ArtWorks News

Meet ArtWorks’ Summer Season of Stronger Together

Ruthven Team in Milford


ArtWorks is proud to announce its summer season of public and community projects with the theme of Stronger Together. This summer, ArtWorks is employing 87 youth apprentices, and 23 artists and teaching artists to create 8 murals and 3 community art projects.

“This year is about bringing our community together after a year of being apart,” said Colleen Houston, CEO and artistic director. “These projects are bringing youth, artists and community leaders together to build more creativity and resilient communities across our region.”

ArtWorks recently completed its largest spring season in its 25th year history with 15 new projects and the opening of a new gallery dedicated to showing youth artists. The spring projects included four installations at TQL Stadium by Kailah Ware and Lightning Horse Industries, two murals at ArtWorks’ new Walnut Hills office by Lizzy DuQuette and Dai Williams, a new mural at Curtis and Gilbert Avenues by Walnut Hills leader Kathryne Gardette, a new outdoor mural by Sherman Parnell at Thermo Fisher Scientific, a new indoor mural by Christian Dallas at GE Aviation, a new indoor mural by Jenny Ustick at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati and five interior murals at Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

In total, ArtWorks plans to hire 200 apprentices and 100 artists in 2021.

ArtWorks thanks our ongoing supporters: ArtsWave, City of Cincinnati and the Ohio Arts Council and our 2021 Mural Season Sponsor Procter & Gamble.

Our 2021 Summer Projects

Design Rendering of the Walnut Hills Living Wall Mural by April Sunami and Tyler Wolf. Design subject to change.


Avondale Police Mediation Mural

With Avondale community partnerships including Avondale Development Corporation and Cincinnati Police District 4, ArtWorks is hiring artists Jeni Jenkins and Nytaya Babbitt to lead eight youth apprentices to paint a neighborhood mural alongside Cincinnati police officers. The mural’s theme will be inspired by community engagement between Avondale youth and neighborhood police officers with the goal of promoting public dialogue. This project was inspired by the innovative mural organization, Groundswell in New York City, that uses public art and youth employment to socially engage, heal, and deliver positive messages to the broader community. Avondale community leaders are embracing this model as a way of engaging with youth and law enforcement in a more positive way. This project is generously supported by Flip & Sheila Cohen, City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble and Cincinnati Police Department.

J.P. Ball Tribute Mural

ArtWorks is partnering with 3CDC to bring a small-scale mural to the Central Business District of Cincinnati on historic Fourth Street. ArtWorks is hiring Taron Jordon to design a mural that aims to celebrate the groundbreaking and courageous work of iconic African-American photographic portrait artist, James Presley Ball (1825-1904), also known as J.P. Ball. The mural site is near where Ball’s Cincinnati studio was located. Throughout his career, Ball created works that told stories of the horrors of chattel slavery and photographed luminaries of the day, including Frederick Douglass, Queen Victoria, and Charles Dickens. Learn more at the Ball Special Collection at Cincinnati Museum Center. This project is generously supported by 3CDC and Procter and Gamble.

Casa Colina Mural

ArtWorks and Price Hill Will are collaborating to create Casa Colina, House on the Hill mural, which envelops the building with a brightly colored pattern aesthetically inspired by Latin American oilcloth. Symbolically, the design includes floral elements representative of local migrants’ regions of origin and flowers native to the Cincinnati area. Moving freely around the building in painted and sculptural form, monarch butterflies tell the cross-continental story of migration. This mural is a celebration of diversity and the growing community of Price Hill. Batres Gilvin, an artist collaborative of artists Bradly Gilvin and Karla Batres Gilvin, is leading the project, mentoring ten youth apprentices. This project is generously supported by City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble and the Ladislas & Vilma Segoe Foundation.

Manse Mural

The Manse Apartments mural is a partnership between ArtWorks and the Model Group. The former Manse Hotel has been redeveloped for senior housing and is on the National Register of Historic Places. During the 20th century, the hotel was listed in Victor Green’s Negro Motorist Green Book and was the site of importance for the local Civil Rights Movement, providing safe lodging for African-American travelers and space for weddings, meeting and conference space, and more for the Black community. The mural’s design is by renowned local artist Cedric Michael Cox. Its creation is being led by artist Adoria Maxberry, who is leading seven youth apprentices. The mural’s design represents the existing vibrancy of the neighborhood and celebrates rich Black History and community pride. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble and Lauren Hannan Shafer and Tom Shafer.

Playscape Murals

ArtWorks is partnering with Luis Perez and Tyler White of Hero Flooring LLC to bring vibrancy and fun to the School of Creative and Performing Arts’ playground in Over-the-Rhine and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission’s basketball court in Avondale. ArtWorks is hiring Artist Kate Tepe to create the designs, which will be executed by Hero Flooring LLC and a team of eight youth apprentices. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati Public Schools and Hero Flooring LLC.

John Ruthven Mural

ArtWorks is partnering with the Judy & John Ruthven Foundation and the city of Milford to create a large-scale mural that celebrates the art and legacy of the late John Ruthven, an internationally celebrated master wildlife artist, naturalist, author, lecturer, and philanthropist fondly known as “20th Century Audubon.” Artists Jim Effler, Maria Fernandez, Claudia Giuffre and Jack Thayer are leading the team of ten youth apprentices to create the mural, which will feature eight of Ruthven’s iconic bird paintings. With Ruthven’s support, ArtWorks recreated Ruthven’s Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon in 2013, which remains an iconic downtown mural, with Ruthven painting the central figure himself. Ruthven’s presence, which inspired the youth apprentice team with his commitment, talent, and kindness, will be missed. Thanks to Ruthven’s grandchildren Adam and Matt Weissman for use of these images. This project is generously supported by Judy & John Ruthven Foundation and Procter and Gamble.

Walnut Hills Living Wall Mural with Urban Blooms

ArtWorks and Urban Blooms are creating a mural with live flora in the heart of Walnut Hills. April Sunami, a mixed media artist with family ties to Walnut Hills, is designing the mural aspect of the installation, and Urban Blooms’ Tyler Wolf is designing the living wall installation. Artists Jim Tucker and Michael Thompson are leading nine youth apprentices on the project, which is ArtWorks’ first public “living wall” art mural. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble and Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation.

Wordplay Mural

ArtWorks and Wordplay are collaborating to create a new mural of literary legends on Chase Avenue. Artists Brandon Hawkins and Anissa Pulcheon are leading a team of nine youth apprentices to create the mural, which has three dimensional tactile elements for accessibility and engagement for the visually impaired, including ceramics stamped with Braille messages. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program, Procter and Gamble and Wordplay.

Lens-Based Project

Fourthwall Youth Studios

ArtWorks and Fourthwall Youth Studios are teaming up to provide five youth apprentices with real-world industry experiences that will prepare them to excel in the creative economy and beyond. Led by artist Frank O’Farrell, these youth apprentices will be emerging filmmakers, learning the process of filmmaking from ideation, scriptwriting, pre-production, production to editing and managing video equipment and set etiquette. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program.

Community Engagement Project

Hero Design Company

ArtWorks is collaborating with the youth at UpSpring for the next iteration of Hero Design Company. Artist Lindsey Whittle is leading nine youth apprentices to create individually designed and fabricated personal flags, capes and totes that celebrate 45-60 youth experiencing homelessness. This project is generously supported by the City of Cincinnati’s Youth to Work program.

Creative Place Making Activation

Lincoln Heights Jackson Farmer’s Market Placemaking

The Heights Movement is partnering with ArtWorks to beautify a new garden and produce market in Lincoln Heights to solve for the lack of access to fresh produce in the area and provide a space for recreation, connection and celebration. By painting picnic benches, raised garden beds, and murals and signage in Jackson Street Produce Market, artist Daryl Myntia Daniels and a team of 10 youth apprentices will activate the area to make it a beautiful and welcoming space for the community. This project is generously supported by The Heights Movement.

Thank you to supporters

Procter & Gamble is generously supporting ArtWorks murals in 2021, which will add to the more than 200 permanent outdoor murals the organization has completed since the start of its mural program in 2007.

“P&G is proud to help support ArtWorks’ Summer Mural Program which has left a legacy in our city and will continue to create new ones for generations to come,” said Barbara Hauser, Senior Community Relations Manager for P&G. “This vibrancy has elevated Cincinnati’s global reputation, inspiring the world with these beautiful murals. This would not be possible without the youth apprentices who are employed all summer long and are in need of safe, quality jobs during this time of recovery.”

In addition to the mural season and ongoing supporters, ArtWorks would like to thank the following foundations for the support of the organization’s youth employment program: Charles H. Dater Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Luther Charitable Fund, Thomas J. Emery Memorial Foundation, Summerfair Cincinnati, U.S. Bank Foundation and Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation.

Learn more about Cincinnati’s Public Art

To tell the stories behind ArtWorks’ iconic murals and art installations, ArtWorks is continuing its weekend public walking mural tours, which are running now through October 2021. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online. For those who prefer a self-guided tour, ArtWorks provides a free downloadable mural and public installations map at

About ArtWorks

ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 13,800 public and private art projects in its 25 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals. Learn more at