Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We're on the news!

What a day! We started the day off with a phone call from WLWT Reporter, Valerie Abati, wanting to do a story on Cincy Story Mural. How could we say no? Hurriedly, we assembled some of the team together for the  interview. Valerie and her camera assistant came in to film the story - we had to fake painting, show off the murals, tell our story, talk about our progress, and relive why we came together to create such a magnificent artwork. Being on the news is not easy...and definitely nerve-wracking! It was a learning experience, and a positive reflection of what brought us together--telling the story of Cincinnati.

Catch Cincy Story Mural on news channel 5, WLWT, tonight at 5:00!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cincinnati, always.

Oh, Cincinnati! A piece of my heart belongs to you, always. Your history is intriguing. You were around and thriving before many of these younger cities that claim fame.  This valley and its rolling hills have been a place called home or a transient safe haven.

It’s a place where people come together. We can count on you for a night out on the town. One of the first cities to have black and white performers on the same stage – tells the world of your true compassion and abilities to foster change. Even today, I can find free live music most nights of the week.

Most of all, people are invested in the essence that is you. Cincinnati, I know that you may have thought folks have forgotten about you. But, you are indeed on the map and not forgotten! As always, people will travel to and through here to enjoy the slices of life you provide. We see your growth in cultures and people. Let us note: your dedication to the arts continues in the enrichment experiences you provide. Public art is still a new addition- but something you’ve embraced with open arms. May we all delight in your greatness.

Kelly, Public Ally and member of Cincy Story Mural

Friday, May 11, 2012

All About Screen Printing!

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun played hide and seek with the clouds; the air was cool and crisp. My car pulled into the Essex Studios parking lot. For a moment, I roamed wondrously down the hallway in search of the DIY Printing Studio Room. After a few twist and turns, I began to hear intense heavy metal music bouncing off the walls; I knew I was heading in the right direction. A few paces later, I was standing in front DIY Printings doorway. Aaron and Ruckus (his super-duper awesome dog) greeted me then offered some coffee or apple juice. While we waited for the other volunteers to show up, Aaron gave me a tour of his studio.

Ten minutes later, the rest of the volunteers arrived ready to start screen-printing. I had been looking forward to this all week. Although I’ve never screen-printed, I was up for the challenge. Learning a new skill, especially something as unique has screen-printing, made me very excited. Before we began, Aaron gave us an overview of the fundamentals. He showed us the workstation and all of its components. He demonstrated the proper technique of holding the tool used to push the ink through the screen. Aaron made screen-printing look like a piece of cake. The way he knocked out ten prints in less than a minute still astonishes me.

Finally it was my turn to bust out a few prints.  I was ready to mimic Aaron’s perfect technique. Needless to say my first couple prints were not the best. Apparently if you don’t hold the tool correctly and evenly distribute the ink throughout the screen, ink becomes blocked in the hole of the screen and the entire image won’t show on the paper.

Overall, I had a great time learning a new skill. Thanks Aaron!

Krista and the first screen print.
A piece of the mural!

Guest post written by Cincy Story Mural team member Whitney.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Designing A Mural To Tell Cincinnati's Story

What do you get when you take three visual artists, a screen printing guru, a visionary, and over 1400 photos and stories from across the city?


...I’ve never been very good at jokes. Sorry. :/

All (failed) jokes aside, working as part of the design team has been a once in a lifetime experience. After hearing so many incredible stories at the Photo Harvests and perusing the amazing photos submitted with Krista, three artists working on the mural design met on one of Clifton’s rooftops.
The rooftops of Clifton
Each equipped with our own artistic process, aesthetic, and background, we spent a lot of time talking about what the project meant to us and wondering how we were going to merge our very different perspectives into a cohesive piece of art. It could have been a mess, and to be honest, I listened my fair share of doubts from people who heard about what we were attempting to accomplish. But, as it turns out, our diversity has made us--and this project--stronger. Instead of clashing, we found that our individual talents and approaches complemented one another. I had never worked in a digital medium before, but Marjorie’s digital design background, Photoshop expertise, and talent as a teacher brought the rest of us up to speed in no time. I love connections and tend to see everything in terms of systems of possibilities, so when I looked at the rich body of raw material we had been given, I saw a beautiful sum, not 1400 parts. It provided us a framework and starting point. Laura, with her incredible eye for detail, was able to hone in on the individual photographs and collage them in compelling compositions that honored each photograph while creating fluidity between them. All these pieces together gave us a vision and direction for the mural that we could have never achieved individually.

The idea for a template that we began with...
We brought our design ideas and first few finished neighborhoods to Krista, who loved it and urged us onward. Then we met with Aaron Kent of DIY, who took our digital designs and spearheaded the process of turning them into physical screenprints. Again, without their individual perspectives and talents, the mural couldn’t have gone forward. And without everyone’s written and photographic contributions, we’d have nothing to create with. CSM is truly a collaborative effort that represents the power of what can be accomplished when we don’t try to put aside our differences, but instead embrace and utilize them in a unified effort.

A sneak peek of what's to come!

Guest post written by Cincy Story Mural design team member, Missy Miller

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cincinnatians and Sports

In celebration of the Cincinnati Reds winning Opening Day yesterday, I think we should take time to honor the wonder that is Cincinnati sports. No matter where I live, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the Reds and the Bengals. We may not have the flashiest logos or the crazy quarterback drama that keeps other cities under constant media attention, but we do have a fierce love and passion for our teams. Whether it is the Reds, Bengals, Cyclones Hockey, Cincinnati Commandos Arena Football, the ever-popular Roller Derby, or other various sporting events around the city. We. Love. Sports.

From the Cincinnati Art Museum "Art In Bloom" 2009 Exhibition. Even our art is passionate about Cincinnati Sports.

I was raised to hold pride in my city and our teams. My parents love to tell the story of little Lori, in her Bengals sweatpants and t-shirt on a Sunday in the early 90's, yelling "That darn SAM!" at the television screen. Even as a young child I blamed the coach for the team's woes. Though we have our ups and downs in sports, the love remains. In January of 2010 when I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the Bengals' playoff game, I was thrilled!

My lovely friend and I, hyped to be at our first ever Bengals game in early '10.


But then, we lost. "There's always next year!" we say with enthusiasm. Through the last minute touch downs, 12th inning home runs, sudden death goal shots, seeing a player we've watched for years get traded, and playoff bids that only... just... end, we Cincinnatians endure, and our hope for the future never falters.

Guest Post written by Cincy Story Mural team member, Lorita


Friday, March 30, 2012

Help us make Krista's mural happen!

Spring is here and we are working hard to design Krista's mural! While our design team is putting in tireless hours to create Krista's vision, the rest of us are working hard pulling the rest of the project together! Now that we have all of your wonderful photos and stories, we are busy collecting the materials we will need to install the murals around town.

If you are still interested in getting involved with Cincy Story Mural, a great way to do that would be to donate one of the items are on our wish list!  We are looking for the following:

  • 3- 4 ft by 8 ft pieces of plywood, that are 1/2 in to 3/4 in thickness
  • 2 gallons of matte finish white acrylic based paint
  • 12 paint rollers
  • 5 sets of assorted sizes of acrylic paint brushes (sizes ranging from 00 to 1 inch brushes)
  • 1 bottle of acrylic retarder, about $10, used to make the paints last longer and go farther!

If you can help, please contact us at  Thank you so much for any and all donations. You are a vital part of this community project! 

Stay tuned for more updates on the design and more wonderful stories from the community!

Happy Spring!

Ellen Bates from the Cincy Story Mural logistics team

Krista and Ellen in front of the wall at Starfire where Krista's first mural will be installed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Unique Cincinnati

      Why the City of Cincinnati is unique to me? One reason is because many of the different neighborhoods can interconnect on one street, such as Vine Street, Reading Road, Montgomery Road, and Madison Road just to name a few. Another reason is in the urban region of Cincinnati you can walk from one community to the next.

      When I was younger, one of my fondest memories was our family outings walking from the Avondale where the Cincinnati Zoo is located to Fountain Square in Downtown. Along the way we would stop at the local stores, restaurants, and arcades to hang out. Once we arrived to Fountain Square we would sit around the fountain and observe the other families hanging out or chasing pigeons. Sometimes we would play tag with the other children. Cincinnati is unique to me because it is a very family friendly oriented city!!    

Guest post by Cincy Story Mural Team member, Tawanda Rollins