Detail of "Sowing Desire," a mural unveiled at The Fresh Grocer Store at 5601 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
The Burns’ Family Fresh Grocer, in collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation’s largest public-art program, dedicated a new mural, Sowing Desire, at The Fresh Grocer store at 5601 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. The artwork is described as “an ode to West Philadelphia; the women artists who live, work and shop there; and the long history of community gardens and the importance of fresh food in our lives.”
“The new mural is an incredible addition to our supermarket and to West Philadelphia,” noted Pat Burns, president and CEO of the Burns’ Family Fresh Grocer Supermarkets, which operates five Fresh Grocer supermarkets and two ShopRite supermarkets throughout the greater Philadelphia area. “We thank Jane Golden and the entire Mural Arts Philadelphia team for their support and collaboration, and congratulate the talented artists who came together to bring beauty and inspiration to our community through their art.”
Curator Noah Smalls recommended the creation of the mural, which was designed by three visual artists: lead artist Wanda Payne and collaborative artists Sheena Garcia and Pauline Houston McCall. Public artist and muralist Priscilla Bell, also a member of Women Holler artists’ collective, painted the mural, while Octavia McBride Ahebe and her daughter Sojourner Ahebe contributed the mural’s poetry.
To mark the mural’s debut, Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collective provided music, drumming and live poetry, while a large crowd of community members and spectators joined The Fresh Grocer, Mural Arts Philadelphia and the local artists for the dedication ceremony.
The Burns’ Family Fresh Grocer and Mural Art Philadelphia plan to continue their collaboration by bringing more murals to the wall, which extends for a full city block along Market Street.
Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern is a retailer cooperative comprising more than 40 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 25 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.