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Expressions of Power

Interview and story by StreetSpark program intern, Sarah Hynfield

The traffic signal box mural at the corner of High Street and MLK Boulevard, titled "Expressions of Power" is now complete! Anissa Pulcheon—designer and lead painter—created this piece to convey a message of joy and self-assuredness in young girls. “This is a fun scene with lots of gals - I like to imagine that they're all hanging out, having a good time at an event. They all look different, have different hair styles and ways of expressing themselves through clothes and accessories, but they're all happy, content, or intrigued. Women can just... exist and have a good time with each other!”

Anissa Pulcheon painting "Expressions of Power"

In her initial design, Pulcheon put a great deal of emphasis on an authentic and diverse representation of Hamilton’s women. “I remember looking at illustrations with my sister when we were young and trying to point out which face looked most like ours, so I always keep that in mind when illustrating a group of people.” When passing by the piece, Pulcheon hopes that most every young girl will find a face that’s similar to their own. “I find it important that there isn't just one "diversity" girl thrown in there - it's intentional from the very beginning that it's a group of gals I would want to hang out with.”

This piece is a fusion of Pulcheon’s love of visual art and her passion for uplifting women and gender-expansive folks: something which she also champions as the Creative Director of Girls Rock Cincinnati. “All my illustration work with Girls Rock Cincinnati centers girls and gender-variant youth making noise, art, and having fun together. I helped start Girls Rock because music and art helped me become more confident, process my feelings, and connect with other people who make me feel safe, supported, and appreciated. I want to keep that space and spirit alive and make it even easier for younger folks to find.”

“It's important to create art that celebrates women and gender-variant people because we still live in a society that doesn't celebrate them. I recently learned that even if you're a woman, you can have implicit bias (attitudes or stereotypes without your conscious knowledge) against women, because we are conditioned by the media, culture, gender expectations, etc, our entire lives to value men more. We are all unlearning the harmful systems that we live in and have been conditioned by, and making fun, cute art is my small contribution to that.”

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