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Mural Celebration

Who: Wilson Middle School, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, StreetSpark, Artist/Educator Brent Billingsley What: Mural dedication celebration When: 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7 Where: Wilson Middle School, 714 Eaton Ave, Hamilton, OH 45013 Why: To celebrate the permanent installation and dedication of four 4x8-foot mural panels created during the StreetSpark ElectriCITY event in June

Created in the heat of the summer, a quartet of mural panels lend some cool to their new permanent home at Wilson Middle School.

Local artist and educator Brent Billingsley - with his team - created portraits of American founding father Ben Franklin, musician and Hamilton native Roger Troutman of the band Zapp, scientist Marie Curie and inventor Lewis Latimore on 4x8-foot panels during the StreetSpark ElectriCITY event June 11 and 12 in Journal Square.

“His portrait work is amazing,” said StreetSpark Program Manager Jennifer Acus-Smith. “He’s got all these people who are in some way associated with the idea of electricity and brought them to life.”

The panels stood in the Fitton Center Community Gallery most of the summer, but Supervisor of Fine Arts Ben Spaulding and Principal KristIn Yordy claimed them for Wilson Middle when they were offered to the Hamilton City School District.

Now there will be a dedication and celebration for and with their new permanent home.

“We loved having them here, but we’re excited that these historic figures are finding a permanent home in a local school, and in such a prominent location,” said Fitton Center Executive Director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley. “We hope they will continue to spark some conversation and curiosity.

“That’s one of the goals of StreetSpark - create art that’s impactful, interactive and accessible. Brent’s work is all of that. We’re pleased the Wilson community will get to experience them every day.”

Originated in 2016 as a partnership between the Fitton Center and the City of Hamilton, 2022 marked StreetSpark’s seventh year transforming a variety of public spaces through murals. Funding for the project comes from the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Community Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

“People got to be involved,” Acus-Smith said. “Whether watching or actually painting, people got to see that artists aren’t always working in a studio by themselves all the time. Making art like this is almost like a performance; the artists engaged with the people and vice versa. That’s unique to our project.”

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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