StreetSpark, a public art program in partnership with the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation, was founded to further the creative identity in Hamilton, Ohio through exciting murals and public art projects. The program creates engagement by producing high quality art, providing opportunities for local artists and enhancing the visual appeal of the city. Since the summer of 2016, 17 murals and 14 utility boxes have been painted in a variety of styles. Each year artists are invited to submit a range of designs, and the winning murals are chosen by a selection committee of local arts professionals and appreciators.
City of Hamilton
Hamilton Community Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
TAMZ Construction Inc.
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For inquires please contact our StreetSpark Program Manager, Jennifer Acus-Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org
This classic, yet graphic floral brings a feeling of subtle joy and peace. Growth, redemption, change, beauty. Flowers are simple, but hold so much value.
Through the abstractions of butterfly wings, I wish to emphasize the loss of pollinators in our world today. I feel that this is an important topic to draw attention to because of the effects that are caused, such as food shortages and the extinction of certain species.
"Here Comes the Sun" was inspired by the magical experiences I’ve had listening to some great music at RiversEdge amphitheater while watching a stunning sunset on the river. The sunset design is a nod to the classic 70’s starburst, with a layer of music notes bursting from the center. The side panel designs are from one of my favorite historical buildings, Heritage Hall aka the former Municipal Building. You can find these images of fluffy clouds and rolling fields in the metal cutouts at the top of the Hamilton Mill doors, reminding us of the beauty surrounding our great city.
“Kids” is designed to be reflective of the diversity of the children in the region and represent the upcoming generation. My hope is that a child will see this box and see themselves represented as a valuable and seen part of the community.
The design concept was inspired by the surrounding industrial elements, particularly the tubes and pipes of the nearby Hamilton Power Plant. The design pictures a series of bright, criss-crossing pipes with flowers growing out of them, symbolizing the beauty that can blossom in even unexpected places. Natural beauty often finds a way to flourish in the spaces we least expect it, whether that be a crack in the sidewalk, a busy highway median, or the grounds of a power plant.
This design incorporates the nearby post office by using the theme of postage stamps and several iconic Hamilton landmarks.
This utility box design aims to bring a pop of color and positivity to those that pass by. The bold geometric pattern and vibrant colors make it stand apart from its environment in an expression of fearless courage! Its abstract nature also allows a viewer to interpret a deeper meaning for themselves.
This vibrant and lively abstract design brightens up this corner, adding a kick of modern color.
Two large red cardinals, Ohio’s state bird, have been painted in a style to resemble a mosaic, and set in front of a vibrant sunrise. The birds are among a group of birch trees, a pioneer species and a symbol of rebirth and growth, which our city has been experiencing over the past few years.
The concept and colors of this design was influenced by the stained-glass windows depicting the role of women during the war inside the monument. The dragonfly represents change and self-realization. The two vertical designs of women with wings signify the cultural movement of women’s empowerment. In continuation of this message, I arranged multiple compositions of women's hands linking together into one universal image; the human heart.
This cheerful floral design melds well with the nearby “Taking Flight” mural and variety of sculptures in Rotary Park. Daisies are a local perennial that symbolize spring and friendship.
Hamilton offers a plethora of sweet treats. These family-owned businesses have become synonymous with delicious delicacies and have been an important part of our memories; celebrating the winning home run, graduations and birthdays, exploring the donut trail with family and catching up on the latest with friends. These moments have all made our lives a little sweeter.
This design is a playful and festive homage to a community tied to its German roots and river locale. Anyone who has spent much time near the Great Miami is no stranger to the plentiful and unpredictable Canada goose...its natural personality making it a perfect comic foil as a human-style portrait with a traditional Oktoberfest hat. The hat is a nod to nearby historic German Village as well as Municipal brewery and the nearby bars and pubs. The reverse side showcases a monolithic hop, completing the homage to the growing local brewery culture. The goose from the flip side is echoed in a festive flying V, his friends pulling behind them a colorful graphic stripe pattern to augment a sense of festivity and diversity.
This design is a collaborative piece created by a father and son artist team. The background artwork was created by Brent Lavelle Billingsley II, an 11 year-old Hamilton native. The grey-toned foreground portrait was created by his father, Brent Billingsley, of his son and is a representation of Hamilton’s diverse population. This team continues to expand their artistic style as they work on different art projects in the community with non-profits like HYPE and in the Greater Cincinnati Region as well. This mural represents the youth of Hamilton discovering their artistic voice.
The concept of this design was inspired by Telhio's ideals of caring, commitment and integrity. Compositional elements used in the design are inspired by Art Deco rendering traditions that were prevalent in the artwork of 1930’s, when the Credit Union was founded, as well as the architecture throughout the City of Hamilton. The hands extending into the composition from the roof level are rendered in grisaille to communicate the idea of stone, a strong foundation on which to build. The hands also represent the way Telhio redistributes income back to its members and the community, with water flowing to signify growth and prosperity. Trees, grass, and flowers communicate the idea of a flourishing community while referencing the tree-line neighborhood of Prospect Hill. The expansive field serves as a historical nod to the landscape of the area as it would have existed when Native American groups occupied the site around Fort Hamilton.
My design is a seamless wrap around the utility box, so it's different every way it's viewed! Fashion and hairstyles change, but the power, joy, and creativity of girls are eternal. I am always highlighting the beauty and diversity of women in my work, which I believe needs no special occasion to celebrate. This design is an everyday celebration, from the patterned clothes, quirky small touches, and falling confetti. I feel it is important to create art that celebrates diverse women and gender-variant people because we still live in a society that doesn't celebrate them. 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.
I have a big heart for the Hamilton Fire Dept. I wanted to honor their bravery and sacrifice in this design. The fireman is wearing the mask they would wear when entering a fire. There is smoke behind him but because of their hard work, the city is safely intact in the shield and skyline. They risk their lives to keep this city safe. The thin red line represents the courage fire fighters show on a daily basis. There are 13 stars to represent the 13 firefighters that have lost their lives in the line of duty on the HFD. There are two dates on the mural, 1827 signifies when the department was formed and 1917 to honor when the local fire union formed.
"Garden of the Dogs" gives viewers a layered composition filled with meaning and connections to the specific location, region, and state it resides in. This mural depicts a dynamic garden of native flora and fauna, such as the trillium flower, buckeye tree and ladybugs. Another layer of this complex design includes hidden bulldog images as a nod to nearby Hamilton High School. The consistent movement and overall unity of the energetic composition gives the viewer a full experience from any vantage point.
“Ro-Bros” depicts two larger-than-life robot brothers amidst a vibrant stylized sky. The windows of this building function as the characters' eyes and even light up at night! The North End neighborhood has a strong industrial history and is located in a residential area where all ages are present, so the design pays tribute to the past while offering an image that is contemporary and fun for all ages.
In this joyful mural design, we see a group of children parading between giant sunflowers and whimsical garden creatures. The children climb and play with the oversized flowers, mirroring activities at the nearby playset. Inspired by the mission of the Boys and Girls Club and the surrounding Jefferson community, this mural seeks to help children feel welcomed and instill a sense of belonging. This colorful design is full of hope and strives to reflect a sense of community solidarity.
“Incrementum" depicts Hebe, the Greek goddess of Spring, as a central figure that pays tribute to the statue that will adorn the landscape in front of the mural. Flanking the statue are peace lilies, which connect with the doves on both the left and right side as a repeated symbol of peace. The curved archways surrounding Hebe deepen the connection to classical Greek art, and the right arch is engraved with the word "Incrementum," which is Latin for "growth." The gear symbols are included to represent the influence of the Rotary Club of Hamilton as the inner workings of the community; the support system which inspires Hamilton to blossom. The concept of "service above self," on which Rotary is founded, creates a strong community full of peace, growth and hope, as expressed through this design's strong symbolism.
Lindenwald is a place rooted in rich history and community pride. This mural showcases the places and landmarks that helped make Lindenwald an integral Hamilton neighborhood. The classic, bold font and inviting color palette will welcome travelers as they enter Lindenwald's growing business district.
"Inspiring the Future" was in part inspired by the Harlem Renaissance works of artist, illustrator, and art educator Aaron Douglas. The emphasis of the BTW Center as a means for providing a nurturing environment and enrichment for youth and teens through various programs serves as the primary inspiration for the imagery in this design. Moving between the children are spheres, radiating energy outwards, that depict inspirational figures related to the center’s history.
With music being heard not only at the North Second Tap and Bottle Shop, but also across the street at the beautiful Riversedge Amphitheater, this mural amplifies the musical mood of the area and creates a visual marker of what this specific part of Hamilton is all about. Live music showcases the energy and movement of the performers, as well as the crowd. The electricity seems to permeate through anyone in the vicinity of the source, creating a sense of inspiration. The goal was to interpret these kinetic elements into a static form that interacts with the wall as opposed to a rectangular rigid design, just as a performer interacts with their audience. Portraying a powerful female figure participating in an occupation that is predominately male, helps to inspire women of all ages to strive towards being their true selves, and to not be afraid of the constraints of the social or professional norms we live in today.
“Paint the Town Red” is a whimsical take on the skyline of Downtown Hamilton. It features many major buildings such as the historic Butler County Courthouse, the Municipal Building and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in 'Miami Red.' It also features the Great Miami River with the train bridge and the Main/High St bridge. The mural was designed using a bold and simple illustrative style so that it will be clearly visible to those traveling down River Road on the back side of the campus. The sky in the mural is meant to remain as the current brick so that the design is incorporated into the existing wall of the building. This design brings downtown Hamilton to the Miami Hamilton campus!
“Hey Caddy-O” features a classic mint green Cadillac Coupe de Ville, parked on a highway trailing off into the sunset. This iconic mid-50’s car draws attention to the current use of the building as well as the automotive manufacturing history of Hamilton, in particular Fisher Body, which produced bodies for Cadillac from 1947 through 1988. The vintage-inspired color palette and sunbeam motif in the background reference classic car advertisements from the 50's and 60's, while the bright colors and graphic pop art quality of the design catches the eyes of travelers as they drive down High St. in the downtown district.
This design is titled "Taking Flight" and symbolizes a city reaching new heights. The sparrow is represented in three stages as it takes flight and has been abstracted and stylized to resemble an origami bird. This represents the industrial past that has given us the foundation from where we are taking our next steps.
This design is intended to evoke the notions of serenity, fragility and peace. There are two types of birds represented - cranes, a symbol of peace, mingle with rustic swallows that foreshadow spring. The delicacy of the origami/paper foldings and the beauty of this ancestral manual activity reminds us of the careful work of the craftsmen who occupy the building today. The light bulbs suggest past industries housed in the building and the promise of new, innovative ideas for the future.
This mural design depicts legendary Hamilton native Joe Nuxhall, both as a young Cincinnati Reds pitcher in the prime of his career, and later in life as a philanthropist and popular local figure. His pitching hand is extended as if into the space of the viewer, showcasing a pitcher's grip and displaying his signature. The bold red color signifies Cincinnati Reds baseball, of which Nuxhall was an integral part. A deco-style sunburst of rays seems to emanate from the focal point of the ball, and creates a decorative, graphic contrast to the more smoothly modeled figures.
Make Way for McCloskey pays homage to local writer and illustrator, Robert McCloskey. This composition incorporates images (left to right) from his books Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings and Homer Price. The artwork pulls together McCloskey's classic illustrative works, but is depicted in a modern color palette. Robert McCloskey is strongly tied to the original Municipal Building. He was commissioned to create designs that were carved in bas relief on the surface of the building. The pocket park at the corner of Front Street and High Street displays a sculpture inspired by his book, Lentil. The mural complements McCloskey's relationship to the building and brings an appreciation for his artistic efforts that were formed from his upbringing in Hamilton.
This design consists of a stylized image of Alexander Hamilton, based on John Trumbull’s iconic 1806 portrait. It is rendered in a bright palette of pinks, blues and greens and combines graphic blocks of color with more painterly marks. The abstract and graphic qualities of the mural provide a compelling contrast to the surrounding area, juxtaposing contemporary art with the historic buildings of the neighborhood and furthering the focus on the arts in Hamilton’s Main Street area.