Design for Mural Honoring Fiona The Hippo Unveiled

After narrowing down from 60 submissions, the design for a mural devoted to Cincinnati's favorite hippo was unveiled today

May 25, 2018 at 2:47 pm
click to enlarge Unveiling of the winning design by Lucie Rice - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Unveiling of the winning design by Lucie Rice

Cincinnati's queen (and body-posi role model, saving grace and, just generally, the cutest) is getting the recognition she deserves, in the form of a mural. This morning, ArtWorks unveiled the mural design chosen out of 60 submissions as part of their Cincinnati Paints by Numbers project.  

Fiona the hippo, who defied odds last year by being born prematurely, not only survived but thrivied under the glare of worldwide media attention.

Missed it? Fret no more: you can catch the broadcast on ArtWorks' Facebook

After the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Enquirer narrowed the initial submissions to five finalists — Dick Close, Cincinnatus Kidd, OGRE, Lucie Rice and Jessica Seta — the winner was chosen by 21,000 public votes, all submitted between May 11 to May 21. 

Lucie Rice's take on the project emerged as the winner. The design depicts a grinning, light-purple  Fiona, peeking up from teal waters backdropped by a colorful and lush Cincinnati Zoo. It's playful and charmingly simple—though the world's fave hippo is at the forefront, a toucan sits perched in a tree while a giraffe and elephant wander and a swan lazily floats. 

The mural of the odds-defying, born premature, worldwide sensation hippo was announced in early April. And, being the star she is, Cincinnatians and worldwide fans rejoiced. 

The depiction of Fiona, in all her glory, will be painted downtown at 910 Race Street at Rover the Rhine as part of phase three. And, the public is invited as part of phase three. Hence the name, residents of our city can order tickets to paint alongside apprentice and professional artists. Or, you can watch 'em put the paint up, if you prefer to be on the sidelines. 

The first strokes of paint will go up July 10 and take place until July 25 in pre-determined time slots. Get tickets here ($250).