Spectacular Murals Are Coming To The Imagination District

Created by Evelia Sowash

‘Through the Eyes of a Child - Painting for Prevention and Adoption'   mural series to be unveiled in Imagination District

Mansfield, OH - The community is invited to join Richland County Children Services (RCCS), Mankind Murals Inc, and the RCDG: Mansfield Arts & Culture Sector to celebrate the unveiling of a new mural, ‘Through the Eyes of a Child – Painting for Prevention and Adoption,’ on Wednesday, April 26, at the Buckeye Imagination Museum and The Renaissance & Theatre 166.

The mural unveiling ceremony will debut a series of Exterior Artwork Panels, created by local artists with imaginative original works in the theme of “Through the Eyes of a Child”.These artworks are a series of 4-foot by 8-foot Exterior Artwork Panels installed at two nearby locations in the Imagination District, on The Renaissance Theatre throughway between the theatre and the hotel, and at the Buckeye Imagination Museum by their parking lot. The event will be held at 4:30 p.m. starting at The Renaissance Theatre throughway, and then at the Buckeye Imagination Museum, followed by a reception from 5 to 6 p.m. at Theatre 166. This will give the community the opportunity to meet the artists, hear the inspiration behind their work, and learn more about Richland County Children Services.

 RCCS collaborated with Mankind Murals Inc and the RCDG: Mansfield Arts and Culture Sector, to create ‘Through the Eyes of a Child – Painting for Prevention and Adoption,’ to raise awareness about child abuse, foster care, and kinship. The murals celebrate Richland County’s children and diverse families and symbolize hope for a brighter future for our children.

“I love the idea of the mobile child abuse prevention mural! This is a great way to encourage everyone in our community to see and think about how vulnerable and innocent children truly are and how they desperately need to be seen, heard, loved, and nurtured,” said Nikki Harless, Executive Director of Richland County Children Services

The Mansfield Arts and Culture Sector was able to apply for matching funding for the public art project through the Richland County Foundation as part of the Mansfield Rising Plan.

The RCDG: Mansfield Art Sector invited artists in Richland County and students from the Mansfield City Schools - Mansfield Mural Club, to design and paint the 10 panels. The project spanned from the end of March to the end of April.

Artists include:Evelia Sowash, Arlillian Nixon, Brandon Doup, Margaret Freed, Demetrius Howell, Jac Googins, Mansfield Mural Club, Drew Anderson, Kristine Gukich, Susan Gentille.

Luke Beekman of Mankind Murals Inc, and chair of the Art Sector, helped to organize the project with Richland County Children Services. Beekman is also working with students of the Mansfield Mural Club to complete their art panel as well.

Created by Arlillian Nixon

“I think everyone is really excited to see more public art in the Imagination District, and this series of artworks is going to be a big step in that direction,” said Beekman.“We’re so glad to have the full participation of artists, including students, and there will be a lot of creativity to celebrate in this project. The community is lucky to have the kind of talent and collaboration between organizations as we do in Mansfield.While the intention of the artwork is to uplift and inspire, it also underlines how the arts can help to elevate the humanities. The artwork, while temporary, gives the community an important reflection… of the importance of our youth who are in need of care. As a project, we designed ‘Through the Eyes of a Child - Painting for Prevention and Adoption’ to be a chance for us to be fascinated by the perspective of a child through imagination, and with the motivation to paint a brighter future for our youth,” said Beekman.

Artists were selected based on their submissions and interest in the project, in response to a Call to Artists through the Art Sector. The following artists were selected:

Artist Evelia Sowash, created images of “hope, wonder, joy, strength, and freedom. “I want the viewer to feel joyful and compassion toward others.”

Artist Demetrius Howell, “Imagine a child being able to hold the world in their hands for only 10 seconds.”

Artist Jac Googins, “There's nothing more prominent in children than their unique imaginations and abstract ways of viewing the world. I want to highlight how children might view the challenges they face, especially with abuse and family problems, but also highlight how adults can help protect them and can make a difference in helping the hurt kids see and feel love.”

Artist Brandon Doup, “My current work is focused on childhood memories, and how they are abstracted over time due to perspective and life experience. For this project I focus on the childhood perspective with colorful, bold, organic, and geometric shapes depicting houses and neighborhoods. Having local artists represent their city, and promoting these causes is important.”

“Richland County Children's Services is grateful for the support of the Buckeye Imagination Museum and The Ren for helping us share our mission to lead our community in assuring the safety, well-being, and permanency of children at risk of abuse and neglect,” said Brigitte Coles, Community Engagement Specialist for Richland County Children Services.

 “We are honored to be able to participate in this project and believe that bringing awareness to child abuse prevention through these murals is a great way to foster hope and growth in the community,” said Fred Boll, Executive Director of Buckeye Imagination Museum.

“We’re so excited to have played a small role in the addition of this new public art piece in downtown Mansfield. The collaboration between our local arts community and the public services sector on the project was innovative and it draws attention to an important subject. We are always encouraged when organizations work together to better our community!” said Jodie Perry, Chief Operating Officer, of Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development.

The goal is to share the murals’ messages of hope and imagination throughout Richland County.

If you would like to host any of these murals at your business, church, school, organization, or event, please contact Luke Beekman at director@MankindMurals.org

For more information about child abuse prevention, foster care and kinship go to richlandcountychildrenservices.org. Please call the Richland County Children Services 24-hour child abuse hotline at (419) 774-4100 to report child abuse and neglect.

-press release from Richland County Children Services

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