The StreetSpark program has unveiled the three murals that will be painted on Hamilton buildings this summer. Those murals will go onto buildings at the intersection of High Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, as well as in the Lindenwald and Second Ward neighborhoods.
Two of the murals were designed by area art teachers, from Hamilton and Oak Hills high schools, and the other was designed by a local muralist and graphic designer. They will be painted on prominent Hamilton buildings, probably between May and July, said Jennifer Acus-Smith, StreetSpark’s program manager.
The new murals include:
• “Incrementum ,” a salute to the statue at the High-MLK intersection that recently was damaged and is being repaired in Alabama, was designed by artist Paul Loehle, a Badin High School graduate who now teaches art at Hamilton High School. Loehle also designed the popular Joe Nuxhall mural that was part of StreetSpark.
“He’s got a really, really nice realistic style and it’s very impressive,” Acus-Smith said about Loehle. “I wanted something really eye-catching to go at that site, because that’s such a highly trafficked location, and a lot of people will be seeing that and enjoying it.”
The statue depicted is called Hebe, Nymph of Brooks and Streams, and was Hamilton’s original public drinking fountain, an 1890 gift to the city from First National Bank.
• “ The Flowing Pride of Lindenwald”will be painted on Minnick’s Drive Thru, 2537 Pleasant Ave., and was created by Dave Rickerd, a local muralist and graphic designer.
“It has all of the sort-of iconic Lindenwald buildings,” Acus-Smith said. “Maybe some of them aren’t there anymore. They’re places that people who grew up in Lindenwald will know and remember.”
• “Inspiring the Future” will be painted on the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1140 S. Front St. It was designed by Jamie Schorsch, a Cincinnati artist who teaches art at Oak Hills High School
Acus-Smith said the committee that chose the winning designs liked that the mural “really focused on the youth, the kids who are using that center and are the future.”
In the mural, which includes images of plants, “the kids are sort-of being planted, and are growing in that soil there, and they’re going to blossom, and bloom into something great,” she said. The figures within the mural’s yellow bubbles represent past heroes from the area, and things children can become in the future, she added.
“It’s a variety of styles, which is great to see,” said Acus-Smith. “We’re thrilled with them. We had some really good choices this year. It’s never an easy decision, but definitely some standout designs this year.”
StreetSpark now is interviewing people wishing to paint the murals. The StreetSpark program, in its fourth year, is a partnership between the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the city of Hamilton and Hamilton Community Foundation. In previous summers, eight murals were painted on buildings.
The winning selections were chosen from among 44 designs submitted by 30 artists. The selection committee was made up of arts professionals. Goals of StreetSpark include beautifying the city and also highlighting Hamilton’s artistic leanings.
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