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Hamilton’s Cadillac manufacturing past comes alive in new mural

The biggest Cadillac in Hamilton is materializing brushstroke by brushstroke.

Part of the StreetSpark program that has been energizing the sides of buildings in recent years, Nicole Trimble’s image, called “Hey Caddy-O,” depicts a 1950s mint green Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

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The mural is appropriate for a few reasons: It’s painted on the eastern side of the Jeff Pohlman Tire and Auto Service building at 736 High St. That same building, “used to be a Cadillac dealership, so the car is a Cadillac,” said StreetSpark program manager Jennifer Acus-Smith.

Also, Hamilton shares a manufacturing past with Cadillacs. Fisher Body from the late 1940s through 1988 produced bodies for the brand.

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“We’re so happy with it,” Acus-Smith said. “Really bright colors that I think are really going to attract a lot of people.”

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Trimble, a Hamilton native now living in Cincinnati, is a Miami University Hamilton instructor and has been involved all three years of the StreetSpark program, which by the end of this summer will have produced eight of the large artworks.

Two years ago, she designed and painted the colorful modern portrait of city namesake Alexander Hamilton next to the True West coffee shop on Main Street. Last year, she was lead artist on the painting of the birds mural on the city’s parking garage northeast of the intersection of 3rd and High streets.

This year she designed and is leading painting of the Caddy mural. She also has painted murals for other programs in the region.

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Some 30 artists submitted 54 designs for the three murals this year, and, “in the third year, we’re getting serious artists that are applying,” Acus-Smith said.

“I think people enjoy that they’re in the heart of Hamilton,” she said. “You can walk around and see all of them. We’ve heard positive feedback from artists and community members, that it’s bringing some life back into the city and giving them something to enjoy as they’re walking to work, or out at events.”

“They’re becoming backdrops for a lot of photos, too, which is really cool,” Acus-Smith said. “I’m seeing them pop up all over the place on different social media accounts.”

Painters are creating two other murals this summer:

Kentucky-based artist Christian Dallas painted “Golden Ethos” on the North Second Tap and Bottle Shop at 134 N. 2nd St. The mural shows a female drummer on the side of the business that is developing a live-music offering. It also is close to Marcum Park, which includes the RiversEdge Amphitheater and its summerlong series of concerts, most of them free.

A third mural is in the works on the Miami Hamilton campus to celebrate its 50th anniversary. That mural, designed by Hamilton artist Stephen Smith, will be slowly revealed.

This article contains previous reporting by staff writer Wayne Baker.

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