Brandywine Art Guide: Community Mural at Kennett Library

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The Comunity Mural at Kennett Library.

Libraries are for everyone. That message is being celebrated in a new mural at the Kennett Library & Resource Center, currently being created by local artist Al Moretti. The huge undertaking is the culmination of a year-long process that incorporated not only the history of the region but also public comments and the wonderfully multicultural landscape of the town today.

It all started with the design of the new library, which included a large exterior wall that faces Willow Street in downtown Kennett Square. In May 2023, the library reached out to the community with a public survey available in both English and Spanish which asked, “Who and which events should be depicted on the mural?” Over two dozen people, events, places, and historical suggestions were included, and others were suggested by responders.

Nighttime Sketching by Al Moretti

The final “Community Mural Concept” incorporated the responses and highlighted the rich history of the area. As it stated, “From the area’s first-known occupants, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, to the founding of the commonwealth by Quaker founder William Penn in 1681, to Revolutionary War battles, to Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad, to the Railroad conductors, both Black and White, who led slaves to freedom, to the modern-day mushroom industry, the Kennett area holds an undeniably prominent place in the unique story of Pennsylvania.”

In November 2023, the call for artists went out, again in both English and Spanish. From the many submissions, four finalists were selected, and the final design was selected from a local artist, Al Moretti.

“Kennett history was so rich it was a challenge to represent all the important people and events that continue to shape the community,” said Moretti. The size of the mural was also intimidating, covering a wall that is almost 1,500 square feet. He created a design that “would reflect the history, persons, stories, and events that have shaped Kennett and the surrounding community.”

Painting commenced last week, starting with nights spent projecting the design on the walls to outline the details and sketch the many figures. Moretti said he has gotten “many favorable comments so far.” It has received a lot of interest as it has come into existence. “Folks are excited to see that their story is being told,” he said.

Encompassing so much history in one cohesive piece is part of the beauty. “The mural showcases the Lenape Indian Legacy, Longwood Gardens, Harriet Tubman & the Underground Railroad, Progressive Friends Meeting, the Latino Community, Equestrian Legacy, Mushrooms, and Bayard Taylor's literary career,” a statement from the Kennett Library explains. “This educational and inspirational mural captures Kennett's richness and significance, aiming to unite and inspire the community.”

The mural is now being filled in with Moretti’s trademark vibrant palette, revealing the full impact of brushstroke by brushstroke. It is expected to be on display by the end of May — hopefully, the weather will cooperate with this schedule.

Harriet Tubman and other figures.

“Our history is rich and meaningful,” said Moretti. This mural takes that history and brings it to the present, inspiring visitors to the library and passersby. It celebrates the people who first inhabited these lands, struggles over the centuries, literary tradition, and of course the dynamic community of today. Moretti hopes people will take that message to heart: “We should stay connected to it so that we can move together with integration, inspiration, and imagination.”

The Community Mural will be on view for all at the Kennett Library in a few weeks. The Kennett Library & Resource Center at Bayard Taylor Commons is located at 320 East State Street, Kennett Square. More information can be found at

About Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose (she/her) is an editor, writer, avid reader, self-described geek, and fan of all things creative. Her passion for words has led to her current career as a freelance editor, and she is the owner of Flickering Words, an editing service. When not wielding a red pen (or cursor), she loves reading books of all genres, playing video, board, and word games, baking ridiculous creations to show off on the internet, or enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. She is a board member of the West Chester Film Festival and part of the Thirsty Monsters, a team of streamers from around the world who fundraise for various charities supporting LGBTQIA+ and accessibility rights. She can be found online @WordsFlickering or the Brandywine Art Guide @BrandywineArtGuide.

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