Carol Combs, chairwoman of the Jefferson Alliance, takes her three children during the summer and school breaks to see the StreetSpark murals that have been painted around Hamilton in recent years.
She was delighted to recently learn one of the murals this summer will come to them. It will be painted on a fence at the new Jefferson Park, located at East and Henley avenues, in what is described as Hamilton’s most ethnically diverse neighborhood, with many Hispanic and African-American residents. It is located between the Second Ward and East End.
“Having a mural brought to our neighborhood in a brand-new park space, that’s exciting for us,” Combs said. “The park opened up last May, and it’s a space that all the neighborhood kids use. It’s a space that we’ve utilized for a lot of different neighborhood events.”
A park’s new wooden fence will be one of three places painted this summer by the StreetSpark program, which last year began branching out into neighborhoods. The other mural locations will be 802 Heaton Street in the North End and the Elite Performance building at 190 N. Brookwood Ave., which houses a fitness center and events by Future Great Wrestling, a professional wrestling organization.
Arts-in-the-Parks events were held throughout the summer. It hosted a movie night, a pop-up pumpkin patch in October and Day of the Dead festival in early November.
“The Jefferson Park has become just a beautiful space for neighbors to gather,” said Combs, who has lived in the neighborhood two decades. “It’s not something we’ve had, as far as I can remember, ever.”
The park also is equipped with playground equipment that lets children in wheelchairs participate.
“To have the murals coming to add that splash of color, it’s really bringing that space to life,” Combs said.
Jennifer Acus-Smith, who organizes the StreetSpark program, said the Heaton Street location was picked because “it was just a nice-sized building, it was really visible, and wasn’t blocked by any trees or anything.” Also, it is close to Moser Park, which is becoming a hub of community in that neighborhood.
The one on Brookwood Avenue was attractive because it’s visible and “very large” — about 3,400 square feet,” Acus-Smith said.
People can submit their designs through Feb. 2. Information is at Fittoncenter.org/streetspark.
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