There’s a new, colorful mural in town, on the side of the Robinson Cleaners building at 11 Wyoming Avenue. The project is the second mural sponsored by the Wyoming Art Show Committee. The art show’s first mural project, “Windows of Wyoming,” features several Wyoming historical figures and was installed in 2017 on the side of 505 Wyoming Avenue, facing the Village Green. Since that first mural, several Wyoming businesses have decorated their buildings with colorful murals, including CWC the Restaurant, Station Family + BBQ restaurant, and Cowboy Cones, and the Art Show Committee began considering a new mural for the community in 2019.
The Wyoming Art Show is a crown jewel among Wyoming’s cultural activities, drawing thousands of people each year to see the work of over 100 artists. Although the committee was forced to cancel the May 2020 show due to statewide shutdowns in response to the coronavirus, the outdoor mural project was able to proceed as planned.
The new mural was the brainchild of Judy Carter, a longtime Art Show Committee member and volunteer. Ever since the completion of the first mural, she has been on the lookout for potential mural sites. Carter and Subhadra Suresh, another art show volunteer, led the “Windows of Wyoming” mural project. Both admired the ArtWorks murals throughout downtown Cincinnati. They encouraged the Art Show Committee to consider murals for a community art project and Carter convinced the City of Wyoming to change the city’s sign regulations, allowing murals to adorn buildings.
Carter reached out to Chintan Patel, the owner of Robinson Cleaners, who was enthusiastic about the mural on his building’s exterior. Because the building is adjacent to the Wyoming Middle School, Carter suggested the theme “Art in Education.” She found an image of Wyoming’s first schoolhouse in the book “Images of America: Wyoming” by Wyoming resident and historian Rebecca Strand Johnson. Carter worked with project manager Kip Eagan, who recruited local artist Tammy Stephens to paint the mural featuring the first schoolhouse. Stephens’ previous mural works include the ArtWorks mural celebrating Kenner Toys in downtown Cincinnati.
Carter hopes the new mural will become a popular photo-op destination, as children pose every year alongside the giant pencil marked like a huge yardstick.
The mural was painted over a six-week period in June and July 2020. You can see Stephens’ painting progress in this time-lapse video.