Interview and Blog by StreetSpark Intern, Sarah Hynfield
The 2021 StreetSpark murals are complete! To celebrate the progress which was made this summer, we asked representatives of each building—Alex Noga from Telhio and Tony Harris from the HFD—to give some feedback on their experience!
When asked why Telhio decided to apply for a StreetSpark mural, Noga said “We are so inspired by the work StreetSpark has done to bring public art to the Hamilton community! We knew we wanted to be a part of it.” Tony Harris felt similarly “I have been impressed with the projects from StreetSpark, and when we made the decision to move our Union Hall into the city, we felt strongly that a firefighter related mural would be a great addition to the building and German Village.”
Once their application is selected, owners have the opportunity to help choose their building’s mural design by participating in the StreetSpark Design Selection committee. According to Noga “We really weren’t sure what to expect when first applying for the mural. All of the StreetSpark murals are so different and unique, so it’s hard to imagine what a new one will look like!” However, in the end Noga was thrilled with the final design for “Cultivating Community,” a sentiment which Harris shared about the HFD mural, “Charge the Line”: “I could not be more impressed with both the on-paper design and the final product. Jenn told me the mural would look even better on the wall and she was right!”
Both building owners also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the artists on their property, saying they were unobtrusive and pleasant to work with. Noga said “The painters brought the mural to life so quickly - it was so fun to see their progress each and every day!” The reaction from both the employees at Telhio—who marveled at the work-in-progress as they came to work each day—and the HFD firefighters—many of whom actually helped paint the mural—was one of the most rewarding parts of implementation.
When asked what message he hoped the Hamilton community would take from this mural, Noga responded “Cultivating Community has such powerful imagery, with hands emerging to provide water which nourishes the flourishing garden beneath. I think this represents the way that communities thrive, by people helping people!”
For his part, Harris hoped that community members take pride in the long history that Hamilton firefighters have in protecting the City: “We hope they see the 13 stars and remember the heroes that have given everything for this community. We also hope they see this building and feel it adds value and beauty to the City, especially our great German Village.”