Community Mural Project (2010)
As part of our long-term community engagement initiatives, Community Arts launched public mural projects in four neighborhoods: Fairfax, Hough, Glenville, and East Cleveland. Four Cleveland artists designed the murals, inspired by works in the CMA collection and comments from neighbors in community forums.
Artist: Ed Parker
Mural location: Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center
14801 Shaw Ave.
This mural takes its theme from the name of the community center it adorns: the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center. Parker, an East Cleveland resident, provides a panorama of Dr. King’s life journey—from his youth to his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The mural also depicts other seminal heroes in the pursuit of freedom: Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Cleveland’s Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, and Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States. Silhouettes of families, emblematic of community unity, border the mural.
Artist: Neal Hamilton
Mural location: Renaissance Center
8111 Quincy Ave.
Hamilton took the subject for his mural from the numerous gardens in Fairfax, symbolic of the strength and renaissance of the community. The mural portrays the lushness of a futuristic garden from the viewpoint of a family walking toward the light-filled landscape. The tropical garden invites and enlivens the senses with a waterfall, vibrantly colored butterflies, flowers, and a hummingbird. The figure of a shaman watches over the paradise.
Artist: Jerome T. White
Mural location: Glenville Development Center
10650 St. Clair Ave.
Titled Bound for Glory, White’s mural, the backdrop for a new Glenville park, illuminates the past to help guide the community through the present and into the future. It features an African American youth traveling the Underground Railroad, bound for Ottawa, Canada. As destinations for slaves fleeing the South, cities had code names. Cleveland’s code name was “hope,” while the city of “glory” or “freedom” was Ottawa, located beyond the United States’ northern border. The geese symbolize direction and spiritual freedom.
Artist: Anna Arnold
Mural location: Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center
8611 Hough Ave.
Arnold’s boldly colored mural tells a story of family and community through images of the Storyteller of Hough. She drew inspiration from her own family’s journey to a new city and community. Her grandmother served as a symbol of history and wisdom to direct family members in decisions about their lives. In Arnold’s mural, an older woman with raised hand talks with community youth and families about the experiences and values that provide hope and endurance for the future. Neighborhood youth helped her paint her mural in the recreation center art room.