COVINGTON, Ky. – Rather than fight graffiti, caretakers of the Licking River Greenway and Trails decided to turn it into art.
The project, called “art is . . . ,” took shape on the weekend of March 8, when visiting Austrian street artist, Nino Werner, offered his talent to incorporate what some consider vandalism into his work.
“I hope that we inspire them to pick up some colorful paints and pencils instead of watching television. Who knows, maybe one of those kids will paint a mural in the future,” said Werner.
Werner painted an image of a cardinal and wooden boy telling a story of the natural world beyond the structure they are painted on. It is the hope of organizers, including the non-profit Vision 2015, that youths and graffiti artists will leave meaningful messages on the display the next time they come to the trail to paint.
Cincinnati native, Crosley Brammer, was also involved in the project.
“The project’s missions and goals motivated me to get involved. I love that Vision 2015 and the City of Covington encourage young, aspiring artists to contribute their talents by making colorful murals and by creating a more vibrant community overall,” says Werner, “The capital of Austria, Vienna, dealt with graffiti in a similar way. Today, there are thousands of tourists and locals walking, running, and biking down the Danube channel to experience these amazing works of art. The greatest part is that the graffiti there is legal and appreciated by all classes of people. By allowing both local and nonlocal artists paint and express themselves, a city can rejuvenate and spark artistic awareness. If Covington continues to follow the artistic path, Covington too could become a creative hotspot, where community gathers and experiences together.”
The artist recently returned home after his brief visit to the Tri-State.
Organizers called Werner’s piece a small, but vibrant piece of the Licking River Greenway and Trails project. The trails is part of the Licking River Master Plan commissioned by Vision 2015 in 2008 to establish a green corridor connecting Newport, Covington, Wilder, and Taylor Mill. The plan calls for a five mile stretch of a multi-level trail system that involves paved, natural, and water routes.
Wilder recently broke ground on its portion of the project from the Wilder city building to Fredricks Landing.