Halloween window paintings come back from dead


Artistically inclined high school students from throughout Clintonville will have a chance as Halloween approaches to follow in the brushstrokes of their parents.

Several organizations are working together to restore the once-thriving practice of students painting the windows of local businesses for Halloween.

"It's coming together very, very nicely," Clintonville Historical Society President Mary Rodgers said last week.

The society is joining with Experience Clintonville, the Clintonville Arts Guild and the Ann Hobson Foundation to revive the tradition of having students create designs and paint them on windows of businesses in the neighborhood.

The foundation is named for a local artist who died last year.

"I would say that this tradition probably fizzled out sometime in the late '70s, but it went on for quite some time," Rodgers said.

She said she's spoken with a number of people who grew up in Clintonville and who recall window-painting as something they did every Halloween. The large window at Ace Hardware in Beechwold "was a pretty popular window to paint," she said.

So far, students from the art programs at Whetstone and Bishop Watterson high schools as well as the Graham School are on board, Rodgers said. Students at Columbus International High School, which does not currently have a formal art program, also may participate, she said.

On Oct. 27, as part of the Clintonville Halloween Hop, residents will be invited to vote on their favorite business window.

Also that evening, the Longview Barbershop, Clintonville's oldest business, will sponsor the second annual movie event at Studio 35, featuring a showing of the film Ghostbusters. At the conclusion of the movie, the people's choice award for best window will be announced.

"It should be a great day, lots of fun to come out and see the windows," Rodgers said.

A portion of the proceeds from sales at the participating businesses will go to the arts programs at the schools, and the Ann Hobson Foundation will match a portion of those donations, said Rodgers, who owns Moxie's on North High Street.

So far, 30 businesses are on board to have their front windows decorated by students -- "and I'm still getting calls," Rodgers said.

"For the first year bringing back a tradition, I think that's a pretty good response," she said.

"This is a service-learning project, which is kind of a hot topic in education right now, getting students connected with groups that are different from them," said Jason Janoski of Experience Clintonville.

In this case, he said, that involves the students interacting with, and coming to a greater understanding of, business owners and managers.

"This is really good on a lot of levels," Janoski said.

Those interested in any aspect of the event are invited to call Rodgers at 614-675-6854.