The Delaware artists behind a new interactive wall mural in Philadelphia hope their work serves as inspiration to the city’s beleaguered NFL football team aiming to keep their playoff chances alive tonight.
Corinne Pomeroy and Lauren Kelley – both graduates of Ursuline Academy and friends since 6th grade – have recently completed an enormous homage to the Philadelphia Eagles at South Philly’s Warehouse on Watts Street – a special events space colloquially known as the W.O.W. building – where hundreds gather to tailgate for every game.
The work features a pair of green and white wings (natch) atop a white-washed background that was applied over another layer of black. At the center of the wings is a dark, jagged-shaped hole with several black cracks emanating from it that the artists say serves as a symbol of strength and ‘being able to break through.’
And above the wings are the words, “We Flock We Fly,” a phrase Kelley and Pomeroy vetted with many friends and uber Eagles’ supporters before applying it to the wall. “The phrase is meant to convey that we all fly together as fans,” said Kelley. “Our hope is that our art will help keep spirits alive and band the fans together,” she said.
Kelley, who lives in Philadelphia, recruited her childhood friend to help with the beautification effort in her city. Visible from Broad Street, near the Eagles’ home at Lincoln Financial Field, the interactive artwork invites Birds fans and passersby to snap their picture between the wings and share it across social media. “Interactive mural art is a big deal in Philadelphia. So, we are really happy to be a part of this community-focused growing artistic movement,” said Kelley.
Kelley heard about the search for artists to create an Eagles mural through a friend who knew the building’s owner. “At first, we couldn’t believe this guy seriously let us paint on the side of his building,” said Pomeroy. Apparently there was tough competition for the assignment from members of Philadelphia’s growing community of graffiti artists.
The building also boasts a 76ers mural on the other side that Pomeroy says is ‘absolutely gorgeous.’ So Pomeroy and Kelley are proud they were asked to create a highly visible expression of their talents on the corner of Watts and Cambridge. “You immediately think, ‘I have to step up my game here,'” she said.
Though neither had ever created a mural before, Kelley and Pomeroy (UA ’02) were delighted to collaborate on such a large-scale project together – bringing together their complementary skills to create something lasting and positive for the Eagle fan base.
W.O.W.’s owner said the artistic duo could get creative but asked them to focus on one objective — to get people excited about the Eagles.
“He wanted a clean look,” said Pomeroy. “We wanted to make good use of the brick wall with wings breaking through. It’s a simple concept but gets the point across pretty easily as a rallying cry to the fans,” said Pomeroy. “We intend to go back and make it look more 3D – so the wings are spinning through and flying out. We want it to be interactive so people can take pics in front of it and use a hashtag.”
They used masonry paint outdoor so it could withstand the elements and adhere to the brick.
Kelley just four years ago started her hand as a professional calligrapher, and Pomeroy is enjoying a second career an artist specializing in original paintings, works on paper and digital art.
They work together often on smaller projects – wedding and special event invitations and whimsical creations for pop-up shops. Kelley’s business is called Girl Holding a Pen.
A trained musician and a licensed clinician with a master’s in music therapy, Kelley developed a passion for the art form of hand lettering when she began planning her wedding in 2015.
She took calligraphy classes to create beautifully addressed wedding invitations for her guests and thus began an entirely new profession. She now specializes in invitation designs, stationery, envelope addressing and wood cutouts.
Pomeroy earned her B.F.A in Fine Arts, Painting from University of Delaware and traveled to Florence to study at Santa Reparata International School of Art. But Pomeroy spent many years pursuing other careers – as a teacher, a client relations manager at Aloysius, Butler & Clark advertising in Wilmington, and as a business development manager at JP Morgan.
It was the birth of her now 3-year-old son Wyatt that led Pomeroy to step back and reconsider her path forward. She turned to her dream of being an artist, launched CCP Fine Arts (Corinne Cowen Pomeroy) and now feels more centered than ever before. Examples of her work can be found on her website and Instagram.
She now regularly collaborates on projects with Lauren Kelley as well as fellow Ursuline grad Erica Razze, the owner of Capiche Custom Events, and of course has developed her own portfolio of work. She has enjoyed several shows and has generated a loyal following of collectors who admire her abstract work.
Many things have influenced Pomeroy’s soul creatively, but none more so than topography and “the beauty and emotional depth of time and place.”
Her most recent paintings are abstract representations of emotions. “I like to make beautiful things that make other people happy. I want them to have just as much enjoyment from it as I do,” she says. “I use acrylics and various inks and occasionally use remnants of past prints and torn paint. A lot of the work is textured and layered and the layering represents the layering of life.”
Visualizing life as a series of maps, Pomeroy says her memories of friendships and learning at Ursuline are things she returns to over and over again for spiritual guidance today. “Ursuline was my family – my sisters more than my friends.
“We built a bond that never went away. If I didn’t have that sense of being lifted up by them, I don’t know if I would be where I am today. Erica, Lauren and I all working together – we dug deep and found what we love as a passion a little later in life, and to be able to work together is pretty incredible,” said Pomeroy.
When Kelley and Pomeroy embarked on the Eagles mural project in the fall, there were high hopes for the former Super Bowl champs. Pomeroy says it was not surprising to hear the vocal Phillies sports fans chime in on their progress.
“It was interesting to see the reactions of people on the street because one day we painted after an embarrassing loss to Dallas. And people were pissed and wondered why we were painting an Eagles mural. And then we painted after a win, and it generated a very different response to our painting. It was just so Philly!”
Photos by Carly Iannone