Fishtown call to service

January 19, 2009 3:23:20 PM PST
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to service was the inspiration for a project in Fishtown Monday."It's a wonderful opportunity to get into spirit of service I associate with Dr. King."

Volunteers spent their day sweeping and raking at Fishtown's recreational center. But most of those hands held paintbrushes due to the project's heavy emphasis on art.

Coordinating the adventure in painting on the center's walls and playground equipment was Art Sphere, which is a non-profit organization that sponsors classes at the center.

"It makes it friendlier, it also brings joy delight and some humor," said Kristin Groenveld of Art Sphere, Inc.

Since the location is in Philadelphia's Fishtown section, the emphasis was on fish and things aquatic.

"I guess they said a lot of people are afraid to come here because they don't exactly know what it is. If we try to make it look a little more inviting more people will come," said volunteer Deidre Deascanis.

When Action News met up with Deidre she was stenciling "Sponge Bob Square Pants", which now joins "Charlie the Tuna". Martha Knox solved the problem of graffiti running through previously painted small fish.

"I'm going to make a big fish behind this little school of fish, there's this graffiti right here and I don't wanna paint over the whole thing. And I don't know where this color blue is and I thought it would be more fun to paint a big fish sort of swimming behind them and I'll touch up the little fish," she explained.

Some, like Knox, are artists by training, but others volunteering their time are students, architects and librarians.

"These kids deserve a nice place to play. How could you not want to help," said Diane Kinney.

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