Sharing Ideas for Street Painting
Blog post by Liz Glaser, a Creative Team Intern and Xavier student
People from all over shared their ideas about things they love and reasons they stay in the Cincinnati area at the Fine Arts Fund Street Painting Design Meeting this week. The Fine Arts Fund hosted the meeting at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and invited neighbors and business owners from across the region to offer ideas for the design of the 12th Street painting that will take place this September. (Read more and sign up to be a citizen painter here.)
Facilitated by UC’s DAAP professor Michaele Pride, the discussion lasted nearly two hours and brought together people from various neighborhoods, including Goshen, Anderson, Florence, Newport, Price Hill, Covington, Over-the-Rhine, and Norwood. The evening concluded with the guests drawing their ideas on butcher paper at the tables. The five artists who will be designing the painting, Pam Kravetz, Carla Lamb, Karen Saunders, Matthew Dayler, and Danny Babcock, encouraged the particpants and elaborated on their ideas.
The painting will stretch from Main Street to Central Parkway across one of Cincinnati’s unofficial arts districts, where numerous local “do-it-yourself” collaboratives exist, along with more established theaters, galleries, and businesses.
“We are painting a downtown, commercial street in the middle of a thriving business district. We don't know of any other place in this country where this has happened. We want to bring people from across the region together in this creative endeavor…and we need a big community to pull it off,” Fine Arts Fund Vice President Margy Waller said.
Pride in the shared community was largely evident throughout the meeting. Cincinnati was characterized as a city of surprises, where people and places catch a person off guard with their ability to break from stereotypes.
Participants commented that in recent years, Over-the-Rhine has become a neighborhood of choice. It is a place where people want to live, work, shop, and dine. As one guest said, “There is room for all of us [in OTR], for all the different voices.”
Another participant noted, "We have diversity and opportunity and can take those opportunities and expand them into something great, into neighborhoods of choice where people are not only neighbors because they live near each other, but neighbors because they participate in and shape their community into one where they want to be."
These are the ideas that will be represented in the 12th Street painting, the vibrancy and excitement and bonds of such a great neighborhood and city.
As one guest stated, “The more I saw in other cities, the more I saw and appreciated that we have all that and more in Cincinnati. And we can build it to be even better, together. This is where I’m connected to, this is home.”
Another commented, "Cincinnati is really affordable, but the arts all around us are priceless."
Pride, as facilitator, elicited these ideas and many more asking participants what they like about their neighborhoods, what they appreciate, and also what they would like to change.
Now the five artists will develop these ideas and their own into a design that hundreds of citizen painters are expected to paint on the street pavement in September.