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Released: 5/24/2018 

DRPA and Mural Arts Philadelphia Announce Final Mural Design Selection

Selected artists will be commissioned for two murals in the Philadelphia 5th Street Vehicular and Pedestrian Tunnels

CAMDEN, New Jersey: The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia announced today that local artists Brad Carney, Melissa Mandel and  Mat Tomeszko have been commissioned to create two murals for the Authority. Carney and Mandel will collaborate on a mural for the 5th Street Pedestrian Tunnel and Tomeszko will create a mural for the 5th Street Vehicular Tunnel. The Vehicular Tunnel Mural will occupy a 1,500-square-foot area approximately halfway through the tunnel, and the Pedestrian Tunnel Mural will occupy two 1,000-square-foot areas in the underpass. In addition to serving as visual enhancements for the surrounding community, the murals will also serve to deter incidents of graffiti and other vandalism.

“The mural designs submitted by Brad, Melissa and Mat exceeded all expectations,” said Valerie P. Bradford, DRPA Bridge Director for the Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross Bridges. “After consulting with our internal review team and the incorporation of significant community feedback, the DRPA Board approved the recommendation to commission Brad and Melissa for the 5th Street Pedestrian Tunnel and Mat for the Vehicular Tunnel. We’d like to express our sincere appreciation to all of the artists who took the time to share their creative vision with us. Each design that we reviewed shared a unique artistic perspective and the tremendous quality of each design made this a very difficult decision.”

“When I was first approached about this project, I thought it was a wonderful idea – directly in alignment with our core values of stewardship, service and community,” said DRPA CEO John T. Hanson. “I was extremely impressed with all of the designs that we received and can’t wait to see the final product. I would like to also express my sincere appreciation to the team at Mural Arts Philadelphia. They have been tremendous partners throughout this entire process and I look forward to working with them, as well as the selected artists, as these beautiful pieces of art are created.”

"We are so excited at Mural Arts to partner with the DRPA to create these lively murals inside the 5th Street Tunnels—two unusual sites for public art that we've been interested in for many years," said Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. "We're grateful to the public for providing valuable feedback and extremely proud of the selected artists, as well as all of the artists who submitted designs for consideration. It will be so exciting to watch as Brad, Melissa, and Mat bring beauty, color, and vibrancy to these passageways later this year."

“We are honored to be selected to create the mural, Building Connections Through Time: A Delaware River Port Authority Mural,” said Brad Carney and Melissa Mandel. “We are excited to paint the pedestrian tunnel in a way that will capture DRPA interests in a variety of scenes, showing all the connections the DRPA foster within our communities and surrounding environment, through their continued effort and dedication to service and excellence.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to create something of public value in such a unique and beloved space in the city,” said Mat Tomezsko. “My design is an abstraction of motion, meant to be immediately appealing to riders and drivers and combines the iconic Bridge we all know with references to the unseen efforts of those who have dedicated themselves to building and maintaining this public asset.”

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate Brad, Melissa and Mat on their wonderful designs,” said Ryan N. Boyer, DRPA’s Chairman. “The ability to showcase local artists and to partner with Mural Arts Philadelphia is a unique opportunity and I am very pleased that Bridge Director Val Bradford advocated so strongly for this project.”

To view the finalists and winning selections, please visit

The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) is a regional transportation agency that serves as steward of four bridges that cross the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey: the Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges. Through its Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), the DRPA also operates a transit line between Camden County, New Jersey and Center City Philadelphia.

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to understanding with projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world, and with programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts' iconic and unparalleled collection, which has earned Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the "City of Murals." For more information, call 215-685-0750 or visit Follow along on social media: @muralarts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.

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