ArtWorks Announces 2018 Cincinnati Summer Murals and Community Projects

A mural honoring Blues singer Mamie Smith will be added for music fans; plus outsider art at Visionaries + Voices in Oakley, Fiona downtown, two murals in Avondale and more

Proposed Mamie Smith mural in Pendleton, designed by Julia Bottoms - PHOTO: PROVIDED
PHOTO: Provided
Proposed Mamie Smith mural in Pendleton, designed by Julia Bottoms
“It’s your thing / do what you wanna do” sums up the spirit of ArtWorks’ public art projects for 2018. Summer youth apprentices, teaching artists and the general public will be creating murals, card packs and capes that celebrate community, plus individual creativity and tenacity, too.

“It’s Your Thing, a mural planned for 311 E. 13th St. in Pendleton, borrows the name of a 1969 Funk anthem by Cincinnati’s Isley Brothers, whose lyrics have since become part of everyday jargon. It will be adjacent to the latest Cincinnati Legends mural, honoring singer Mamie Smith. Born here in the 1880s, she went on to become the first African-American Blues recording artist, paving the way for “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday.

Over the past decade, ArtWorks has created more than 175 murals in Greater Cincinnati. The nonprofit last year made a conscious effort to address social issues and strengthen community-building through installations like “Faces of Homeless” in Over-the-Rhine and “Razzle Camp” in Camp Washington, which was designed with input from immigrants. This summer it will partner with Cincinnati Public Schools for “The Refuge Project,a series of panels that will welcome patients and families to the Wellness Center being built at the Academy of World Languages in O’Bryonville. 

click to enlarge “The Refuge Project." Cincinnati Public Schools are partnering with ArtWorks to create a mural for the exterior of the new school-based Wellness Center being built at the Academy of World Languages. Baltimore-based artists Jessie and Katey designed the colorful and expressive mural to welcome patients and families. Teaching Artists Rebecca Nava and Hannah Hersko will lead a team of 10 Youth Apprentices to translate the design onto panels. - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
“The Refuge Project." Cincinnati Public Schools are partnering with ArtWorks to create a mural for the exterior of the new school-based Wellness Center being built at the Academy of World Languages. Baltimore-based artists Jessie and Katey designed the colorful and expressive mural to welcome patients and families. Teaching Artists Rebecca Nava and Hannah Hersko will lead a team of 10 Youth Apprentices to translate the design onto panels.

Building Inclusive Communities: A Mural Project of Visionaries + Voices and ArtWorks, at 3056 Madison Road, Oakley, is being designed by an outsider artist from V+V. The nonprofit for creatives with disabilities opened its Visionarium studio and gallery next door, at 3054 Madison, late last year. “The Early Bird,at 1715 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, will recognize the “cheerful givers, hard workers and overcomers” who participate in Saturday Hoops games and other mentoring activities through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.  

click to enlarge “The Early Bird." ArtWorks and Saturday Hoops are partnering to bring public art to OTR to celebrate Saturday Hoops participants and their families. - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
“The Early Bird." ArtWorks and Saturday Hoops are partnering to bring public art to OTR to celebrate Saturday Hoops participants and their families.

“All in This Story Together” will be painted outside the offices of Women Writing for (a) Change, 6906 Plainfield Road, Silverton. The organization has provided a nurturing environment for female voices for more than 25 years. This year is the 125th anniversary of the Women’s Art Club of Cincinnati, the oldest women’s art club in the country. “Emerge,” 1200 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, will mark that anniversary. Artistic pursuits also find a haven under the outstretched arms of “Creatress,” to be painted on Brentwood Bowl, 9176 Winton Road in Springfield Township.

click to enlarge “All in This Story Together.” The Village of Silverton and ArtWorks are partnering to create a new mural to serve as a gateway marker for the Village, celebrating the organization Women Writing for (a) Change. Local artist Erin Baker designed the mural and Elizabeth DuQuette will lead a team of four Youth Apprentices to paint the mural this summer. - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
“All in This Story Together.” The Village of Silverton and ArtWorks are partnering to create a new mural to serve as a gateway marker for the Village, celebrating the organization Women Writing for (a) Change. Local artist Erin Baker designed the mural and Elizabeth DuQuette will lead a team of four Youth Apprentices to paint the mural this summer.

click to enlarge “Creatress,” a new mural in Springfield Township, to be painted on Brentwood Bowl, 9176 Winton Road. Designed by artist and Springfield Township resident Joe Castrucci, the mural will be created by a team of eight local Youth Apprentices working with Teaching Artists Thaddeus Williams and Ian Hermanns. - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
“Creatress,” a new mural in Springfield Township, to be painted on Brentwood Bowl, 9176 Winton Road. Designed by artist and Springfield Township resident Joe Castrucci, the mural will be created by a team of eight local Youth Apprentices working with Teaching Artists Thaddeus Williams and Ian Hermanns.

Three projects salute Cincinnati’s urban identity. Artist James Pate, an Avondale native who installed portraits of African-American women and girls inside the Duke Energy Convention Center with ArtWorks last year, has designed an Avondale Heroes Mural for 3371 Reading Road. “Avondale Pride,3529 Reading Road, brings a series of three murals by artist Cedric Michael Cox to the new Avondale Town Center. In Pendleton, “New Lines: Bolivar Alley” will employ street-art styles to call attention to the system of narrow passageways in the city’s core.

Cards also come in play this summer. The philanthropy Interact for Health is joining ArtWorks for the Mental Health Social Intervention Card Game Project. It intends to lift the stigmas associated with depression and suicide and prompt youths ages 15-18 into conversations about mental health. Cincinnati Music Legends Card Deck, being produced in partnership with Northside’s Shake It Records, will depict local icons.

Once again, ArtWorks’ Hero Design Company will make custom superhero capes for more than 100 children facing emotional, physical or situational hardship. And photography and videography apprentices from Team Click will document the progress of select murals.  

These projects join the previously announced “Cincinnati Paints by Numbers: Fiona.The Cincinnati Zoo’s little hippo that could, whose image is already on everything from T-shirts and beer cans, now will be immortalized in a mural at 910 Race St., Downtown. Its design was put to a public vote, and ArtWorks also is giving fans the chance to buy tickets and paint alongside artists and apprentices. To purchase a spot, go here.

click to enlarge “Cincinnati Paints by Numbers: Fiona." - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
“Cincinnati Paints by Numbers: Fiona."

It’s your thing, Cincinnati. Do what you know you wanna do.

More info: here