Vote for Cincinnati Murals as USA Today's Best Street Art

Cincinnati is known for its many murals, including "Faces of Homelessness" in Over-the-Rhine.

click to enlarge The "Faces of Homelessness" mural on the side of the Recovery Hotel. - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The "Faces of Homelessness" mural on the side of the Recovery Hotel.

We love it when national publications recognize the cultural things that make Cincinnati special.

“10 Best,” USA Today’s travel information hub that frequently relies on reader input, has included the “Faces of Homelessness” mural in Over-the-Rhine among its nominees for best street art in its readers’ choice poll, and your vote could help it nab top billing.

In the nomination, USA Today comments on Cincinnati’s collection of murals as a whole.

“ArtWorks Cincinnati, founded in 2007, has created more than 180 public murals throughout the city. Some favorites include ‘Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat,’ ‘The Golden Muse,’ ‘Cincinnati Toy Heritage’ and ‘Ice Cream Daydream,’” USA Today writes.

Iranian Brooklyn-based artists ICY + SOT (Saman Oskouei and Sasan Oskouei) painted “Faces of Homelessness” on the side of the Recovery Hotel in 2017 in conjunction with ArtWorks, Strategies to End Homelessness, Over the Rhine Community Housing and other agencies to raise awareness about housing and homelessness in Cincinnati, an ArtWorks event post says.

In our 2018 “Best of Cincinnati” issue, CityBeat noted that the artists left the building’s ghost sign for Barr’s Loans pawn shop untouched while developing the mural. Deeming it “Best Historic Preservation Without a Paintbrush,” the staff pick reads:

These faded advertisements have been disappearing across the country because of redevelopment, despite cries from historic preservationists. Megan Rahill, ArtWorks’ manager of programs, says respecting the significance of this particular sign on the side of the Recovery Hotel for homeless addicts “reminds viewers now and in the future of this community’s historical fight against displacement, and the many years that family and individuals lived down here but are now no longer able to.”

“Faces of Homelessness” and Cincinnati’s collection of murals is one of 20 nominees vying for USA Today readers’ votes for the best street art in the nation. Competition includes art in Austin, Detroit, Miami and more.

Readers can vote for Cincinnati once per day until noon April 26. USA Today will announce the winning cities on May 7.

Vote for Cincinnati here. See all nominees here.

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