The Road Not Taken


Groundswell Community Mural Project ©

Acrylic on Wall
8 x 22 ft

Lead Artist: Chris Soria
Assistant Artist:
Menshahat Ebron
Youth Artists:
12 inmates from the Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island, NY
Annex corridor at Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island, NY
Community Partners:
NYC Department of Corrections, Austin H. McCormick Island Academy, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Education,, Rose M. Singer Center



This mural aimed to improve the literacy skills and deepen understanding of poetry through reading and writing amongst students at the Rose M. Singer Center at the Austin H. McCormick Island Academy on Rikers Island. The team, which consisted of young women from the school,  read ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost, and developed imagery based on the poem. In the finished mural a series of five orbs are presented, each one held by a different set of hands. The spheres are realistically rendered, appearing metallic and reflective, mirroring the hands holding them. In each mirrorball is a distinct image that reveals itself in the distorted reflection of the orb. The largest of the five, is in the center and covers a large portion of the composition. This mirrorball shows a young woman standing before an elevated train track which extends in opposite directions, bending to the curve of the globule. She looks out of the ball, directly ahead, making contact with the viewer. She is also, presumably, looking back at herself. A long shadow is cast down the center of her face, dividing her portrait in two. She is wearing a necklace with a golden key. Piercing the surface of the mirrorball, are two keyholes on opposite sides of the person, puncturing the ball where the tracks disappear into vanishing points. The students who participated in the project became increasingly impressed with how the mural blossomed and were proud upon its completion. Having contributed something beautiful and thought provoking to the facility that incarcerates them, the project was a cathartic experience for the participants, who expressed it as transformative.