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The Brushes of Summer

Cincinnati

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Too often, city officials – and urban residents who stand their ground rather than fleeing to the suburbs – too often either lack the inclination or financial wherewithal to reclaim increasingly decrepit, urban cores. It’s often heartbreaking to look at beautiful Art Deco, Tudor or other historic architectural types that have been neglected. Conversely, a group or organization that assembles talented individuals to improve an at-risk neighborhood’s personality affirms creativity and cooperation.

MuralWorks, a program sponsored by Cincinnati-based ArtWorks, a non-profit, arts-education organization, received $120,000 from the city of Cincinnati to decorate six buildings in downtown or inner-ring suburbs with large, colorful murals. MuralWorks subsequently hired six project leaders, 19 teaching artists and 77 teenage apprentices to complete the project. ArtWorks surveyed dozens of aging buildings as potential tableaus and nominated 15 venues before selecting the final sites.

Beginning their work on June 16, MuralWorks crews spent six to 13 weeks decorating more than 7,400 sq. ft of wallspace with mesmerizing artwork that capture these communities’ unique personality. These projects attest to the important role public art can play in reinvigorating a community’s aesthetics and raising residents’ morale.

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