DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Visitors to the Oregon District will soon be greeted by a brightly colored new mural that is near completion.
The nearly 3,000 foot mural runs along the Fifth Street bridge behind Smokin’ BBQ.
Tiffany Clark and her company The Mural Machine began work on the mural at the beginning of August and believe it will be completed during the first week of September.
The mural was sponsored by the Oregon District Business Association and Key-Ads.
The unofficial name is The Gateway Mural, according to Tiffany Clark, because of its location at one of the main neighborhood entrances.
The design of the mural focuses on a woman at the center. She is surrounded by two lionesses – lions are the official mascot of The Oregon District – that will be positioned at each end of the bridge.
The mural was created using a mix of brush and spray paints. The style and design was heavily inspired by renowned artist Cryptik. The intent of the design was to bring a “bigger city feel” to Dayton.
The mural is the 100th piece that The Mural Machine has designed across the downtown area.
The goal of the company is to bring large scale public art to overlooked patches of the city. The art’s imagery and colors can beautify neglected buildings and structures. These pieces of art are part of a process to revitalize the downtown area.
“If I want to reach people and connect with them,” Clark said, “I can’t just put things in galleries. I have to put it where they go, which is outside in the streets.”
Designing the mural took on a new significance for Clark in the aftermath of the tragic shootings. She was in Toxic Brew Company the night of the tragedy and feels a deep connection to the neighborhood.
“It is a gift that I get to paint it now,” Clark said. “I have a lot of friends that work down there as well as experiencing [the tragedy myself] that evening. I couldn’t paint in a better spot for them. It’s a gift to my family.”
Clark said that neighborhood visitors and employees often encourage her, bring her coffee, and thank her for bringing color into the neighborhood.
“If I change the environment, change the memories, and make it colorful,” Clark said, “then hopefully I can change our everyday mentality in this city.”
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