Art Works Blog

Taking a Look at Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Today Rocco is visiting Cincinnati, Ohio. For those of us who couldn?t join him on the trip, we have images of some community-heralded murals that the chairman's bound to see while he is in the area. These public art works are part of MuralWorks, the most recent initiative from ArtWorks, which serves the Greater Cincinnati community in connecting young artists with community and public projects. In true ArtWorks fashion, MuralWorks has engaged residents, apprentice students, teachers, and businesses in a collaborative effort to adorn the city?s buildings. Some images are historical, some imaginative, but all are communally relevant and recognizable.

Anyone visiting the administrative offices of ArtWorks or ArtsWave is bound to have to an Ice Cream Daydream after seeing this bold and impressive mural. Today, that includes Rocco Landesman as he meets with ArtsWave to continue his tour of Cincinnati?s arts districts. Along with the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Know Theatre, these organizations have helped transform Over-the-Rhine into a thriving arts community. Leading artist Amanda Checco and five apprentice artists created this lovely piece.

Just down the street from the former King Records headquarters stands a bold mural by Kris Donnelly, Brian Nicely, and the team's apprentices. Like many of the murals around Cincinnati, this work reflects the past, the present, and the future, with music at the heart of it all. Art works here to foster community pride in the neighborhood?s legacy---but what makes this mural resounding is its ultimate emphasis on individual expression. The creators address this in the mural?s title, What are the Lyrics to Your Song?

Walking down Woodburn Avenue in East Walnut Hills might give you reason to stop for a brief history lesson. In partnership with the East Walnut Hills Assembly and community, Tim Parsley, Laura McNeel, and fellow artists developed monochromatic, sepia-toned images of three neighborhood land and roadmarks to adorn the Schullhoff Tool Rental Building: an old-trolley and fire truck, the East Walnut Hills Bell, and St. Ursula Academy.  I?ve crossed paths with a few understated, photograph-like murals yet this originally historic presentation is something to see (and read).  
Downtown Cincinnati residents are the subject of this trompe l?oeil style mural, in which the windows are painted to look as if they are really a part of the building. Project Manager Ted Hendricks, teachers, and apprentice artists created these interesting and interested subjects in homage of Cincinnati?s downtown culture, which is defined both by cultural diversity and by a curious interest in community happenings. The title of the mural is What?s Happening Downtown? You just might have to go and find out!

To see more Cincinnati murals, check out the MuralArts website. And hear from Rocco himself about his Ohio trip on the blog later this week.

Photo 1 by Nora Sweeney. Photo 2, 3, and 4 by Brandon Famer.

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