Celebrate the River Cities Art Project Begins with New Benches in Ludlow

Three new mosaic benches will be unveiled in Ludlow on Tuesday as part of the Celebrate the River Cities Public Art Project.

Jill Morenz, of the Catalytic Fund, received a $5,000 grant from ArtsWave to fund the projects in Ludlow, while projects in Covington, Newport, Bellevue, and Dayton will follow.

When complete, the art will be unveiled at a celebration in each city. There is also a STEM component to the project, with students receiving lessons on STEM topics that relate to the specific art project.

The ArtsWave grant funded the Ludlow project, which resulted in three mosaic benches. Students in the SOAR after-school program built the benches and worked with artist Lori Kay Farr to create glass mosaics on the tops. The mosaics depict three subjects that relate to Ludlow and its history: a train, a river, and the paw prints of Ludlow’s school mascot, the panther.

The benches will be unveiled on Tuesday December 17 at the school’s holiday celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. and culminating in a concert at 7 p.m. 

Additional funds from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation will support projects in Newport, Bellevue, and Dayton, Morenz said. She is seeking additional funding for the Covington project.

The Bellevue project will involve the students creating fused glass flowers that will be “planted” in a cement flower bed in a Bellevue park. Related STEM lessons could include botany, how glass is made and the process of making cement.

The Dayton project will result in vinyl kites (referencing Dayton’s Kite Festival) that will be displayed on the city’s lamp posts. STEM lessons for this project could include how a kite works and the process of printing on vinyl.

The Newport project will be in partnership with the Newport History Museum and will result in near-lifesize wood representations of historic figures. STEM lessons could include photo editing and calculating the required weight of the bases for the figures.

-Staff report