Clintonville traffic-signal boxes' beautification imminent

STEPHEN BORGNA
sborgna@thisweeknews.com
Artwork by Jack Hamman inspired by the Park of Roses is set to be installed on the traffic-signal box at High Street and Hollenbeck Road near the park.

With the project about a year in the works, the Clintonville Area Commission's planning and development committee is just a few hundred dollars away from installing artwork on traffic-signal boxes around the neighborhood.

As of July 7, committee member Megan Valentine, who is coordinating the project, said it was roughly $400 away from meeting its fundraising goal to install three designs submitted by local artists, with each vinyl covering to cost $650 to $1,100 to install.

Committee members originally had envisioned installing seven designs after receiving more than 80 artwork submissions, but for now, plans call for just three installations.

The project's GoFundMe page had raised $1,375 of its overall $10,000 goal as of July 9.

"We have one final fundraising push going on right now. We already have an installer lined up. We hope to get them out here either late summer or early fall," Valentine said. "We'd love to do all seven, but it's not looking monetarily feasible, especially given everything else going on."

Valentine said the committee intends to put up three pieces of artwork as a starting point, with plans to put up four more if additional funding comes in.

"Over the year, we hope to attract more excitement, then people want to donate to get the other four installed," she said.

The three pieces to be installed were created by artists Gail Kelley, Jack Hamman and Ellie DiRutgliano.

Kelley's piece, which is set to be installed on the silver traffic-signal box on High Street at Henderson Road, features a dog on each side that lives or formerly lived in Clintonville.

"One of the things I love about Clintonville is that it is a great walking community and people are out all the time walking their dogs," Kelley said. "That is what I paint, and that is what I wanted to celebrate.

"Each side of the entry is of an oil painting done for a dog that lived or lives in the Clintonville area, including the English setter, Bogart, with the giant tongue hanging out," she said. "They are works that people instantly recognize -- happy dogs -- and lead to people smiling. There is no heavy message, just a minute to smile.

"Some art is to generate discussion," she said. "These are to invoke a smile."

Hamman's piece, which is set to be installed at High Street and Hollenback Road, is inspired by the Park of Roses.

"My parents' first house together, where they brought me home, was in Clintonville," Hamman said. "I remember visiting the park as a young child, climbing the central tower and thinking how infinite the roses seemed.

"When designing my piece, my goal was to invoke that feeling of endlessness that the Park of Roses creates," he said. "In my mind, the park is the crown jewel of Clintonville."

DiRutgliano's piece, titled "Dog Walking at the Olentangy," is set to be installed at High Street and Oakland Park Avenue. It was the public's favorite artwork during the survey process, generating 367 out of 984 votes, according to the CAC's Facebook page.

Valentine said each artist will be given a $500 award once their artwork is installed.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve