On Ordinary Citizens

Here’s for another set of murals in the city. Because the prior post about the murals featured notable Cincinnatians, this post features ordinary people. As with the other murals in this series, ArtWorks made these possible.
Canal at Vine Street Circa 1900

Settled on the Ohio River, water has always been important to Cincinnati. The Miami and Erie Canal (completed in 1827) ran through the city to link with a network of canals in Ohio. This canal also separated a neighborhood from downtown. The canal was important to businesses, thus many workers. The mural depicts workers on a canal boat on this canal.

By 1906, the canal wasn’t used much and it became a health hazard. Although Central Parkway occupies the same space today as the canal did, this mural along the canal route serves as a reminder of its importance during a different time.

Canal at Vine Street Circa 1900 is located at 101 W Central Parkway

The Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball

A Cincinnati treasure served as an inspiration for this mural. Frank Duveneck (1849-1910) was not only a Cincinnatian, but he was a well-known figure and portrait painter in his time. In The Cobbler’s Apprentice (which is one display at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Duveneck painted a boy holding a large basket of vegetables to his right side and a cigar in his left hand – to which he responds by the smoke. (Click to see the original)

This mural is a parody of the original because a baseball bat has replaced the basket and the cigar. One can find this mural very close to the Great American Ball Park (home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team).

The Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball is located at 120 East Freedom Way.

What’s Happening Downtown

In the days before air conditioning, people kept their windows open. Then again (and whether they liked it or not), they heard much of the activity in the surrounding area

This mural is about the vibrancy in a city community depicting people coming to their window to see what’s happening.

What’s Happening Downtown is located at 1005 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

The Face of the Arts

One-story buildings aren’t very common in the city. As a matter of fact, as I approached and past this building, I totally missed what it offered … and I wonder how many other times I walked by. But, I finally spotted it from a block away, so I returned to discover more.

ArtWorks is responsible for over 100 murals throughout the city in the past 20 years. Interestingly, ArtWorks is a “non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact through three strategic programming areas: Public Art, including an extensive mural program; an art therapy division, ArtRx; and an entrepreneurial arm, Creative Enterprise.”

This mural displays the silhouettes of creative pursuits and portraits of those who painted this mural.

The Face of the Arts is located at 1100 Race St, Cincinnati on the corner of Race and Central Parkway – (fittingly) directly across the street from the School for Creative and Performing Arts.
Special thanks to blogger friend Resa in Toronto, Canada for getting me to take a close look at the wonderful murals on display in Cincinnati – so I invite you to visit Resa to see what she’s captured.
Any favorites? To see other murals in my series, click here.

32 thoughts on “On Ordinary Citizens

    • Patti,
      Faces of Art blends in so well, I passed it and didn’t notice! … Later in the day I noticed it and wondered how I missed it. Glad you enjoyed these, and more posts about the murals here should be in the future!


  1. These murals really are something special, Frank. I’ve been impressed each time you’ve shared, and it amazes me how many of them there are! I love the idea of a parody included to bring home the appeal of baseball! They look like they’re very well taken care of. I think in Los Angeles they’d have already been tagged!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      The local connections on many of the murals is fantastic. Do you recall the one about the passenger pigeons? Still one of my favorites.

      You mentioned the care, I believe ArtWorks is planning a renovation of the first large mural in the city (which they didn’t originally do). Meanwhile, more to come in time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your post on Cincinnati’s wonderful murals. Now how about ArtWorks sponsoring murals dedicated to 20th century Cincinnati abstract expressionist artists Jack Meanwell and Paul Chidlaw.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post! ⭐ Historical murals really enrich a city both visually and culturally. I’ve just returned from Winnipeg with quite a few historical murals. Toronto has taken a different route with it’s street art in that it is artist driven, and is portraying every year the ongoing movement of art in the street. When I look at the art shows in the galleries, I see how street art has now influenced gallery art. ⭐ This is a wonderful post, and thank you so much for linking my blog to it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      Thanks for the kind words … and also a special thanks to you for motivating me to capture what Cincinnati is doing. Several more were completed this summer, so I have some work to do. 🙂

      Art Works has captured such a variety in their work. The historical one of the Erie Canal is also perfectly placed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just browsing through older stuff, finding comments I’ve missed….etc.
        I realize I have a mural of people on their balconies. I’m about 3 weeks away from posting it, but I will link to this post! Have a fab week…..or 2 off!


  4. These are great, Frank. I love the one of the people looking at the window. 🙂
    Philadelphia also has a mural arts program, but I just read recently that many of the ones that were done decades ago when the program was started without much of a budget were just done with ordinary (house?) paint, and so they are peeling. Also, some buildings have been sold or re-done and the murals covered over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      Wow … now the selling of a building is something I had not considered. Oh boy … Houston, that could be a problem. Meanwhile, I hope those early murals in Philadelphia can be either repaired or redone. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • CC,
      Many of these in this city, but there are more like commissions rather than street art (which is in a category all to itself). Over 100 of these here. Heck, several more were created this summer, so I can’t keep up! 😉


  5. Pingback: Windows & a Balcony – Graffiti Lux and Murals

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