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Waldron Mercy Academy Student Wins Mural Arts Program Sixers Mural Contest

When the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program announced its Sixers Mural Contest, Brendan Dougherty, a middle school student at Waldron Mercy Academy, jumped at the chance to submit. The Mural Arts Program put out a call for submissions to help inspire the design of the Philadelphia 76ers Broad Street Murals - a combination of two of the most iconic pillars of Philadelphia culture. They asked artists to submit a design answering one of two questions:

What does Philadelphia and basketball mean to me? How do basketball and the Philadelphia 76ers inspire me?”

An avid artist and lifelong 76ers fan, Brendan responded to the prompt immediately. His love for the Sixers began early, as he heard stories about his late grandfather and Big 5 Hall of Famer, Andy Dougherty, working alongside Harvey Pollack and Dave Zinkoff. Brendan succeeded in his attempt to portray the robust history of the Philadelphia team. He managed to incorporate iconic images like Wilt Chamberlain’s famous 100-point game, Darryl Dawkins breaking the backboard and everything inbetween. To Brendan, however, one of the most significant elements of his drawing is the depiction of the fans “because they are a big part of how the Sixers thrive.” He also included a quote from Rocky Balboa, which to Brendan is a “great summary of sports in the city of Philadelphia.”

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.” -Rocky Balboa

The Mural Arts Program contest was open to student artists from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The top ten submissions were chosen by a panel of staff members from both the Sixers and Mural Arts and were voted on by Sixers Fans. Brendan’s winning submission was used to inspire a mural by local mural artist, Ernel Martinez, whose work can be seen all over Philadelphia. The official unveiling of the mural located at Broad and Federal Streets took place on ]Thursday, April 13.


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