ArtWorks News

Meet the Women Behind 2020’s New Lines Alleyway Murals

New Lines is the ArtWorks’ alleyway mural series, created in partnership with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, to engage these wonderful urban areas in Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton. Because of New Lines, Cincinnati has received more global acclaim for our wonderful public art, bringing more beauty and safety to our alleyways.

For the third time, (following the 2016 and 2018 installations), we focused on woman-power. The third phase features 10 murals around OTR in Levering and Grear Alleys designed and led by 11 women. All designers featured are completing their first-ever mural. 2020 has truly been our season of New Voices. Meet and greet this talented team of creatives below:

Meet Anissa Lewis

Designer of ‘CAUTION…We’re too big.’ located on 124 E. 13th Street.

 

Why do you think it’s important to have this representation of women artists for our Youth Apprentices?

Women, by and large, make up the majority of the arts community and, yet, we receive the least in terms of representation. To participate in a project that seeks to address this is inspiring.

How do you think art improves the walkability of these alleyways?

I believe very much in the psychology and power of our spaces. It is not about beautification, but in having our spaces directly speak to us, make us think and reflect how we navigate our spaces and interact with others in these spaces. There is power in that kind of accountability asking us to be/think differently. Art is incredible for this.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on Jubilant Rhythms of Roselawn mural (2007) and most recently worked with Wave Pool Gallery as a Teaching Artist on the Cincinnati Artist Report (2019).

Greet her at anissalewis.com.

Meet Daija Williams

Designer of ‘How to Protect a Ghost’ located at 126 E. 13th Street.

 

Why do you think it’s important to have this representation of women artists for our Youth Apprentices?

Having this representation gives a chance for people to see themselves in spaces they want to be. Inspiring people like me and giving them freedom to be a part of this community.

What drove you to create your piece?

What drove me to create How to Protect a Ghost was a need to reflect the space I was in during early quarantine in my work. This is an illustration of my newest characters, Soft Ghost in a hazmat suit. Ghost now has to protect themselves with the suit, but with the consequence of being seen.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Apprentice on Main Street Collages (2011), The Hands That Built Our City (2014), Armstrong (2016), Rise (2016), & Teaching Artist on the Faces of Homelessness mural (2017).

Greet her at dwilliams55.wixsite.com/mysite.

Meet Elise Thompson

Designer of ‘All or Nothing’ located at 309 E. 13th Street.

 

Why work with ArtWorks?

I initially wanted to work for ArtWorks as a Teaching Artist because painting at a large scale with a team seemed like an ideal job for the summer. It was an opportunity to manage and teach painting, as well. The job was more than I bargained for that summer because I ended up coming back for three summers in a row! The Youth Apprentices were so inspiring and ready to make something incredible. The sites we were painting attracted local neighbors and sparked conversations we might not have ever had otherwise. Fellow teaching artists and project managers became my peers long after the project; many lifelong friends. There are many reasons to work with ArtWorks.

What drove you to create this piece?

While this piece is an abstract work in line with the paintings I make in the studio, I wanted the image to be slightly more direct in its message since it would be public. There is hidden, not so hidden, text throughout the design that reads “All Or Nothing At All”. It can be seen as a political statement for sure, which was intentional. I decided to go with a line from O-Town’s “All Or Nothing”, which can be seen as humorous, but follow along. The lyric is “All Or Nothing At All”. I try to take lines from songs that could come with more than one meaning. In context, the line is about requiring 100% of another’s commitment, or it just doesn’t count. Outside of just the song, I’ve taken it to refer to a collective.

All of us, or it doesn’t count.

Beginning with “All” and ending with “All” is a symmetrical gesture, which you can often see in my paintings. It’s also cyclical in this manner. All or nothing at all, again and again. When isn’t this statement valid?

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on Energy and Grace (2013), Heroes in Color (2014), and Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present! (2015).

Greet her at elisethompson.com.

Meet Emily Howard

Designer of ‘GIRLS‘ located at 1425 Sycamore St.

How do you think art improves the walkability of these alleyways?

When I move house, it never feels like home until the art is hung. The streets of the city are no different – public art takes a city from a place to a home. The presence of murals in the alleyways soften the urban landscape, and help connect pedestrians to the larger murals. I’m amused by the idea that my bright Girls are lighting up an alleyway, a city space that is generally unsafe, especially for women. It’s almost like they’re reclaiming the space for themselves.

Why do you think it’s important to have this representation of women artists for our Youth Apprentices?

Representation is extremely meaningful when it comes to connecting with a piece of art. As a woman, when I see other women using their voices and talents to make an impact, I’m encouraged to do it too. We consume all kinds of visual media from an early age, and those things we see directly shape what we believe to be possible for ourselves. I knew a life as an artist was possible for me because Frida, Georgia and Artemisia told me I could. It’s like exposure therapy for the whole community: the more art made by women we see on the streets, the more women artists we will see rising up.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on Garden Party at the Taft (2012), Martha: The Last Passenger Pigeon (2013), Cincinnati Strongman: Henry Holtgrewe (2014) & was the Lead Teaching Artist on Dream Big and Fly High (2017).

Greet her at thediggingestgirl.com.

Meet Cori Ogleton

Designer of ‘Home Again’ located at 1207 Sycamore St.

 

What drove you to create this piece?

This piece was inspired by a series of collages that I have been returning to for the past few years.  It’s a home series that looks at our (mis)rememberings of our youth through the buildings and environment that we lived in. The series focuses on that feeling of home as a kid, when you are young enough to romanticize things and not see the struggle that the adults in your home are going through.  Originally, the design for this mural was going to be for Urban Sites. They wanted that same sense of home I think so that is how we got paired up. Really though, Cincinnati is home so the design works for the city.

Why do you think it’s important to have this representation of women artists for our Youth Apprentices?

I studied art history in college.  A mentor and friend of mine once referred to it as the class about dead white males. And it’s true. Historically speaking, women artists and POC have been silenced in art. It is easy to kind of detach yourself from that when you are studying history but when you are trying to be a practicing artist or apprentice and you don’t see yourself represented anywhere among contemporary artists then it can feel like an even steeper uphill climb.  I think that having the focus be on women helps to fight back against some of that.  It’s a step.  Some young woman artist can see herself represented somewhere.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on Swing Around Rosie (2016) & Lead Teaching Artist on Fiona and Bibi at the Cincinnati Zoo (2018).

Greet her on LinkedIn.

Meet Em Sites-Karns

Designer of ‘Slow Down’ located at 207 Woodward St.

 

What inspired you to become an artist?

Growing up, I watched my Uncle, Robert Heindell, work and live and thrive as a painter. That was his one and only gig, and he was so incredibly talented! He was my ultimate inspiration, and the reason I knew working as an artist was not only possible, but would bring a life full of joy and passion. I was constantly creating as a child, and it was truly the only road I would travel.

What drove you to create this piece?

This piece was born out of deep personal reflection during the forced season of rest and introspection that quarantine offered me. I have formed a new relationship with rest, and what that means for my mental well-being, as well as my ability to be a compassionate partner, mother, and friend. I think it is really important for us to slow down. When we are constantly moving quickly through our lives, we miss the sweet smells, the tastes, and incredible visions and sounds that surround us on the daily. When we learn to prioritize rest, we make space to grow into the best versions of ourselves. And in the end, it is the best gift we can offer our community. Rest does not mean stopping the meaningful work we are called to, but it is creating space for the work we are doing to speak to us.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on CAMPGROUND (2010) & Pendleton Mapped (2013).

Greet her at instagram.com/electric.lady.em.

Meet Genevieve Lavalle

Designer of ‘Untitled ‘located on 1404 Main St.

 

Who is Genevieve Lavalle?

Genevieve Lavalle is a fiber artist, muralist, and jewelry maker living in Cincinnati Ohio. Her love for design and mural making took off when she was hired as a youth apprentice by ArtWorks in 2015. Genevieve has worked with ArtWorks for the past 5 years with this being her first time designing her own mural. The colors and patterns are inspired by her weavings and bright tapestries.

Describe your project.

The process of weaving requires a lot of time and patience but also serves as a very meditative craft. The color palette and organic shapes of the design are modern though this style of weaving has been used for many generations across countless cultures. The original tapestry is meant to be hung on wall but was rendered digitally in procreate for its mural adaptation.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Apprentice on The Queen Shares (2015), Me and You. You and Me. (2016), & was a Teaching Artist on Buzz Around Town (2017), the Endangered Species: Indiana Bat (2018), Ripple of Ralph (2019).

Greet her at blackoliveart.com

Meet CeCe Padilla

Designer of ‘Whose Streets?” Installation location coming soon.

 Mural image is just a portion of Whose Streets? design.

Who is Cece Padilla?

Cece Padilla is a multimedia artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her goal as an artist is to convey a little hope or joy to anyone that her work might come in contact with.

Describe your project.

Whose Streets? was inspired by June 2020, when Cincinnati came together to march against racial injustice and police brutality. While each foot is its own individual, they are all running together towards a common goal. The simple chant of “Whose Streets?” reminds us of our power and momentum as a collective.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Apprentice on the Guardians of the City (2013), Armstrong (2016), East Price Hill Mural Series (2017), Teaching Artist on New Lines: Phase II (2018), Teaching Artist on A Song of Freedom (2019).

Greet her at ceciliap1996.wixsite.com/website.

Meet Chelsey Hughes

Designer of ‘Flower Buddies’ located at 1203 Sycamore St.

 

Who is Chelsey Hughes?

Chelsey Hughes is an Art Academy grad, Art Academy employee and professional printmaker with Pull Club Studio, Chelsey is best known for her playful illustrations.

Describe your Project.

Flower Buddies shows some kooky flowers that are having a great time.

Previous ArtWorks Projects: Teaching Artist on New Lines: Phase I (2016).

Greet her on LinkedIn.

Meet Claire Bryson, Katie Davis, and Sarah Mackenzie

New Lines III’s lead teaching artists from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB):

 

About Katie: Katie manages KCB’s Arts Program out of a satellite studio located on Central Avenue in the West End. This includes painting the barricaded facades of vacant buildings, designing and executing community murals, and constructing eco-art installations. She is responsible for supporting the program’s grants, strategic planning, statistical analysis, coordinating volunteers, and using creativity as a tool for community revitalization.

About Claire: Claire manages KCB’s Arts Program out of a satellite studio located on Central Avenue in the West End. This includes painting the barricaded facades of vacant buildings, designing and executing community murals, and constructing eco-art installations. She is responsible for supporting the program’s grants, strategic planning, statistical analysis, coordinating volunteers, and using creativity as a tool for community revitalization.

About Sarah: Sarah works closely with our Arts Program Co-Directors; painting the barricaded facades of vacant buildings, executing community murals, constructing eco-art installations, and using creativity as a tool for community revitalization.

Greet them at keepcincinnatibeautiful.org.

Shout out to the 16 talented Youth Apprentices working alongside Lead Teaching Artists, Katie, Claire, and Sarah from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and Teaching Artist Sherman Parnell, on New Lines this summer:

Skylar Due

Lala Elms

Ted Lizak

Fabiola Matumaine

Marcelo Roman

Kyle Casey

Ian Darcy

Sarah Schaen

Kole Cline

Adeleigh Karoutchi

Lincoln Lundgren

Nar Roy

Margaret Faulkner

Liam Vollbracht

About ArtWorks

ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization creates jobs for youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, providing competitive 21st-century career-readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 190 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination.

A BIG THANKS TO OUR
ONGOING FUNDERS