Two of the three murals to be painted as part of this year’s StreetSpark installment in Hamilton have been revealed.
Murals will be painted on two buildings in the city and one on the campus of Miami University Hamilton as part of the public art program that is in its third year, according to organizers.
MAP: How to visit 13 must-see wall murals of downtown Hamilton
The first design was created by Christian Dallas, a Kentucky-based artist who has created numerous murals in the region and across the country.
His “Golden Ethos” will be painted on North Second Tap and Bottle Shop at 134 N. Second St.
“With music being heard not only at the North Second Tap and Bottle Shop, but also across the street at the beautiful Riversedge Amphitheater, this wall creates an opportunity to amplify the musical mood and create a visual marker of what this specific part of Hamilton is all about,” Dallas said. “When I think of live music, I instantly recognize the energy and movement of the performers, as well as the crowd.”
He added that the mural portrays a “powerful female figure participating in an occupation that is predominately male, helps to inspire women of all ages to strive towards being their true selves, and to not be afraid of the constraints of the social or professional norms we live in today.”
The second mural is designed by Nicole Trimble, a Cincinnati-based artist and Miami University Hamilton instructor who has been involved in the StreetSpark program since its creation.
Her mural, called “Hey Caddy-O,” features a classic mint green Cadillac Coupe de Ville parked on a highway. This iconic mid-’50s car draws attention to the current use of the building as well as the automotive manufacturing history of Hamilton, in particular Fisher Body, which produced bodies for Cadillac from 1947 through 1988. It will be painted on the Jeff Pohlman Tire and Auto Service building at 736 High St.
According to Trimble, the vintage-inspired color palette and sunbeam motif in the background reference classic car advertisements from the 1950s and ’60s, while the bright colors and graphic pop art quality of the design will catch the eye of travelers as they drive down High St. in the downtown district.
“This will be my second mural design for StreetSpark, and the third mural I’ve been able to paint for the program, and really it’s hard to describe how truly meaningful being a part of this program and helping to make these beautiful works of art has been,” Trimble said. “Growing up in Hamilton and then seeing the changes that have happened in the last five years or so has been pretty wonderful.”
A third mural designed by local artist Stephen Smith will be revealed later as part of Miami University Hamilton’s 50th anniversary celebration. That mural will be painted on the side of a Miami University Hamilton building facing River Road.
“I’m very excited to have my design selected for this summer’s mural program,” Smith said. “The juried selection process can be a little nerve wracking, but it makes it even more gratifying to be chosen from all of the submitted designs. I’m very happy to be doing the Miami Hamilton site since I’m a Miami University graduate myself. I can’t wait for the project to start so I can reveal the artwork.”
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Jenn Acus-Smith, StreetSpark program manager, said this year’s murals were planned in locations accessible to more people.
“In our third year, we wanted to begin choosing mural locations in other Hamilton neighborhoods, a little further from High and Main Streets. One of our goals is to make these murals accessible to as many people as possible,” she said. “It’s exciting that one of those locations is on Miami Hamilton’s campus, especially because almost all of our murals involve Miami student or graduate painters.”
This year’s call for artist entries garnered 54 designs from 30 artists, according to Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, Executive Director of Fitton Center for Creative Arts, which is a partner in the program.
“From those submissions, three new designs were chosen by a selection committee of arts professionals to complement the community and showcase the creativity of area artists,” he said.
Five murals were painted during StreetSpark’s first two years.
The program — a partnership among the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the city of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation — was founded with the idea of creating artistic murals in the city that would enhance its visual appeal and connect residents, businesses, and visitors with the arts.
Here are the locations of existing murals:
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