An ‘Invincible’ mural gets a new life in Camden

Five local artists contributed to the making of the 'Camden Invincible'' mural at 16th Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Camden’s iconic “City Invincible” mural has undergone a transformation, thanks to five local artists and the Camden Community Partnership.

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The ''Camden Invincible'' mural fronts on Admiral Wilson Boulevard, one of the most-traveled roads in South Jersey. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
The ''Camden Invincible'' mural fronts on Admiral Wilson Boulevard, one of the most-traveled roads in South Jersey. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The completion of the mural, which now reads “Camden Invincible” in 12-foot-high letters, was celebrated Friday morning at the intersection of 16th Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

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Camden officials gather at the intersection of 16th Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard to dedicate the ''Camden Invincibile'' mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Camden officials gather at the intersection of 16th Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard to dedicate the ''Camden Invincibile'' mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The original artwork, installed on the Boulevard in 2017, alludes to a poem written in 1867 by Camden resident Walt Whitman, “I Dream’d in a Dream.”

I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the

attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;

I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;

Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust

love—it led the rest;

It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of

that city,

And in all their looks and words.

Former Camden Mayor, now Camden Community Partnership Chair Dana Redd said the new iteration makes it clear which city Whitman was talking about.

Former Camden Mayor Dana Redd, now chair of the Camden Community Partnership, speaks at the dedication of the Camden Invincible mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Former Camden Mayor Dana Redd, now chair of the Camden Community Partnership, speaks at the dedication of the Camden Invincible mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Five local artists created the six new letters spelling CAMDEN, and the original INVINCIBLE letters were refurbished, as was the wall they were mounted on.

Terina Nicole Hill, who designed the letter C, is a transplant to Camden. This is her first mural. She usually works in fashion and textiles.

She said that by contributing to the mural, she felt she had been “incorporated into the fabric of the city.”

Her C is a brickwork pattern of fabrics from around the world, reflecting the diversity of her adopted city and its many brick houses, she said.

Fabric and fashion artist Terina Nicole Hill designed the letter C for the ''Camden Invincible'' mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Fabric and fashion artist Terina Nicole Hill designed the letter C for the ''Camden Invincible'' mural. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The other artists are Priscilla Rios, Breiner Garcia, Donald T. Williams, and Erik James Montgomery.

Priscilla Rios, a lifelong Camden resident, made both the A and E for the ''Camden Invincible'' mural. Her A depicts the city’s natural areas, its abandoned buildings, and the spectacular view from the Camden waterfront. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Priscilla Rios, a lifelong Camden resident, made both the A and E for the ''Camden Invincible'' mural. Her A depicts the city’s natural areas, its abandoned buildings, and the spectacular view from the Camden waterfront. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Erik James Montgomery, a fine art photographer, created the letter M using photographs of children’s faces. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Erik James Montgomery, a fine art photographer, created the letter M using photographs of children’s faces. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Brein Garcia calls his D an ''Easter egg of what is to come in the future.'' The work reflects his love of music and nature and his dream of starting a mushroom farm in Camden. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Brein Garcia calls his D an ''Easter egg of what is to come in the future.'' The work reflects his love of music and nature and his dream of starting a mushroom farm in Camden. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Donald T. Williams’ letter N refers to Camden’s many neighborhoods. Its colors match the school colors of Camden High and Woodrow Wilson High. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Donald T. Williams’ letter N refers to Camden’s many neighborhoods. Its colors match the school colors of Camden High and Woodrow Wilson High. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Camden Community Partnership worked with the City of Camden and the Camden County Board of Commissioners to complete the installation

With the backdrop of a abandoned factory, the ''Camden Invincible'' mural faces Admiral Wilson Boulevard and the Cooper River. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
With the backdrop of a abandoned factory, the ''Camden Invincible'' mural faces Admiral Wilson Boulevard and the Cooper River. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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