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New kind of street tree: Mural to be painted Saturday

Crestview Road mural finally gets off the ground -- er, on the ground -- during weekend's Crestfest

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Most artists would be offended if people drove cars over their latest painting.

Brenda Lloyd takes it as a given.

The Clintonville Street Mural Project reboot is scheduled to take place Saturday, Aug. 24, as part of the fourth annual Crestfest, a south Clintonville street party put on by United Crestview Area Neighbors. The painting of the large symbolic tree -- directly on the pavement at the intersection of Calumet Street and Crestview Road -- originally was to have taken place June 16 but was postponed due to rain.

Crestview Road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for Crestfest and the mural project. Work on the painting, which artist Lloyd will supervise, is to begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 8 p.m., with any leftover work to wrap up the following day.

"We'll see how much gets done on the Saturday and what doesn't get done will on the Sunday," Lloyd said last week.

"We're hoping to get a lot of volunteers," she added.

To help keep children busy, sidewalk-chalk stations will be set up near the project site.

"This is a community event and volunteers can sign up for time slots to help paint the mural and assorted non-art jobs," Lloyd wrote in an email about the project.

Planning for the street mural, which required the approval of the Columbus Arts Commission as well as a sign-off by city traffic officials, dates back more than a year, when Clintonville Area Commission District 2 representative Rob Wood convened a meeting that led to a call for designs from artists.

Lloyd, who has a degree in fine art from Ohio State University, said a notice about the project that appeared in ThisWeek Booster was brought to her attention by a friend. She said she was pleased but somewhat shocked when her tree design was chosen by a steering committee formed by Wood and others heading up the project.

"I was very surprised because mine was very storybookish," Lloyd said. "I guess part of the process was showing what represented Clintonville to you, and to me, it's very much a storybook neighborhood.

"I grew up in the area and I've always loved the old houses and the gardens and the friendliness of the people here."

In an email, Lloyd explained the meaning of the elements in her design:

"We have a great diversity of residents in Clintonville. We as a whole are an environmentally aware group and take pride in our gardens, trees and green space, while allowing for much individuality in design.

"The tree in the design sketch signifies our solidarity as a community and our love for the natural around us. The birds symbolize our diversity as well as our love for our birds and concern for our environment. The leaves circling the base of the tree stand for future growth and environmentally conscious development in our neighborhood."

"It's actually designed to slow down traffic," Lloyd said in an interview. "They found that this works in other parts of the country. This is a pilot mural project. If this is proven to work, then we'll take it to other parts of the city."

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