30 Nov 2016
Benjamin Volta, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
Benjamin Volta, We Are All Neurons, 2013. Print on a SEPTA subway car. Created with youth at Volta's studio in partnership with the The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Damon Landry.
Benjamin Volta, Amplify, 2014. Mural for the Union Transfer music venue in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. Created with young adults at my studio in partnership with The Restorative Justice GUILD / The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Steve Weinik.
"Unexpected things can happen in a space where art not only beautifies but dynamically forges a new unity and strength."
Benjamin Volta (b. 1979) creates intricate public murals and sculptures through participatory methods, often involving education, restorative justice, and urban planning. His practice stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them. Volta models his practice after what he calls the "education as medium" philosophy of mentor Tim Rollins, founder of K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), which began making art with at-risk students in 1982. Volta studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited at The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC and Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, among others, and his murals have been seen throughout Philadelphia on trains and in train stations, and at the Philadelphia International Airport, Union Transfer music venue, The Center for Art in Wood, and several public schools, including the Morton McMichael Public School where he recently worked with students, teachers, and community members to install a 12,000-square-foot mural. Recent partners include the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, New Jersey Transit, and Philadelphia's Percent for Art program.