ArtWorks News

New Tender Mercies Mural to Celebrate the Memory of Jerry Springer

CINCINNATI— A colorful figure deserves a colorful remembrance. Jerry Springer, famous for his role as a mayor and iconic talk show host, left an indelible mark on Cincinnati. His legacy and support of the organization Tender Mercies, a Cincinnati nonprofit dedicated to providing housing and support services for homeless adults with histories of severe mental illness, will be the subject of a new ArtWorks mural this summer.

Following Springer’s passing from pancreatic cancer in 2023, Jene Galvin, a longtime friend, and Cincinnati City Councilmember Jeff Cramerding approached ArtWorks to find a meaningful way to honor Springer’s legacy.

“We believe Jerry would not want simply a mural to pay homage to him, but instead he would want a mural to help him, even in death, to continue the work that was in his spirit, meaning he would want to try to help others through the mural, in this case, Tender Mercies. It all fits the theme of, ‘take care of yourself and each other,’“ said Galvin.

ArtWorks Apprentices, aged 18–21, will collaborate with teaching artists to create the mural outside Tender Mercies offices, located at 27 W 12th St. in OTR. ArtWorks is currently seeking a designer for the mural. A call for artists, running through April 9, is now open with details at

The mural’s plaque will include a QR code so that mural visitors can easily donate to support Tender Mercies. Jerry’s friends and family including Galvin, Louis Beck of Union and Guardian Savings Banks, and Marcia Spaeth of Union Savings Bank, are providing support for the mural.

“We’re always eager to respond to community needs and requests, and we are attuned to the voice of Cincinnati and its requests,“ said Jill Dunne, ArtWorks’ Senior Director of Marketing & Communications. “Through partnerships and collaboration, we aim to create impactful community art, and this project is no exception. Jerry’s show often featured ordinary people with extraordinary stories, making it truly remarkable. Now, we’re focused on finding the perfect designer who can embody Jerry’s philosophy in this mural. “

Do you know Jerry?

  • He was a generous supporter of Tender Mercies for 25 years. After his first visit, he went undercover as a homeless person to gain more perspective to understand those served by the organization.
  • Springer served as Cincinnati’s 56th Mayor from 1977 to 1978.
  • He worked as a local news anchor at WLWT Cincinnati where he won ten Regional Emmy Awards for commentary.
  • Springer’s talk show has had a significant cultural impact since its debut in 1991. Despite facing criticism and controversy over the years, “The Jerry Springer Show” had a run of 27 seasons.
  • Springer’s show often featured ordinary people with extraordinary stories, resonating with audiences on a personal level.
  • Outside of his television career, Springer has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including advocacy for social justice issues and support for charitable organizations.
  • Springer appeared on “Dancing With The Stars,“ hosted “America’s Got Talent“ and the game show “Baggage,“ as well as making guest appearances on shows including “Roseanne,“ “The X-Files,“ and “The Simpsons.“ His TV series even served as inspiration for an opera.
  • Springer’s support of charities continued even after he moved to Chicago. His last public appearance was in Cincinnati two months before his death, for a charity.

About Tender Mercies
Established in 1985, Tender Mercies transforms the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing security, dignity, and community in a place they call home. Every year Tender Mercies provides over 200 men and women with housing that is safe, clean, respectful, and affordable. Tender Mercies assists with obtaining benefits and services like employment training, independent living skills training and counseling to prevent a return to homelessness. To learn more, visit

About ArtWorks
Since 1996, ArtWorks has collaborated with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations, and nonprofits to build creative works of art that support 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, and helping them build 21st-century career-readiness skills. Over the past 28 years, this collaborative approach has created a citywide gallery with more than 14,000 public and private art projects, including more than 300 permanent outdoor murals.


Image courtesy Tender Mercies