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Photo: Courtesy of ArtWorks

Collage with Pillars of Cincinnati series of frescoes

A new series of murals from ArtWorks and the Avondale Development Corporation honoring those who fought for civil rights are now on view in Avondale.

A series of frescoes, Pillars of Cincinnati, recognizes important leaders and valued community heroes in Avondale history, including Fred Shuttlesworth, Theodore Berry, Marjorie B. Parham, Fannie Graff, Artie and Annie Matthews. ArtWorks partnered with Urbanist Media, a community preservation cooperative, to identify these social justice leaders and select specific locations for each mural.

The placement of the murals creates a walking trail to inspire connection between Avondale residents and its institutions. They were designed by Nitaya Babbitt, ArtWorks lead teaching artist, and painted by teaching artist Taylor Helms and six teenage and adult students. Most of the students were also from Avondale, according to ArtWorks.

“It was an honor for ArtWorks to create this significant tribute as part of Avondale,” Colleen Huston, CEO and Artistic Director of ArtWorks, said in a press release. “We hope the trail will become a point of pride and the murals a focal point in the community. This project will inspire more people to learn about the achievements and legacies of these community leaders we remember.”

The murals will be dedicated on Thursday, May 18th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Hirsch Recreation Center. Registration is required but not mandatory. The event is free and features music by the Cincinnati Women’s Choir MUSE, along with artwork and light refreshments. You can also take part in an optional walking tour of several mural locations starting at 3:00 p.m.

Hirsch Recreation Center, 3630 Reading Road, Avondale. More information about ArtWorks:

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