3,000-square-foot project, ‘Hope is a Thing with Feathers,’ to be unveiled at May 23 community event
— If you’ve been outside in Akron, chances are you’ve seen one of the Art Bomb Brigade’s many eye-catching murals since its inception in 2016.
This spring, 13 students from University of Akron’s Myers School of Art are participating in Art Bomb’s experiential learning class and collaborating with artists and clients from Community Support Services (CSS).
Through this collaboration, students and clients developed the “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” mural for the whole side of CSS’ Wolf’s Ledges building, which will be visible to thousands of commuters. Based on a quote by Emily Dickinson, the colorful and bright “Hope” mural aims to inspire clients and residents to strive toward recovery and let their dreams fly.
Each year CSS provides healthcare for more than 3,000 individuals living with severe and persistent mental illnesses.
“The collaboration process with my classmates and the clients added a dynamic that defines the idea of coming together for the good of the community, and I was stoked to be a part of the process,” said University of Akron student and artist Danielle Perich.
Aimed at giving students real world learning opportunities, Art Bomb specifically designs experiences for students to be at the center of public art planning, funding, implementation, community building and outreach. Additional funding from the University of Akron’s EX[L] Center allowed Art Bomb to invite CSS to be part of that same set of creative processes, and to develop plans for the 3,000-square-foot mural.
Mark Percival, one of the clients from CSS, said, “When I was asked to participate in this project, I was honored. To me, it’s about being part of something bigger than me. And to express how CSS has helped me recover.”
Art Bomb is different from other public art projects, said Marissa McClellan, the project’s assistant director. “We are an art education program. Working specifically with community organizations, artists and students, the program supports creative leadership and thoughtful design to illuminate spaces around the city.”
A public celebration to unveil the mural will take place Wednesday, May 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Community Support Services’ Wolf Ledges location, at 640 Wolf Ledges Parkway. Food will be provided by Square Scullery and music by Chris Miller will be featured at the free event.
Art Bomb has inspired a number of other projects in the area and is currently the focus of a documentary by The Akronist.
For info about about CSS, call (330) 253-9388, or visit www.cssbh.org.
To learn more about the Myers School of Art, visit www.uakron.edu/art.
The Art Bomb Brigade is a community arts program supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knights Arts Challenge, GAR Foundation, Community Support Services of Summit County, and The University of Akron’s EX[L] Center. The mission of the Art Bomb Brigade is to breathe new life into Akron neighborhoods through high impact public art. Winner of the 2016 Knight Arts Challenge, the Art Bomb Brigade has completed six murals, soliciting local artists to work with UA’s students to develop and paint high impact murals. Art Bomb Brigade murals have become part of the local fabric in the region with recent works at the Downtown Laundromat, Chill Ice Cream Company, the Akron Sustainer, Echogen Power Systems, Mill Street Bridge, and the Barberton Library.