Public Art

Faces of Homelessness

This mural, created in partnership with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, was part of a larger public art and awareness project led by ArtWorks and Strategies to End Homelessness. The Faces of Homelessness project sought to use the power of art to bring awareness to the issues of housing and homelessness in Cincinnati and to break down stereotypes around who experiences homelessness and why through the creation of this permanent mural and other temporary installations and engagement events.

Led by internationally renowned street artists ICY AND SOT, the artist team met with individuals and families to source portraits and stories about various experiences of homelessness, through the facilitation and partnership of local agencies fighting to prevent and end homelessness in Greater Cincinnati. These agency partners were Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Tender Mercies, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati, Bethany House Services, Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky, and YWCA of Greater Cincinnati. The six people portrayed in the mural are real members from our community who were brave enough to share their story and become a permanent representation of all of those who are fighting for stable housing. Their images remind us that while there are many different experiences of homelessness, the one characteristic each share is the right to be valued and respected and to have hope for a brighter future.

This mural inspired six satellite mural designs which were temporarily installed throughout Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. Each design represented a different profile of the experience of homelessness and sought to educate the public about the realities of the issue through alarming statistics that accompanied the artwork to shed light on the relationship between homelessness and families, students, LGBTQ youth, domestic violence, doubling up, and veterans. This mural is fittingly painted on the side of the Recovery Hotel, where journeys through addiction to recovery are being made every day. What can you do to help families and individuals who may be struggling?

Photo Credit: Faces of Homelessness © 2017 ArtWorks / ICY + SOT / 1225 Vine St. / Photo by J. Miles Wolf

Ryan Little
1225 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

Seth Wade | Daija Williams

Nyat Araya | Aaron Bauer | Kennedy Boyle | Phoenix Brown | Madison Deatley | Princess Dyer | Shannon Healey | Alex Hittinger | Josephine Masset | Hannah Penix | Marcelo Roman | Benjamin Tarpoff

OTR Community Housing | Strategies to End Homelessness | American Scaffolding Inc. | Charles H. Dater Foundation | P&G | TriHealth | Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation | Engage Cincy Challenge Grant | Christ Church Cathedral | Downtown Cincinnati Inc. | Wooster Brush Company | 2017 Adopt-an-Apprentice Campaign Contributors | ArtWorks Board of Trustees