The “Obatala & the Tree Goddess” Mural The “Obatala & the Tree Goddess” Mural

A Tribute to the Village of Arts & Humanities

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Village, Lily Yeh designed this mural to commemorate the legacy of renowned artists Arthur Hall and Barbara Bullock.

The late Arthur Hall was an internationally eminent choreographer, dancer, and the founder of the Arthur Hall Afro-American Dance Ensemble and the Ile-Ife Black Humanitarian Center in North Philadelphia.


Arthur Hall’s work has transformed many people’s lives, including my own, when he invited me to create an art park on his abandoned lot 30 years ago. The humble summer project with children evolved into the Village of Arts and Humanities. He showed me the power of art and creative action. I remain forever grateful.”                                          
– Lily Yeh

Barbara Bullock is a highly acclaimed Philadelphia-based artist and teacher. She has received numerous prestigious regional and national awards.

“Forging together the vitality from African art, the inventiveness of contemporary art, with her unique sensitivity and humor, Barbara creates images filled with power and magic. Her ‘tree goddess’ has so moved me that I feel compelled to revive it. To me, the goddess personifies the beauty and fecundity of the place.”                                                      
– Lily Yeh

The figure swaying in an ample white robe on the left commemorates Arthur Hall’s creation and performance as Obatala in his signature theater piece of the same title. Obatala embodies the creative spirit, purity, and moral righteousness of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

We heartily congratulate the Village’s recent prestigious award from ArtPlace America. It is one of the 23 selected from 1,000 applicants nationally.

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