Portraits of the Community

Portraits of the Community Mural


The Mulberry Street bridge connects downtown Harrisburg with the vibrant and diverse South Allison Hill neighborhood. All of the portraits on the bridge depict actual Harrisburg residents of all ages and generations, many of them Black residents. The mural was designed and led by Ian Potter, a Harrisburg native who is now a New York-based muralist. Although not Black, Potter mentored four Black Harrisburg artists as apprentices for the project as a way to nurture the city’s Black talent. About 100 community volunteers—many of them Black residents—assisted on the project, organized by the nonprofit Sprocket Mural Works. Created in 2021, , this expansive mural spans 230 feet across the bridge and measuring seven feet high.

Ian Potter launched his artistic career by creating sets and scenic design for Harrisburg’s Gamut Theatre. He now creates murals for New York’s Colossal Media, which donated the paint for this project. Potter used an electro pounce machine, similar to an electric pen, to create the metal bridge’s mural artwork. This is the only Harrisburg mural to-date that was created using this method.

Murals were created on the bridge years ago but were dismantled and put into storage during bridge renovation. In 2021, many Allison Hill residents were thrilled to see artwork created once again for this important thoroughfare, as an entry point to their neighborhood, and as a way to celebrate the neighborhood’s diversity.