as one of 15 artists for the for the 2022 Philadelphia Mural Art’s Fellowship for Black Artists.

“We talk about art creativity as a superpower to transform spaces and people, ideas and communities,” said Phil Asbury, director of community murals for Mural Arts Philadelphia. “We have a core value of trying to make social change through artwork.

“She already seemed to have significant traction and technical skill in those areas,” he told BreakingAC of Prevard.

Prevard’s finished work includes “Son-Shine,” a portrait of Micah Tennant, the 10-year-old city boy who died days after he was shot during a high school football game in Pleasantville.

“I stand amongst amazing artists who are using their art to create more beauty, love and understanding in this world,” Prevard said.

“When I applied to the fellowship I told them about who I am as a self-taught artist whose work is centered around healing and storytelling,” she told BreakingAC.

She also shared how her art “has evolved into a vehicle through which I can carry stories, not only to heal myself but also to open up and heal the wounds of others.”

Prevard started out doing more studio work, but found power in murals, “public art that is connected to the community.”

The fellowship started as a response to the pandemic, in an effort to help local artists sustain their craft amid the financial uncertainty, Asbury said.

Overtime, it developed, adding career development workshops, which relate to financial literacy training and is sponsored by TD Bank, he explained.

The fellows include a 15-year-old, college students and even a few older than 60, Asbury said.

“They have a variety of different styles and aesthetics, but that kind of commitment to community and using their talents as a superpower is one of the threads that knits them all together,” he said.

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