Hamilton murals program to be bigger in 2017

The Clark’s Sporting Goods Store at 15 South B St., will be one of three sites for murals in the 2017 Street Spark program in Hamilton. PROVIDED.
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The Clark’s Sporting Goods Store at 15 South B St., will be one of three sites for murals in the 2017 Street Spark program in Hamilton. PROVIDED.

Hamilton’s StreetSpark program will be giving artists even bigger templates to display their artistry in 2017.

The program, which created two murals in 2016 — a modernistic look at city namesake Alexander Hamilton and a celebration of children's-book writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey, a Hamilton native — will offer three large areas on the sides of buildings this year.

The high-profile 2017 locations will be:

  • The Clark's Sporting Goods Store at 15 S. B St., offering a 14-feet-high-by-43-feet-wide space on the 1954 building. Three artists will be hired to paint the mural over a 12-day period. The winning creator of this design will receive $500.
  • The building at 212 Main St., offering an irregularly shaped 35-foot-high-by-36-foot-wide area on the former location of the West Side Motor Co., and later Marshall Electric Co. The building now houses two furniture making- or renovation businesses, First Ward Wood Co., and Unsung Salvage Design Co. Four artists will be hired to complete the mural within 19 days. The winning designer will receive $500.
  • The city's McDulan Parking Garage, near the corner of Market and 2nd streets., overlooking the new pocket park being built at 2nd and High streets. This mammoth space will be 36 feet high and 105 feet wide. Six artists will be hired to complete the work over 35 days. The winning designer will receive $1,200.

Jennifer Acus-Smith, program manager for StreetSpark, said artists have until midnight on Feb. 3 to submit designs that fit the spaces. A 13-member design-selection committee made up of arts professionals will judge the entries without knowing the designers’ identities. Designers can come from anywhere, and people who know artists are encouraged to share the program with them.

“We’re really excited to see what artists propose,” Acus-Smith said. “The more we get the word out there, the better we can choose from those selections.”

“Those are three great locations,” Mayor Pat Moeller said after a presentation showing images of buildings where the murals will be.

All three sites will be prominent, but the one on the side of the McDulan garage could occupy a special place, because city officials envision the pocket park that will be in front of it as a community gathering space, especially on weekends and evenings.

Applications to design or paint murals are at http://fittoncenter.org/streetspark/.

StreetSpark is a partnership between the city and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

“First and foremost, we want to showcase the creativity and vision of artists through high-quality mural designs,” Acus-Smith. Also, “We want to present a diversity of artistic styles and perspectives throughout Hamilton.”

The program also strives to increase visibility of the arts in the city and give jobs to local working artists, with another goal of attracting residents and businesses to Hamilton.

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