OHHS Art and Design Teacher and Alumni Create “Cultivating Community” with StreetSpark!

OHHS Art and Design teacher Jamie Schorsch, and Taylor Helms (’15), alongside artist Kinsey Downs, recently contributed to the public art legacy of Hamilton, OH this summer through the StreetSpark program. Formed through a partnership between the City of Hamilton and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, StreetSpark is a program founded to further the art identity in the city through exciting public art projects. This program creates arts engagement by producing high-quality murals, building opportunities for local artists, and enhancing the visual appeal of the city. StreetSpark brings visible murals and artwork into the community with the goal of fueling Hamilton with art.

Schorsch’s design, “Cultivating Community”, added to the stunning murals located throughout Hamilton and is located on the Telhio Credit Union on Park Ave. For 3 weeks, Schorsch led the team of two talented supporting artists in the creation of the mural which spans 2 walls of the Telhio building.

An event celebrating the creation of “Cultivating Community” will take place on July 20th, 2021 at 5:30pm at the mural location site: Telhio Credit Union, 601 Park Ave, Hamilton, Ohio 45013. The event is free and open to the public!

Check out some of the process photos of the creation here:

Learn more about the design of “Cultivating Community” below!

“Cultivating Community” Artist Statement

“The concept for “Cultivating Community”, designed for the Telhio Credit Union, was inspired by the core values embedded in the not-for-profits 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 image is designed to be viewed as a wrap around, but also stand on it’s own as a composition when viewed from one side of the building.

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 are representative of the Telhio Credit Union redistributing income back to its members and the community. The colored water flowing from the grisaille hands signifies the nurturing nature of the Credit Union that allows for fostering 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. Daisies, symbolic of innocence and youth, allude to the children attending Wilson Middle School. Tiger Lilies, which are often associated with pride, confidence, wealth, and positivity and Irises, which represent wisdom, hope, and trust, frame the image. The bee serves as an emblem of abundance, persistence, industry, and community. Imagery of beans embedded amongst the flowers calls to mind additional ideas of growth tied to fairy tale imagery and folklore.

Color palettes prevalent in Art Deco traditions inspired the more analogous color scheme, as well as linear emphasis, for the work designed to provide contrast with the sticker-style design to be integrated with the bare brick of the architectural structure. Colors were selected for their symbolism and contrast. The blue waters illustrate tranquility brought to the community through abundance whereas yellow daisy floral disc exudes a sensation of radiating happiness embedded in the purity of the white daisies. Green is utilized to represent the color of life, renewal and growth within an environment.

Design elements and symbolism embedded in “Cultivating Community” are intended to synthesize with the architectural structure of the Telhio Credit Union, provide contemporary and historical nods to the surrounding environment as well as the function on Telhio nurturing the community, while communicating a whimsical uplifting image that communicates tranquility, peace, and prosperity”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s