Murals Beautify City Parks

Hamilton’s beautiful wall murals program has big plans for 2018

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When the Fitton Center for Creative Arts entered into a public art initiative partnership called StreetSpark with the city of Hamilton two years ago, the idea was that creating new murals would enhance the city’s visual appeal and connect residents, businesses, and visitors with the arts.

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Fitton Center for Creative Arts’ Executive Director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley said not only has it been a successful mission, but the best is yet to come.

“We are really excited with the Street Spark program,” he said. “It has been a fantastic opportunity for the Fitton Center to work with the city of Hamilton who have been phenomenal partners over the last two years in creating the first five murals of the Street Spark program in Hamilton.”

The new Hamilton mural featuring Cincinnati Reds legend, Joe Nuxhall, painted on the side of Clark’s Sporting Goods on Hamilton s west side. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

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MacKenzie-Thurley added, “this year we are excited to say that we have another partner in the Hamilton Community Foundation. In addition to that, we are working on a commissioned piece from Miami University Hamilton in celebration of their 50th anniversary. So they have come aboard as partners as well.”

There will be three murals painted in 2018, with two of them going up in downtown Hamilton and the other on the Miami University Hamilton campus.

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The Fitton Center’s Director of Education & Outreach, Jennifer Acus-Smith, is the program manager for StreetSpark. She has been working closely with artists, stakeholders and community representatives in creating new murals and public art throughout Hamilton.

“Because there are so many different opinions about what should be art – I think we have a really strong process for choosing the designs,” she explained. “We have a selection committee of about 14 or 15 people that actually score these designs and discuss them and kind of choose what the final ones will be.”

Make Way for McCloskey was one of five murals painted in Hamilton this year as part of the city’s StreetSpark program.
Photo: Staff Writer

Acus-Smith said she is looking forward to the program’s growth in 2018 and a new selection committee is in place - new members are selected every two years - and now there is a call out for artists and painters who might be interested in StreetSpark.

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She noted that Jan. 19 is the deadline for artists to submit design applications, and March 2 is the cutoff for those interested in painting.

“We are looking for painters that may not be interested in submitting an original design, but want to be a part of a team that paints murals,” Acus-Smith said.

To submit a design or sign-up as a painter visit www.fittoncenter.org/streetspark.

New murals in Hamilton parks all represent Ohio birds and were made possible from an anonymous donation to the Hamilton Parks Conservancy from a community member. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

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