Anyone who has ever played with a Mr. Potato Head or an EasyBake Oven, or has snuggled with a Care Bear, or any number of other childhood favorites, should offer a hearty “thank you” to Cincinnati. Or at least pull in to the parking lot at 22 W. Court Street in downtown Cinci and look up. That’s where you will find this:
For more than 50 years, Kenner Toys operated in Cincinnati creating such great collectibles as R2D2, Yoda and all of the Star Wars toys. But they also made Strawberry Shortcake and the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Play Do.
Mural Art in Cincinnati
The mural at on Court Street pays tribute to Kenner’s history in Cincinnati, but it is just one of nearly 130 interesting and detailed murals that brighten otherwise boring blank walls of these city streets.
They are a product of a non-profit organization called Art Works founded in 1996 to provide employment and training to local kids. The mural program didn’t start until 2007, but take a look at how they’ve brightened things up.
Each one tells a story of Cincinnati and the people that have made it such an interesting, diverse city. I did a walking tour that covered just a handful of these murals with an articulate 19 year old named Julian Gregory. He’s helped with this and many other projects that have improved his city and helped him focus his career goals and life. You can pick up a map of the murals and other public art created by Art Works at their office at 20 E. Central Parkway.
Other than the Kenner Toys mural, I think my favorite is this one at a dog park at 6100 Kellogg Road. Each puppy featured here is a real dog that lives and plays in the neighborhood. How adorable is that!