A couple months ago I was given the opportunity to work on my first mural ever! I was hired by the Fitton Center in Hamilton, OH to be a supporting artist during the first year of their StreetSpark mural program. The program completed two murals in Hamilton, and both were a great success. I feel very blessed to have been given such an awesome opportunity, which enabled me to explore a whole new side of painting. It was great to work with lead artist, Nicole Trimble, who is a local Cincinnati artist and professor at Miami University. I loved conversations with her about her insights as a working artist, and life in general.
Learning the mural process was very intriguing to me. Nicole was so organized and had every step of the process planned out perfectly, which comes from the work she has done on many murals in the past. I loved going super-large-scale. It was exciting, invigorating, and very satisfying. It was so neat to stand back from it at the end of each day and see the miracle of the work we had done.
Probably the thing I loved the most about the mural-painting process, and the thing that kind of surprised me, was how excited the community was throughout it all. Multiple times every day people would come up to us to talk and encourage us and take pictures. We even got free cookies once. People just feel like they can connect over art, it's something that speaks to the soul. It breathes life into a space, excites people, brings them together. This was such a very different kind of art than any I had ever done. I am so used to creating in my own studio, away from mostly everyone, where the art belongs to me. The people of Hamilton feel as though they have ownership of this piece -- it's their city, on one of their walls, and it was neat to paint it for them. Art is for and about people, and it was great to involve so many strangers in the creation of this unique piece.
I was able to finally see Alexander in all his glory a few weeks ago when the Fitton Center held a dedication for him. The video below is TV Hamilton's coverage of the dedication. It was such an honor to be a part of it all, and I would love to do more murals in the future!