Artist’s work visible throughoutthe northern Cincinnati neighborhood
By Kelly O’Donnell
Acclaimed Cincinnati painter and art educator Cedric Michael Cox recently completed a monumental series of four murals in Avondale, adding to his significant artistic output in the northern Cincinnati suburb. As part of a partnership between Related Affordable, one of the largest developers, financiers and preservationists of affordable and workforce housing in the United States, and Artrepreneur, a certified B Corp and multimodal online marketplace for the arts, to provide art services and curate original art by commissioned world-class artists in affordable housing communities across the nation, Cox was commissioned to help transform White Oak Townhomes (formerly Colonial Village apartments) at 3641 Irving Street.
His new suite, Welcome Home, in his signature vivid color palette, adds depth and warmth to the facades of four separate east-facing walls. After ten weeks and eight gallons of paint, they were completed in 2022.
In describing his latest project, Cox said:
“The four new murals I created for this Avondale neighborhood are monuments to the healing spirit of joy and community pride. The geometric interplay of rooftops and rectangular patterns reflects the architectural diversity of Avondale and Cincinnati as a whole. Cincinnati has a rich history rooted in the abolitionist movement with the Underground Railroad. I celebrate that history by using a North Star pattern, which symbolizes hope, reminding us of how far we have come. The multifaceted interplay of color offers a stained-glass quality that reflects the many spiritual institutions of Avondale and the idea of the home as a sacred place. When children go to school and adults leave to go to work, I want them to return home to my murals welcoming them back with vivid inspirational color that uplifts the spirit.”
In completing the White Oak murals—his fifth Avondale project—Cox has imprinted a major part of the landscape along Forest Avenue, adjacent to Irving Street.
He made his first mark in the community 12 years ago at the Avondale Town Center about one mile east on Forest Avenue.
Home is Avondale (above), a monumental 2011 ArtWorks project, was featured in its 10th anniversary book Transforming Cincinnati: How a Decade of ArtWorks Murals Changed People and Communities Forever.
Though since replaced by new retail construction, Home, also known as the “Avondale Pride Mural,” graced the site for nine years. In 2019, Cox was commissioned to create three more large-scale mural works on separate locations throughout the Town Center.
The New Avondale Pride Murals (below) include A is for Avondale.
Concurrent with the Town Center installation, the artist also created four large-scale interior murals in 2019 for South Avondale School on the theme of civic and school pride.
Within the same Avondale corridor, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Kolar Design commissioned a suite of 64 paintings (below) in 2019 for its new Critical Care Building.
This exciting new series was created in collaboration with the students of five schools: North Avondale, South Avondale, Rockdale Academy, Woodward Career Tech, and Ludlow High School. Despite a work halt at the start of the pandemic, installation of the entire series finished in 2021.
The success of that project inspired a future commission, yet to be determined, for patients and visitors in an outdoor garden space at Cincinnati Children’s. Cox is continuing to work on multiple projects in and around the region.
To celebrate the completion of the White Oak Townhomes project, Chicago-based art production company Artrepreneur produced a short film, “Cedric Michael Cox Captures Community Pride,” by Vincent Roazzi.
Contact Cedric Michael Cox via Cedric Michael Cox’s website