There are murals all over our city. You can find a large blue train adorning the Short North. Jazz’s greatest boast on walls throughout the King Lincoln district. A new mural on the busy corner of Summit Street and Hudson Avenue bursts expansive, colorful trees. Completely organized and implemented by local volunteers, it more than just a mural: it’s about community spirit.
“We were lucky enough to be a part of a very like-minded group of people,” says Beth Dekker from Wild Goose Creative, the group responsible for such events like Monday Night Live, or Speak Easy. “[They] just want to see more beauty in this neighborhood, a park was something that was talked about for years, being in that area, and I think that we’ve actually made it happen, in a very odd way, but I think it’s quite beautiful.”
Wild Goose Creative had the impetus for the idea, but the community was involved in every step. In addition to helping to plan and execute the mural, they stirred up excitement as well. “We were out there actually painting [and] people were honking and waving and thanking us already,” recounts Dekker with a smile, “You can tell they’ve been, through that gateway so many times, and you can tell that they’ve been thinking the same thing, that something cool needs to happen there.”
One man who helped to make that “cool thing” happen there is community advocate and local architect, Tim Lai. Lai was part of the planning committee and decided to offer up a design last minute. It was chosen as the final design for the mural, and Tim is pleased with what it can offer to viewers: a reminder of the universality of all neighborhoods, and the ever evolving nature of life. Lai chose to live in the neighborhood because of the large, mature trees that represent the history of the area.
Wild Goose Creative is also looking to consider the history of the area, as well as the future. Dekker: “It [the mural design] was something different, really crisp and clean, and it really reflected the beauty and uniqueness of this area. Coming upon the Columbus Bicentennial we’re looking to the future, all these new things are going to be happening, new businesses are starting, people are renovating these old houses, they’re bringing things back to life here. So [the mural] it really spans, as cheesy as it may sound, the past, present, and future.”