January 14, 2016 2015: Year in Review Murals + Projects Click here to learn more about our 2015 murals, the designers and the apprentices who worked on them. Sing the Queen City SculptureThis sculpture greets people as they enter Cincinnati via the Roebling Bridge. The words that make up this sculpture were borrowed from the poem Seven Hills and a Queen to Name Them, which lies at the center of CincyInk, an interactive, citywide celebration of love, manifested through a poem, tattoos and urban art installations.Self Portrait, Elizabeth NourseElizabeth Nourse was a Cincinnati native from Mt. Healthy, and a graduate of the McMicken School of Design, now known as the Art Academy of Cincinnati. After completing her education, Nourse was offered a teaching position at the art school, but did not accept because she had bigger plans for her future as an artist. She moved to Paris with her sister to establish her career as a professional painter. Her self-portrait was painted in 1892 and shows the artist looking directly at the viewer. This type of gesture was more commonly used to depict male subjects at the time because it evokes strength and dominance, two characteristics rarely attributed to women. Through this mural we celebrate the life and accomplished career of Elizabeth Nourse, a masterful figure in the history of art.Ezzard Charles: The Cincinnati CobraEzzard Charles, known as the “Cincinnati Cobra”, was a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, jazz musician and widely respected citizen of Cincinnati. Born in Georgia in 1921, Charles came to Cincinnati at the age of nine to live with his grandmother and great-grandmother in the West End. He began boxing as a teenager and quickly ascended the world of prize fighting, culminating with a heavyweight title against Jersey Joe Walcott in 1949, followed by an undisputed title over the legendary Joe Louis in 1950. He largely avoided the limelight of his profession, and worked quietly all his life to promote education and community responsibility.Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present!“Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present” raises a glass to Cincinnati’s contemporary beer culture. Figures of King Gambrinus, European folk hero and beer aficionado, and Cincinnati’s own Genius of Water, toast the City’s beer making tradition which is prominently featured in the center of the mural that graces the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery wall. Ensconced within a horizontal beer bottle shape is an interior scene filled with wooden and copper beer barrels that transition into a street scene of the neighborhood and nearby, friendly vendors, and leading to historical Findlay Market.The Queen SharesAs part of the 2015 ArtWorks CincyInk project, this mural is a permanent love letter to the Queen City and all who call her home. Sourced from the beautiful voices of over 1,000 participants, the poem Seven Hills and a Queen to Name Them was crafted by the writers at Chase Public as a commission for the Cincinnati Tattoo Project. In this mural, white scripted words of love from the poem contrast perfectly with the rich dark background and with the shimmering gold of the Queen City’s crown. A cardinal and bluebird, the state birds of Cincinnati and Kentucky, perch atop the crown and are surrounded by two Lazarus lizards slithering among local flora and fauna. The Queen Shares serves as a beautiful welcome sign to the Pendleton, Over-the-Rhine, and Downtown neighborhoods.Dawn is Coming: Open Your EyesDesigned in tandem with John Wedge, a former inmate who, with the help of the Re-Entry program of Hamilton County, transformed his life, the Justice Center Mural is a story portraying the triumph of the human spirit. From left to right, the narrative begins by depicting the sense of isolation that occurs when people find themselves overwhelmed by unfortunate circumstances. As we learn to lift ourselves up and out of old ways of being, we begin to meet people willing and able to help us, people who become bridges between our old state of existence, and a new, refreshed view of life. With this new point of view, we realize that the city we live in was built by those helping hands; the true architecture of a city IS the community of service people working to save lives, one at a time. With this realization, this new dawn, one embarks on new roads with a sense of support, and a new-found desire to become a bridge for others, in turn.Boys Hope Girls HopeThe East View represents the stages of progress and development each child receives as part of the Boys Hope Girls Hope family. From left to right, we see children growing up, being educated, and graduating, ready to “unlock” their futures. With mentorship, and a safe and supportive environment, BHGH transforms at risk children into strong, independent, and successful adults, who are ready to face the world. The West View shows an idyllic scene that celebrates the area’s rich history as a center of commerce and boatbuilding throughout the 19th century. Prior to 1855, this area was known as Fulton (named for Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat), and had emerged as one of the busiest boatbuilding centers along the country’s interior waterways. Multiple boatyards maintained a reputation known the world over for producing vessels of the highest level of craftsmanship and eleganceShineCleverly integrated within the architectural niches of the Duke Energy electric substation, this mural is composed of six beautifully painted antique lightbulbs; these nostalgic focal points allude to the identity of the building itself (Electric Substation). The bulbs are ultra-realistic and emphasize the delightful and unique characteristics of the glowing filaments, combining the elegance of art with the innovation of science.Brewing Heritage: Grain to Glass"Grain to Glass" celebrates Cincinnati’s brewing heritage and honors the people, past and present, who have worked to support it. The story of a seemingly simple glass of beer unfolds from left to right highlighting each step of the process, starting with the harvesting of grain through the brewing, bottling, and transportation process and finishing out of the tap of a local watering hole. This mural honors the wide range of professions within the brewing industry and the community they create.The Spirit of Progress“The Spirit of Progress” is a mural created to bring a visual representation of the existing pride of past, present, and future of the Evanston community. Bold colors and effortless composition depict themes of hope, education, spirit, growth, and friendship. The mural also shows local landmarks and architecture as symbols of the neighborhood. “The Spirit of Progress” brings new life to a beloved mural that was painted on the wall by a team of Cincinnati artists in the early 1980s, but began to show signs of aging and deterioration. With the blessing of the original artist team, the Evanston Community Council, Xavier University, and ArtWorks partnered to create a new mural.Mr. DynamiteJames Brown is regarded as one of the most iconic and influential musicians of the 20th century. Brown spent the formative years of his career on the Cincinnati-based King Records label producing some of his earliest hits and providing inspiration and guidance to a generation of musicians. An innovative and widely respected composer and stage performer, he played a major role in the development of funk, soul, and hip hop, and was a strong, outspoken advocate for civil rights and black self-empowerment.