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Nursing mural gets a major facelift

If you've passed Broad and Vine streets recently, you may have noticed that there's something different about the enormous mural there. It's being painted over.

The Mural Arts program is restoring the "Evolving Face of Nursing" mural for the third time in twenty years. The cost of restoration: a little less than $300,000.

Sponsors include the Independence Foundation, Bayada Nurses, Connelly Foundation, and Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The new mural will feature portraits of student and working nurses from area nursing schools and hospitals.

"The profession of nursing is important in our community," said Cari Fieler Bender, spokesperson for the Mural Arts Program. "And we wanted to pay tribute to them, especially with Hahnemann right across the street."

The mural will be the first of its kind to use light-emitting diodes, also known as LED lights. The lights are positioned over the mural and "will interact with the paint causing the effect of the faces on the mural to be changing," said Meg Saligman, 45, the lead artist on the project.

"I was just experimenting in the studio," Saligman said. "I'm always trying to find different things to work with."

Saligman has worked on other projects throughout the city including the "Common Threads" mural at Broad and Spring Garden streets and the "Philadelphia Muses" mural at 13th and Locust streets.

The Mural Arts Program restores up to 50 murals each year. Murals usually last for about 10 to 20 years, said Bender.

When Seth Turner, the director for Mural Operations and Restoration, believes its time for a restoration, a recommendation is made, budgets are worked out and the painting begins, Bender said.

The new mural is expected to be completed by October.