Silverton is a small town reinventing itself. This first-ring Cincinnati suburb has long been valued for its diversity, affordability, and small-town feel. So when Silverton village officials contacted ArtWorks about partnering with them to create the community’s first public art, ArtWorks jumped at the chance.
The collaboration soon paid off.
In September 2018, ArtWorks and the village of Silverton unveiled All In This Story Together, a two-story mural at the intersection of Plainfield and Montgomery roads, serving as a gateway marker for this thriving community.
“When Silverton came to us, we could really see their vision,” said Colleen Houston, ArtWorks chief programming officer. “We were excited to bring our public art expertise to partner with the residents to create something so reflective of the community’s values and momentum.”
The mural was designed by Cincinnati-based illustrator Erin Barker and created during the summer 2018 by ArtWorks Lead Teaching Artist Lizzy DuQuette and 5 Youth Apprentices, ages 14-21. This work represents the vibrancy and beauty of the Silverton community as shown through the colors of the mural, evoking strength and boldness, but also warmth and comfort.
Within the design, the three women figures (from the left) represent strength and resilience, ideas and growth, and creative expression. Together, these figures represent diversity and inclusivity, cooperation and togetherness, and growth through adversity. Silverton’s urban forestry is shown through the linden leaves, acorn, and other foliage, while the half-circles in the bottom of the mural represent grapes, a nod to the village’s history of wine making.
With the mural on the Women Writing for (a) Change building, the design includes poetic text chosen by the literary organization and through community engagement and input from community residents: “We are all in this story together” from the poem, “Tell Me, She Said,” by poet and Professor Emerita of Appalachian State University Sally Atkins.
Since the mural’s completion, the intersection of Plainfield and Reading has been thriving. This spring, HighGrain Brewery & Restaurant is set to open in the former municipal building and residents will be moving into a mixed-use development by The Miller-Valentine Group and Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate.
“Public art is part of the transformation for the village,” said Tom Carroll, Silverton village manager. “Developing our master plan for Art in Public Spaces sets us up well, because extensive community input from a diverse slate of stakeholders. We have a great story here in Silverton about how public art and revitalization go hand in hand. We thank the ArtWorks team for collaborating with us to make our vision a reality.”
Silverton is adding to its public art collection, commissioning a sculpture with the Kennedy Heights Art Center.
“At ArtWorks, nothing brings us more joy than to help spark creativity in a community that sees potential for public art to be a positive catalyst,” Houston said. “We’re honored to be part of that story for Silverton and that they trusted us to create the first piece of art in the village’s master public art plan.”
Thank you to the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation for supporting ArtWorks as the 2018 Season Sponsor and to the nonprofit’s ongoing funding support from ArtsWave, City of Cincinnati and Ohio Arts Council.
Call for Artists for Public Art Project
Since 1996, ArtWorks’ has been transforming people and places through investments in creativity. The organization is a workforce development and job-training program where art is the vehicle that trains and employs local youth and professional talent to create art and community impact. ArtWorks has hired over 3,500 youth and 3,000 professional artists who have completed over 12,000 public and private art projects.