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Cincinnati murals in harmony with Mother Nature

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CINCINNATI -- A mural painted on the Duke Energy Building is called the hands that built this city and is a tribute to Queen City workers, manufacturers and craftsmen from the 1930s.

The paint used on the murals also pays respect to growing concerns about the environment.

Jenny Ustick says the coloring is safe.

"They are low VOC paints," said Ustick. "They are safe to be exposed to skin. They are soap and water clean ups, They are really well incased in polymer resins."

Low VOC means there are very few volatile organic compounds which can contribute to smog and ozone.  Artworks is behind the eco-friendly murals popping up throughout the city on Walnut Street and this stretch of Taft road. Students did a lot of the painting while on summer break.

"Artworks hires youth apprentices ages 14 through 21. It's a job training program as well as a program to help train them in the arts," said Artworks spokesperson Katie Labmeier.

The lesson begins in an outside studio with more than 200 gallons of paint each year, dozens of brushes and a coarse in stewardship.

"Setting a good example for our apprentices, young artists to take responsibility for what they do," Labmeier said. "Not just to create visually pleasing works of art, but things that are socially responsible and environmentally responsible."

It's a formula for a beautiful community filled with art.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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