Community Mural Project (2011-2012)
Part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Community of Relationships effort, the mural project was a collaboration in which the museum linked professional artists with neighborhood residents. Cleveland artists involved community members in creating large-scale murals for selected neighborhood locations.
In 2011, Chalk Festival participants and attendees previewed the mural designs as the groups chalked the full mural cartoon (sketch) during Chalk Festival weekend.
On Saturday, March 31, 2012 the new murals were officially introduced to the public through trolley tours of the murals, which began at the museum and circulated through the communities.
For questions contact Nan Eisenberg at 216-707-2483 or e-mail commartsinfo [at] clevelandart [dot] org.
Artist: Anna Arnold
Mural location: Peterson Building
Euclid Ave. at Lakeview Rd.
Preliminary sketch for 2011 mural by Anna Arnold:
In partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the City of East Cleveland, I will create A Circle of Family, Friends, and Community, a large scale mural for the exterior of a building facing Lakeview and Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. The mural, designed to visually connect East Cleveland to University Circle, will be a vivid gateway welcoming hundreds of pedestrians and motorists entering the city daily.
The mural depicts the ideals and aspirations of the community and positive work being carried out in East Cleveland. The themes of the mural are traditions, renaissance, growth, and progression. The inspiration for the mural comes from all of the great people and services and lasting relationships within East Cleveland. The warm, vibrant colors in this scene inspire hope and provide a sense of well-being.
The circle motif represents infinity, unity, and harmony. Circles also suggest community, integrity, protection, and feelings of safety and connection.
Artist: Van Monroe
Mural location: St. Adalbert School
2345 E. 83 St.
Preliminary sketch for 2011 mural by Van Monroe:
“What is that in thine hand?”
My inspiration for this mural begins with the Bible, where God showed Moses the only tool needed to fulfill his destiny was already in his hand (Exodus 4:2). My goal is to exemplify this powerful message in hopes of inspiring the people in Fairfax to pursue their dreams.
Also, I wanted to sew in my mural the fabric of Fairfax. This includes the community's strong faith base, theatrical landmarks, Cleveland Clinic, and the migration of African Americans in the 1920s and 1930s.
The adults in the mural represent the past, and also their dreams of a better life for their descendents. Under their hands are two children representing the future and realizing the opportunity that is in their hands. The young girl's dream depicts her as a graduate and becoming a doctor for the Cleveland Clinic. The young boy aspires to become a director in film and theater; his journey starts with Karamu House. Dreams are projected from the hands and seen alongside their heads, because your purpose in life should be recognizable by the works of your hands. I also wanted to pay homage to artist Neal Hamilton, who has two murals in Fairfax, by adopting his traditional mustard-style skin tone.
I pray the mural is a blessing to the community and St. Adalbert where it will be installed. May it give encouragement, in hopes all residents fulfill their purpose and run with perseverance the race set out for them. Amen.
Artist: Sequoia Versillee
Mural location: Murtis Taylor at Kathryn R. Tyler Center
900 E. 105 St.
Preliminary sketch for mural by Sequoia Versillee:
For the Cleveland Museum of Art’s mural project, I am creating a work for the Glenville neighborhood. One of the vital resources in this area is the Kathryn R. Tyler Neighborhood Center. “Mrs. T,” as she was affectionately referred to, founded the center in 1971. She was a passionate social activist who dedicated herself fully to the service of her community. I am honored to have the opportunity to honor such a giving individual.
I chose to use the humble dandelion seed as a subtle focal point of the mural. This plant is symbolically significant to me, because often, like people who come from particular ethnic backgrounds or lower economic strata, it is viewed as something that is a nuisance due to its insistence to survive and thrive in spite of the obstacles slated against it. While the dandelion may be viewed as a common weed in the eyes of its critics, those who have appreciation for the flower know it purely as a resilient plant that adds beauty to a wild landscape and which, when mature, can actually provide sustenance to people. Did you know that dandelions are eaten and used for herbal healing in some cultures? The parachute seed pods of the plant are epic in their ethereal beauty and their ability to travel for miles from the mother plant. I think Mrs. Tyler might well have believed that, like a parachute seed, good deeds travel far, even out-pacing the lifespan of their parent.
Artist: Jerome White
Permanent location (beginning April 2013): League Park Plaza
E. 66 St. and Lexington Ave.
Preliminary sketch for mural by Jerome White:
My mural was inspired by the recent loss of my grandfather. Over the years I have studied the rich history of my family and where I am from. The history of Cleveland, the Hough neighborhood, and League Park fits perfectly as I dedicate my next mural to the memory of my grandfather, Fred Jefferson Brown.
Baseball is a sport that represents America’s pastime, rich in history and tradition, a game where legends are born. For the League Park mural I decided to use the arch designs in the brick wall as a backdrop and bridge. An arch represents a gateway to something beyond, a passageway indicating more to follow, signifying transition and change. The brick wall represents stability and strength.
The arches are doorways from the past to the present to the future. The past is where our sports legends created history, memories of success, and victory. The light of the new day or sky represents the present. The father and son represent the future. The father is teaching his son about the rich traditions of our society, and the game of life. He is teaching him how to succeed. It all starts with a strong foundation. The 9 arches in the mural symbolize the 9 innings in a baseball game. Each arch contains a sports legend from Cleveland Indians/League Park history. Each of these athletes made a significant contribution to the rich history of League Park.
My grandfather will be proud of this painting. Thanks POP!
The Mural Project is supported by: