Cincinnati Attracts International Artist to Beautify OTR Alleyway



ArtWorks partnered with artists, Katie Davis and Claire Bryson from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful to host Atlanta-based artist Yoyo Ferro. Yoyo is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and his works are a mix of colorful pop art, blind contour and origami birds.

See the blank wall in the above picture? It was blighted, but add a brush and a bit of color, and it can be transformed into a source of pride.

Katie and Claire know the deal. From their experience as artists with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, they know first hand that “art can do good for a community.” All you need to do is read about their mural planned for the Crosley Field Historic Site and you’ll discover their approach is similar to that of ArtWorks, which is why they made perfect partners for this project.

“Public art discourages graffiti, it raises property values…any way to bring color and art into under-served areas are a real win for the community,” explains Davis, in the aforementioned article.

Yoyo’s project was no different. Visible from the very traffic dense Liberty Street, this corner of alleyway, at the intersection of Goetz & Plough has transformative potential.

What’s the story behind the mural, ironically called Sharing is Caring? “I like to keep a dose of comedy and struggle in my art so this mural covers that pretty well,” says Yoyo. “The idea started with “struggle” and how everybody wants a piece of the same pie, but if we worked together, we could all have a little bit of it.”

After posting it online, Yoyo decided to call the artwork Sharing Is Caring. He goes onto explain, “this is a saying I learned here in America and it actually doesn’t have an equivalent in Portuguese that makes much sense. It’s a good one. The image also takes me to the moment we’re having now with the presidential campaign. I follow politics very closely and these chickens sort of look like the candidates fighting for the nomination.”

On his choice of using animals as subjects, Yoyo says, “I also love drawing animals. Chickens are especially funny because they take me back to a simpler time where everyone had their own chickens. Chickens are simple- they’re survivor animals.”

The project was very quick and with the help of two ArtWorks youth Apprentices, Daija Williams and Evan Mauntel, it was completed in only a couple of days. Community members were able to watch the team while they worked the last weekend of February.

A dedication event is planned for March 2 at 4pm at the Mural site. Please click here for more details.