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Savannah Artist and Activist to Install Mural in Covington

Public art that is truly community based and generated can galvanize a sense of place, bring a community together and celebrate its diversity and unique character and story. This mantra is being put into action in cities everywhere when artists and residents are given the chance to work together to create art that defines a community.

Here locally, this idea is being implemented by the Center for Great Neighborhoods through their creative placemaking initiatives. In the past year, they have awarded nearly $80,000 to artists through the Creative Community Grant program. The program is an opportunity for self-defined artists to receive $5000 for ideas that address a community-identified need in a creative way. Applications for the next round of grants will be available on the Center’s website on Monday, September 14.  

One recently funded grant is working with the local organization “art is…” to bring Savannah artist and activist, Matt Hebermehl, to Covington to share his experience breaking down public art barriers in Savannah. Matt co-founded the organization SeeSAW (See Savannah Art Walls) with the goal of synthesizing local art, commerce, and civic participation through contemporary public art thereby creating opportunities for Savannah and its creative community to engage in a global cultural dialogue. 

Hebermehl helped the City of Savannah build a public art policy from the ground up after repeated attempts to install public art on private property were arbitrarily denied as illegal signage. The city lacked a formal process for painting a mural on private property until 2011 when the first public art policy was approved, through which SeeSAW was able to petition for a designated mural wall at 34th and Habersham Street, the first wall of its kind in Savannah.

On Friday, September 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Matt will lead a discussion on art in the public realm at the offices of Hub + Weber Architects, 200 West Pike Street, Covington, KY. The event is free, but those planning to attend are encouraged to register here.

Through the weekend, Hebermehl will install a mural on the wall of the gymnasium at Glenn O. Swing Elementary school in Covington. On Sunday September 20, the school will host a party to celebrate the mural from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. This event is also free and no registration is required.

For more information, visit the following websites:

The Center for Great Neighborhoods

seeSAW (See Savannah Art Walls)

Art is ...

From the Center for Great Neighborhoods/Image provided

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