Episode #99 | Lily Yeh | Artist | Visionary | Barefoot Artists, Inc.


The art of mosaic is the art of taking something broken and creating something whole. Lily Yeh, with members of the community, created a memorial to the Rwandan genocide. Yeh is an urban visionary who creates collective collaboration.

Lily Yeh (born 1941, Guizhou, China) is an artist whose work has taken her to communities throughout the world.  She was a professor of painting and art history at University of the Arts (Philadelphia) from 1968 until 1998. As founder and executive director of The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia from 1968 to 2004, she helped create a national model in creative place-making and community building through the arts. In 2002, Yeh pursued her work internationally, founding Barefoot Artists, Inc., to bring the transformative power of art to impoverished communities around the globe through participatory, multifaceted projects that foster community empowerment, improve the physical environment, promote economic development and preserve indigenous art and culture. In addition to the United States, she has carried out projects in several other countries.