Making Waves: Kids' collaboration rings out across Clifton
Welders. Artists. Residents. A Hardware Store. Students. Dozens of people, all with different parts to play, have worked to create a new outdoor art installation at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Visitors passing the lawn at the corner of Clifton and McAlpin Avenues can see hand-shaped bells tinkling merrily in the breeze, sounding out news of the team that worked to create them for all to hear.
The installation was a joint effort between the neighborhood art center and students from the Clifton branch of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and two local schools: Annunciation School and Fairview/Clifton German Language School. In November the students came together to make an outdoor art project for the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Clifton resident Kip Eagin had the idea of creating a wind chime and artist Steve Adkins developed the idea.
Program coordinator and Public Ally for the CCAC, Melissa Miller, describes the process the project underwent: "Annunciation students under the direction of their art teacher, Kathy Chabot, made the bells from clay and decorated them. A local artist welded the superstructure, the vision for the piece was guided by Kip Eagen, the brilliant guy behind StreetScapes each fall, and the bells noise mechanisms are actually keys donated by Norwood hardware."
The oversized outdoor "Wind Chime" will be on display until May, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center located at 3711 Clifton Ave. Miller said, "I love the whimsical music it creates across our front lawn, the bright colors, and how many different facets of our community came together to make it happen!"
The project is the cherry on top of the CCAC's second annual Young Artists at Work showcase, which begins this year on Feburary 2nd. The show is curated by the art teachers at the two schools, and kids and their parents from the area get to meet each other and interact through art.
Executive Director Ruth Dickey loves the connections that happen under the roof of the Clifton Cultural Art Center. "[The collaboration between the Fairview/Clifton German Language Schools, Annunciation, and the Center] is great – we see lots of the students and their families at our summer concerts and our Second Sunday events during the year, so it’s really wonderful to have a time when the center is featuring the students’ art.
I had several families say to me last year that they saw one another during the summer (through Wednesdays on the Green, swimming or soccer) but that the art show is the only time the families had to see one another during the year, all gathered together to celebrate their children’s art!
"It’s incredibly powerful for students to see their artwork celebrated in a community space," says Dickey. "At the art show last year, one little girl got off the school bus and announced to her father 'I am a famous artist, and tonight we are going to see my work at the museum!' She was a kindergartener with a gingerbread man on our wall."
One of the most powerful drivers behind the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, and other community arts centers like it, is that CCAC is a shared community space. These centers draw together families and the larger community around shared art experiences and builds relationships across schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.