Hamilton program adds 14th mural with a nod to the nearby high school

The completion of Hamilton’s most recent wall mural continues a program that has produced 14 murals adding to the city’s atmosphere.

Those at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, which partners with the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation on the project, say the murals provide “energy, color” to the city and attract tourists and businesses into Butler County.

“It’s like planting a flag,” said Ian Mackenzie-Thurley, director of the Fitton. “These murals show the community cares about all parts of the city. Murals are great unifiers. They’re great conversation starters. It’s not just about decorations. They provide energy, color and light to the streets just as the name says.”

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He said Hamilton is becoming well known for its commitment to the arts between initiatives such as the Hamilton Artspace Lofts and the City of Sculpture.

Fitton program manager Jennifer Acus-Smith agreed. She said murals show residents and artists that arts are “valued in the community."

The latest mural, and third completed this year, is located on the side of the ELITE Performance and Wellness building, 190 N. Brookwood Ave. At 3,400 square feet, the “Garden of the Dogs” mural is the second largest mural in the program, only behind the Taking Flight mural at Rotary Park.

Acus-Smith said the “Garden of the Dogs” mural was impressive on a small scale. Then she saw it on the side of the building.

She said this mural depicts a “dynamic garden” of native flora and fauna, such as the trillium flower, buckeye tree and ladybugs. Another layer includes hidden bulldog images as a nod to nearby Hamilton High School.

“It’s so much better than you imagine,” she said. “You can drive by and see the floral designs, but if you stop, you see all the hidden elements that create another layer of interest.”

Dan Moorehead, owner of the fitness business, said the mural looks “awesome” and numerous clients have commented about the art work.

“It’s really positive,” he said.

Acus-Smith said StreetSpark hopes to add two or three murals sometime in 2021

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