Sunday, August 16, 2009

Adding Color to Cleveland Walls

Last week I finally stopped by the Recreation Center at John F. Kennedy High School on Cleveland's southeast side, to view the mural being painted this summer by neighborhood teenagers.

The project is part of the Mural My Neighborhood program sponsored by the City of Cleveland's Parks and Recreation Department.
Each summer this program teams young Cleveland artists with professional muralists, community leaders, and business owners to create beautiful, uplifting murals in two different wards. The murals depict civic pride, vibrant city life, and visions of hope.
From the Mural My Neighborhood Brochure
For the past several years, Chris Lucciani, the director of Cleveland's Bereau of Cultural Arts has visited my Classes at Max Hayes to recruit students for this program. The kids need to apply for the a spot 0n the team, submit a portfolio of their artwork, and come in for an interview. If they complete the entire project, they will be rewarded with a stipend at the end of the program. This year I had 3 of my students participating.

Each Summer there are two mural sites, one on the East side of the city and the other on the West side. Depending on the location and the condition of the walls, the murals may be painted either directly at the site or on panels off-site, to be installed on the building when completed. The JFK Rec. Center had a wonderful smooth concrete wall, which made for a perfect painting surface. No scaffolds were required either, as the building was only one story.

John Troxell, the artist working with the students on this project, has quite a legacy of murals; not only in the city of Cleveland, but nation-wide. His most recent public work is the 350 foot long Mill Run Trail mural, the city's largest. This was a project sponsored by Cleveland Public Art and can be viewed from Broadway Avenue in the Slavic Village neighborhood.

Here is a link to the Flickr photostream containing samples of more of John's artwork.

This final photo is a section of the JFK mural that, I understand, was completed by one of my most excellent art students at Max Hayes; Franchesca Brown. Great job kiddo!
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Kathy G said...

Always good to see one of your posts show up in my reader.

The mural is awesome; you must be very proud of your students.

Franchesca said...

Thank you Ms. Matthews, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been in the program.