Hundreds of people showed up at the Downtown Laundromat on South Main Street July 8 to celebrate a newly created mural. They came to show their appreciation for the 3,000 square-foot piece created in their community and to thank the artists who painted it.
In only eight days, a team of 23 high school and college students turned 40 cans of paint into a colorful masterpiece. The students represented two organizations: Arts LIFT and the Art Bomb Brigade. The mural was funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and was designed by artist Matt Miller with some direction from Scott Grieshammer, the owner of the building and lot.
“I wanted something colorful,” said Grieshammer. “If I had not added my input, it would have had skulls on it,” he added, saying he was appreciative of the work Miller put into the mural.
Downtown Laundromat Manager Kristie Wrobel (known in the community at Ms. Kristie) was especially appreciative of the hard work put into the mural. She showed her enthusiasm for the piece in part by filling balloons and blowing bubbles at the event. Wrobel said, “(The students) showed teamwork, passion and brightened up the community.”
The words on the mural, “Clean & Bright, Laundry Done Right!” reflect Wrobel’s personal life motto, “Keeping America clean one day at a time.”
None of this would have happened without the direction of University of Akron Professor Elisa Gargarella, director of both Arts LIFT and the Art Bomb Brigade. In her speech, she described the finished product as “super fly.”
Three of the participating students shared their experiences painting the mural. They spoke about how the art could bring the community together and how it could inspire children in the community to be creative.
Akron’s Deputy Planning Director Adele Dorfner Roth had a few words to say about the mural. “You brought three things I love together,” she said. “Young people, art and Akron.”
Among the vendors that showed up to the event were Sweet Mary’s Bakery, Little Chicago Clothing, StegoKitty, Tiny Cloud Ceramics, Stone Pelican Rolling Café, Stray Dog Cart, Western Fruit Basket, Totally Tangled Creations and GypsyGrace The Vintage Goat. Many of the vendors’ proceeds went to benefit the Art Bomb Brigade.
Local band The Dreemers closed the night.
Art Bomb Brigade’s funding goal for the year is to raise $2,016 in 2016. To donate, text “artbomb” to 71777.
To learn more about Art Bomb Brigade, go to https://www.facebook.com/artbombbrigade/.
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