Pictured is the ArtWorks team in front of Morag Myerscough’s #5: We Are Walnut Hills mural at 2429 Gilbert Avenue near 5 Points Alley. Photo by Tony Arrasmith.
By Melissa Currence
ArtWorks, the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that employs youth apprentices and professional artists to create public art, will be moving its headquarters to a new first floor retail space in Model Group’s Paramount Square II in April 2021. ArtWorks’ new office will be at Gilbert and East McMillan Streets in Walnut Hills.
“We’re overjoyed to move to such a prime location and important historical center of our city,” said Colleen Houston, ArtWorks’ CEO and artistic director. “The move will anchor ArtWorks as an arts and community center for the youth, artists and residents in Walnut Hills as well as for the entire region.”
Walnut Hills is already home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, and soon it will be home for the Cincinnati Ballet.
“We are looking forward to joining two of the most incredible arts entities in the city with our move to Gilbert Avenue,” Houston said. “When I attended the ribbon cutting in October for Cincinnati Art Museum’s new Art Climb, which is across the street from the new Ballet building, I was inspired by the possibilities for ArtWorks in Walnut Hills and elated we’ll be joining the incredible arts and cultural legacy in the neighborhood.”
ArtWorks has been creating public art murals and installations in Walnut Hills since its early days. The nonprofit’s summer program operated under tents in Eden Park from 1998-2000. ArtWorks’ youth apprentices completed the park’s Mirror Lake fresco, which features fossils of sea life from the Ohio River, in 1998. Other ArtWorks projects in Walnut Hills include the mosaic on the Eden Park bus shelter, Elaine Lynch’s Dottin’ the Hill mural, Anthony Luensman’s C A M P G R O U N D, Morag Myerscough’s #5: We Are Walnut Hills mural and Brandon Hawkins’ Fredrick Douglass Elementary School street mural.
“It feels like a coming home moment for ArtWorks to choose Walnut Hills for their headquarters,” said Kathryne Gardette, president of the Walnut Hills Area Council and an early ArtWorks supporter and past teaching artist.
“ArtWorks choosing the heart of Walnut Hills expands the compliment of arts and cultural opportunities for our residents and businesses.”
ArtWorks is moving from its current location in Over-the-Rhine’s Hale Justis building after 11 years, and the organization will retain its artist studio space at the Carl Solway Gallery in the West End. In 2020, ArtWorks employed 123 youth apprentices and hired 68 artists, and the organization has a team of 13 permanent staff members.
ArtWorks has been working with Model Group over the past several months to find the nonprofit’s next location.
“In working with ArtWorks, I know this move isn’t just about renting a space that suits their needs,” said Matt Reckman, vice president of property management for Model Group. “They want to jump in and be part of the neighborhood revitalization effort in Walnut Hills, and this is why we are so excited about this partnership. We are thrilled.”
“Model Group has been the perfect partner to help us make our next home a reality,” Houston said. “We’re looking forward to being a great neighbor and partnering with the incredible talent from Walnut Hills, including several small businesses, nonprofits and artists we admire. In 2021, ArtWorks will be celebrating 25 years of impact, and I’m looking forward to our new home during this momentous year.”
Learn more at ArtWorksCincinnati.org.