4 new StreetSpark murals to be unveiled in Hamilton this summer: What they’ll be

StreetSpark will introduce four new mural projects to the streets of Hamilton this summer. This is a rendering of a mural called Charge the Line, which will be painted on the Local 20 Professional Firefighters Union meeting hall at 350 N. Third Street. CONTRIBUTED
StreetSpark will introduce four new mural projects to the streets of Hamilton this summer. This is a rendering of a mural called Charge the Line, which will be painted on the Local 20 Professional Firefighters Union meeting hall at 350 N. Third Street. CONTRIBUTED

StreetSpark will introduce four new mural projects to the streets of Hamilton this summer as a way to connect residents, businesses, and visitors with the arts.

“The art and culture of any community is incredibly reflective of the people that it represents, the values of a city, and for the community as a whole, but street art takes things one step further” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

StreetSpark, in its sixth year, is a partnership between the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the City of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Community Foundation.

“The StreetSpark program has been more successful and more impactful on the community here in Hamilton than we ever could’ve imagined. The intention of the project is in the name itself. It’s always meant to have been a creative spark for this city. We’ve been overwhelmed by how the murals have been received and embraced by the entire community,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

Fourteen StreetSpark murals have successfully been painted since the summer of 2016. For this year’s designs, a Call to Artists was released in November of 2020, and the program received 50 designs that were submitted by area artists. From those submissions, four new designs were chosen by a selection committee of art professionals to complement the community and showcase the creativity of area artists.

“This year we will present two large-scale murals and two painted city utility boxes,” said Jenn Acus-Smith, StreetSpark Mural Program Manager. “All four of the new designs celebrate the ways people nurture, brighten and protect our community. We can’t wait to add more color to Hamilton this summer.”

The murals will be created by teams of professional and student artists. The first mural, titled Cultivating Community, will be painted at 601 Park Avenue in Hamilton. This design depicts cupped hands pouring water into a field of blossoming flowers and it was created by Jamie Schorsch, an Oak Hills High School art teacher and artist.

The second mural, Charge the Line, will be painted on the Local 20 Professional Firefighters Union meeting hall at 350 N. Third Street in Hamilton. This design shows a masked firefighter surrounded by billowing smoke. The background evokes the American Flag, and the thirteen stars represent the firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty on the Hamilton Fire Department.. Charge the Line was created by Hamilton resident Jennifer Eickelberger, artist, and wife of an HFD firefighter.

The third design, Changing the World through Art, One Kid at a Time, will be painted on a utility box located at the corner of Main and B Streets in Hamilton. This design is a collaboration between a local father and son; Brent Billingsley created a greyscale portrait of his son, backed by his son’s colorful, abstract artwork. Brent and Lavelle Billingsley live and create together in the Hamilton community.

The final design, titled Expressions of Power, will be painted on a second utility box located at the corner of High Street and MLK Blvd. in Hamilton. This design celebrates the power, joy and creativity of women and girls in our community. The artwork was created by Anissa Pulcheon, an artist and illustrator from Cincinnati.

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