ArtWorks News

Our Heart and Soul Installations on Display at Cincinnati Black-Owned Businesses (VIDEO)

A photograph can tell a powerful story.

So when FotoFocus Cincinnati awarded ArtWorks with a grant to create a photo-based project this summer after the cancelation of the biennial, we were excited to hire Nikita Gross, one of our favorite local photographers, to lead a team of eight Youth Apprentices to create the inspiring photo installation, Heart and Soul.

Photo by Nikita Gross.

Heart and Soul is a series of wheat-pasted mini-murals featuring Black womxn from Cincinnati amplifying their stories, voices, and faces. Gross captured the portraits, collected stories and inspiration from each of her subjects. The Youth Apprentices’ work then followed. These young creatives added their own creative touches, such as paint, collage, and digital design to enhance Gross’ portraits. The designs were influenced by each womxn’s story, in addition to their own artistic aesthetic and voice.

Youth Apprentice Leeza with her design on Nikita Gross’ photo.

The Heart and Soul team took inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement and recent protests to demand police reform and the dismantling of systemic racism in the United States. The goal is for each mural to be installed at Black-owned businesses around Cincinnati.

Photographs of Annie Ruth and Bailey at Avondale Business Center. Photo by Linnea Gartin.

Here is the list where you can find the images:

  • Annie Ruth, Bailey, and Skye at Avondale Business Center, Avondale – 3635 Reading Road
  • Nancy, Crystal, and Taren at Cream + Sugar Coffeehouse, Evanston – 3546 Montgomery Road
  • Aliah at The Welcome Project, Camp Washington – 2936 Colerain Avenue
  • Ewaniki and Adalia at CampSITE Sculpture Park, 2866 Colerain Avenue
  • Bebe and Nia at Artsville, Madisonville – 5021 Whetsel Avenue
  • Schera and Amber at New Generations Banquet Hall, Bond Hill – 4595 Paddock Road
  • Aprina, Kimberly and Honour at The Neighborhood House, West End – 901 Findlay Street
  • Sesheta at a private residence, West End – 1801 Baymiller Street
  • Kimberly at a private residence, West End – 1900 Baymiller Street

View the locations on Google maps

Watch Heart and Soul Video

Having trouble? View on YouTube.

Video by Kailah Ware |

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. Learn more at