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Mural in Cleveland’s Hough Neighborhood Earns Award from the New York Society of Illustrators

For Immediate Release: January 26, 2018
Contact: Christina Deibel or Linda Weyandt: (330) 535-8116

A exterior mural painted last summer on Oriana House’s Hough Center in Cleveland has received a silver medal in Surface Design from the New York Society of Illustrators/Museum of Illustration.


Celebrating its 60th anniversary of publication, the Society of Illustrators exhibit featured over 400 pieces of the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Open to artists worldwide, thousands of entries were considered by a jury of professionals, which included renowned illustrators, art directors and designers. Gold and silver medals are presented to the illustrators and art directors whose works are judged the best in each category. https://www.societyillustrators.org/exhibits/illustrators-60-exhibit-part-one


The mural was a collaborative creative effort from more than a dozen Oriana House clients from The McDonnell Center (Cuyahoga County CBCF), Kent State students, and community members. The project was coordinated and directed by Christopher Darling, assistant professor of Illustration at Kent State University School of Visual Communication Design, who secured funding and volunteered his time and talent. Darling led a class this summer at the CBCF teaching the clients about illustration in order for them to design and paint the mural.


“Oriana House, the CBCF and Hough, and the clients had such a role in this collaborative/shared success; I want to thank and congratulate everyone who was involved,” said Darling. “Illustration is a specific commercial form of art that is also defined as a trade and has been overlooked as a vocational training and rehabilitation tool.”


The clients created the design of many different faces on one mural to showcase the theme, “Unity in Community.” The clients painted the brick wall white and then over a two week period, after dusk, the mural design was projected on the building in order to outline the faces, so the clients could paint them.


“This project has many benefits to our clients,” said Oriana House CEO/President James Lawrence. “They are learning the history of art, how they can use their talents productively, how to work together, the importance of community beautification, and more.”


The mural is located on the Oriana House Hough Center building at 6000 Hough Avenue, in view of Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority apartments and Margaret Ireland School.


Funding for the project came from Kent State University with assistance from Oriana House, Blick Art Materials, and Boggs Equipment.


The Society of Illustrators/Museum of Illustration, the entity that grants the award, is an international organization, with artists and members from continents across the earth. The Museum’s website states, “In our work, we honor the beliefs that art and culture crosses borders and that curiosity and perspective, rather than fear and divisiveness, are the key to meaningful and successful cross-cultural dialogue and greater understanding between people.”


The Hough mural is the second mural that Darling has created with Oriana House clients. The first was designed in 2015 and is located at North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center also in the Hough neighborhood.


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