FC Cincinnati has commissioned ArtWorks, an award-winning Cincinnati nonprofit, to design and produce four public art installations at the new West End Stadium, which will open spring 2021.
“We are excited to partner with ArtWorks to create multiple installations for West End Stadium. ArtWorks has an important mission and is a valuable part of the fabric of our community. We look forward to their work and believe they will add exciting, beautiful attractions for the stadium that are unique to the West End and Cincinnati,” said Jeff Berding, President, FC Cincinnati.
The first installation will be designed by Kailah Ware, a West End native, with input from West End residents, businesses and community organizations. The permanent installation will depict the history of the West End using photographs and will be placed on a public-facing wall at the stadium. The photo-based installation will also employ four ArtWorks youth apprentices from the West End, ages 14-21, as part of the creative team.
“I am honored to take on this project with the West End community by my side,” Ware said. “Art connects people, and it’s my hope this installation will show the humanity of those who have called this wonderful neighborhood home. The West End is a place where I have many connections and memories, and I want our experience to be honored within this exciting new stadium.”
Ware is a mixed media filmmaker and photographer whose work is driven by connectivity. She specializes in short form documentaries and fine art photography. Ware’s work has been featured at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and the Woodward Theater. She also has screened a short film at the Black LBGT Film Festival. Ware was selected in 2020 as an ArtWorks Jump Start artist. She lives in Mount Auburn and is the owner of Sunny Blu Art Agency.
“ArtWorks has been partnering with throughout Cincinnati for 25 years to create transformative public art that brings people together, with many historic collaborations in the West End community,” said Colleen Houston, CEO and artistic director of ArtWorks. “We applaud FC Cincinnati for investing in artists and youth from the West End neighborhood to create art that honors the community as part of the new stadium. Kailah Ware is an incredible local artist to be selected for FC’s first installation leading a neighborhood storytelling project in collaboration with West End community residents.”
The other three installations will be designed and produced by ArtWorks in 2021, using Lightning Horse Industries, a Mt. Washington-based full-service design studio led by AJ Yorio, Michael Marcagi and Brady Corcoran.
Two murals are planned for the First Financial Club, the largest club in West End Stadium. With one of the most unique design concepts in North American sports facilities, this next-generation club pays homage to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and is a fresh take on a beer hall with nods to Cincinnati’s rich brewing history and tradition.
An additional mural will be placed at the Heineken Star Bar behind The Bailey. The bar will service 3,170 fans in The Bailey, a dedicated section with the team’s most intense, energetic supporters. Supporter groups will provide input on its design.
In a statement, Lightning Horse Industries shared their enthusiasm for the project. “We love ArtWorks and we love FC Cincinnati. We’re stoked to see Kailah Ware’s project come to life, and we’re overwhelmed that we are trusted to create a rad new set of murals for Cincinnati’s most anticipated stadium. When the fans are inside the stadium, they’ll most likely be filled with anxious excitement. So we’re hoping that on their way to grab a quick drink, supporters will get to interact with the murals and receive a visual pep talk from them. It’s all a huge privilege, and we’re ready to rock and roll.”
Designs for all installations will be released at a future date.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization provides youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, with competitive 21st century career readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,750 youth and 3,300 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that includes 200 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination.
About West End Stadium
When West End Stadium opens in Spring 2021, FC Cincinnati’s future home is expected to be one of the most ambitious soccer-specific stadiums in not only North America, but the world. Critically acclaimed firm Populous designed an innovative and forward-thinking stadium that will be one of the largest soccer-specific facilities in Major League Soccer. The $250 million, privately funded stadium will have a 26,000 capacity, with the closest seats within 15 feet of the field. The design includes 53 traditional suites and 4,500 premium seats throughout four premium club spaces. Additionally, the team’s famous supporters’ section, The Bailey, will grow to be more than 3,100 strong and loom over opponents at a 34-degree angle at the stadium’s north end. A 360-degree canopy roof will cover every seat in the stadium, but still allow sufficient sun in to grow a natural grass field. The stadium will have five team locker rooms, including a comprehensive team suite for FC Cincinnati that features a dressing room, coaches offices, lounge, equipment storage and the Mercy Health Center of Excellence for the team’s medical and game day fitness needs. West End Stadium will meet all current requirements to host CONCACAF and FIFA events, featuring top national teams from around the world, including the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, as well as the world’s top club teams for friendlies. | More information about the stadium is available at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, or visit the stadium’s website.