ArtWorks News

CROWN Trail inspires ArtWorks mural at Great American Ball Park

ArtWorks has begun work on a new mural at Great American Ball Park, in partnership with the CROWN (Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network) and the Cincinnati Reds.

Located at the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way & Mehring Way, the mural spans 165 feet of wall between the Reds Hall of Fame and Smale Riverfront Park.

The mural was designed by local artist L.D. Nehls to spark excitement, curiosity and discovery of Cincinnati’s gem landmarks along the CROWN, to encourage the community to learn more about Cincinnati and to celebrate how the CROWN trail and the Reds connect people and communities.

“I love Cincinnati and I love trails that are both walkable and bikeable, so I could not have been more excited to work on a project that celebrates both of them,” said Nehls.

Part of the CROWN mural designed by L.D. Nehls.

The preliminary work on the mural began in August featuring a team of youth apprentices. The expected completion date is late September with a public dedication planned for early October.

“The Reds are excited for the CROWN to connect this beautiful stretch along the Ohio River, where Great American Ball Park sits, with other trails throughout Cincinnati,” said Phil Castellini, Reds President & Chief Operating Officer. “Using the exterior walls of the ballpark as ArtWork’s canvas is the perfect way to showcase the CROWN’s vision of bringing people together, just like Reds baseball has been doing for over 150 years.”

Funding for the mural project includes a $30,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and $25,000 from the Cincinnati Youth to Work program which allows ArtWorks to employ local youth between the ages of 14 and 21 to help create the mural.

“We believe that art is important for an active, safe, and thriving trail system, so we are thrilled to produce public art in partnership with the CROWN for a second year,” said Sydney Fine, Senior Director of Impact for ArtWorks. “Beyond the benefits to trail users, the youth apprentices producing the mural, who work under the mentorship of professional artists, grow their civic and city pride. Not only because of the content of the mural, a celebration of Cincinnati gems but also because of their investment in work that benefits the community at large.”

Watch Cincy Lifestyle’s coverage of the CROWN mural in progress. Video by Paul Grundy.


“Duke Energy is proud to support the CROWN urban trail loop with another mural project, this time along the Ohio River Trail,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This iconic art piece energizes the trail by making it a more colorful and vibrant experience for everyone.”

Duke Energy also funded the Electric Avenue mural on the back side of their Dana Avenue facility along Wasson Way, which is the longest mural in the region.

“When we talk about the CROWN, people’s eyes light up and we can almost see their wheels turning as they think about the fun and meaningful ways to activate the trail,” said Jan Portman, Chair of the CROWN Campaign Cabinet. “This wonderful partnership with ArtWorks and the Reds is a perfect example of the creativity inspired by a safe place to walk, run, and ride. The trail is being built thanks to the generosity of our community, and it’s with the creativity of our community that the trail will turn into a ribbon of energy connecting people and places in our region.”

The CROWN Capital Campaign has raised $10M in private funds that will leverage federal and state grants for trail construction through a public-private partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Great Parks of Hamilton County, and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. Kroger Health, United Dairy Farmers, P&G, and the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation each contributed $1M to the campaign.

“It’s thanks to the incredible generosity of our community that the CROWN trail network is coming to life, both with more trail miles and new public art enhancements,” said Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails and Campaign Manager for the CROWN Capital Campaign. “This beautiful mural — at mile zero of the Ohio River Trail and 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail — will remind residents and visitors of all the iconic gems the CROWN will connect once complete.”

Mural Team

Project Manager: Zhaira Costiniano
Designer: L.D. Nehls
Lead Teaching Artist: Brandon Hawkins
Teaching Artist: Sophie Shiff
Youth Apprentices: Jeff Samual, Rashad Manuel, Greg Beridon, Piper Vice, Phoenix Brumm, Kee kee Stokes, Eve Miller, Aaliayah Ruff, Grace Pearson, Pekko Meyers.

About ArtWorks

Since 1996, ArtWorks has collaborated with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations, and nonprofits to build creative works of art that built the Greater Cincinnati region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks has employed and trained over 3,500 professional artists and 4,000 youth, ages 14 – 24. We invest in our creative economy by creating jobs that support local talent, pairing professional artists to inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, helping them build 21st-century career-readiness skills. Over the past 26 years, this collaborative approach has created a citywide gallery with more than 14,000 public and private art projects, including more than 250 permanent outdoor murals.

About The CROWN:

The CROWN is led by a nonprofit partnership of Tri-State Trails, Wasson Way and Ohio River Way. The project will leverage $44 million in public funding in addition to $10 million in private donations to bring the vision for Cincinnati’s first-ever urban trail loop to fruition by connecting several key regional trails that are currently noncontiguous – Ohio River Trail, Little Miami Scenic Trail, Wasson Way and Murray Path. By constructing key connectors between these trails, the CROWN Capital Campaign will complete the eastern 24-mile portion of the planned CROWN loop. Learn more at