Cities of the Midwest : 7 Must See Murals in Cincinnati


So, first things first, we have a give away!  Finish this survey about travel that we are doing for a future post, and be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

And now on to even more fun stuff! I married into a Cincinnati family. With scores of relatives and family events by the arm load, I don’t get as much time as I would like to enjoy the arts and culture of the Queen City.  Luckily, Cincinnati is a veritable travelers museum, with more than 100 large-scale murals in 36 neighborhoods.

This initiative is run by a non-profit called ArtWorks, and the organization has put $1.4MM back into the local economy in wages. What a way to put your money where your paint brush is!  While these are my 10 favorites, there are scores more.  You can make your own plan using this handy dandy downloadable map.   I also have a few prompts that you can use with your family when you wander around town.

Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat

This man tipping his hat to all and sundry in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood was a local politician Jim Tarbell. Even if you don’t know the history, there is something about his jolly gesture that makes this one so enjoyable. Try: Taking your picture is the same pose. Designed by Tim Parsley, located at 1109 Vine St.

Fresh Harvest

Downtown Kroger’s has a photorealistic take on produce to adorn the walls of its downtown location.  The artist really plays with space, making it look like the corn and other car-sized vegetables are gingerly poised on a giant shelf. Try: Estimating how big the zucchini is! Designed by Jonathan Queen, located at 1014 Vine St.


This mural by Brazillian artist Eduardo Kobra is inspired by Ohioan Neil Armstrong. The Apollo astronaut is given the rainbow treatment in this artwork.  Try: taking pictures of the mural from different angles. On Walnut Street


Tom Wesselmann Still Life #60

The murals tied into Cincinati artists new and old.  This pop culture mural is inspired by Cincinnati artist Tom Wesselmann using everyday objects as a larger than life still life.  One can almost imagine the woman who wore the red lipstick, red nail polish, red beads, sun glasses, and a sultry look. Try: Imagining what your personal still life would look like.  Located at 811 Main St.

The Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball

Favorite Cincinnati son, artist Frank Duveneck is the inspiration for this mural near the ball field.  The original cobbler becomes a ball playing young man in this wonderfully painted mural. The artist uses the same amazingly finished approach to people. It almost looks like the kid is going to walk out of the portrait. Try: Whistling! Located at 120 E. Freedom Way.

Homecoming (Blue Birds)

Charley Harper might not be a household name, but his stylized animal artworks certainly are.  Now, you can see them on greeting cards, in fabric, and in posters. But, this artist who studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati made Cincinnati his home. To thank him, Artworks worked with his estate to produce this enormous mural, one of the largest in the city. Try: Drawing a portrait of yourself or your pet using only geometric shapes. Located at 119 E Court Street

Ice Cream Daydream

If you asked someone to paint the mural version of the word adorable, you would up with this beauty. While this mural is in the middle of Over-the-Rhine, you might miss it, as it is on the short wall near a parking lot. Look for:  Count how many hearts you can find. Also, how many different patterns are in this work. Located at 33 E. 12th St.


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