Public Art in Kent
Marvin Kent by Maya Culley
Artist Maya Culley recently finished painting a gorgeous mural in the alleyway between the Woodsy’s and Skullz Salon buildings. Culley’s concept was to combine some of her favorite aspects of Kent, one being the mixture of city and nature. Visuals of figures and geometric shapes were used to represent the city while plants such as the milkweed flower found in the Kent bog to represent nature. She also used the bog as inspiration for the abstract images on the doorways. Culley also focused on the theme of “new Kent vs. old Kent”. She referenced Kent’s rich history with the image of Marvin Kent while adding modern colors and organic shapes to relate to the current growth of the city.
“My sister read about this project in the newspaper and brought it to my attention. I was very excited and began the process by sketching out several designs in my notebook along with a color pallet. Then I took a few high quality photographs of the alley. Using a editing program, I drew over the images with my wacom drawing tablet. We matched paint colors mostly by eye comparing them to my original design. We used a projector in the evenings to draw some of the elements. Other sections were done with masking tape or drawn free-hand. I had an unfortunate slip and broke my foot mid-project so I am grateful for the extra help and support to complete the project. My family has lived in Kent all my life and I would love to leave my mark. I had a lot of fun creating my concept and I hope you enjoy it too!”
Artist Maya Culley’s concept was to combine some of her favorite aspects of Kent, one being the mixture of city and nature. Visuals of figures and geometric shapes were used to represent the city while plants such as the milkweed flower found in the Kent bog to represent nature. She also used the bog as inspiration for the abstract images on the doorways. Culley also focused on the theme of “new Kent vs. old Kent”. She referenced Kent’s rich history with the image of Marvin Kent while adding modern colors and organic shapes to relate to the current growth of the city.
Lake Cities Train
Henry Van ‘t hooft, a 17 year old Boy Scout from Troop 177 in Stow, worked with Main Street Kent to complete his eagle scout project in 2013. This beautiful mural now adorns the alley between Skullz Salon and Woodsy’s music shop — better known as Burbick Way — on South Water Street, and features a 10-foot-by-25-foot mural of an iconic image of a passenger train arriving at the Erie Depot (now the Pufferbelly Ltd.) some 50 years ago.
The mural titled Love, designed by Edwin George, resides on the side of Scribbles Coffee Co. on N. Water St. This project was sponsored by Standing Rock Cultural Arts, directed by Crystal Birns and painted by community volunteers in 2005.
This mural depicts a strong female who represents the stage of empowerment for victims of crime. The vignettes on either side of her depict various stages of loss, suffering and, ultimately, healing and strength. All of this is enclosed within a mandala which signifies the circle of life. Outside of the mandala, various Kent landmarks portray a community rich in history. It is our hope that this mural transcends Kent as a place and symbolizes any community worldwide where the human spirit triumphs and love does prevail.
Designed, painted and donated by:
The Arts Alive! Program of Family & Community Services, Inc., 2009 and hangs on the side of the Townhall II building on N. Water St.
Joe Walsh Mural
The “Welcome To Kent”/ Joe Walsh Mural is located on the side of the Water Street Tavern building. Designed and hand painted by KSU alumnus Scot Phillips, this mural pays tribute to the City Of Kent’s rich musical history.
Haymaker Farmers’ Market Mural
Elaine Hullihen was the creator & project manager.
The mural was completed by Hullihen, members of the community, art students, and vendors from the farmers’ market. Located on Franklin Ave., this mural is a great example of using public art to express our community values — in this case tapping into Kent’s green roots and cheerleading for locally grown fresh food.
Traveling Stanza Poetry Boxes
We worked alongside the Each+Every, Wick Poetry Center and the City of Kent to adapt Traveling Stanzas illustrations to fit on utility boxes and kiosks around Kent and Akron, with the goal of bringing poetry into the public consciousness. Accompanying the illustrations are audio devices which play the author reciting their poem.
Alongside the public art experience created, Each+Every designed and developed a web app that would allow people to navigate to the boxes, read the poems, view the original art, and listen to the poet read their piece.
The River Stanzas project, an evolution of the award-winning Traveling Stanzas project, the Wick Poetry Center examined and gave voice to the many ways the river can sustain us creatively and teach us about our connection to the environment and our community. In June 2019 our community celebrated the 50th anniversary of our river’s rebirth. From crisis, we had the opportunity to celebrate the success through poetry, art, and design, showcasing our community’s vibrancy—its riverbanks and bike trails, its hiking paths and streetscapes, and rise to the challenge of conveying what we’ve learned to the stewards of the next generation.
This bronze sculpture is located at the corner of Erie St. and Route 59 and was designed by local artist George Danhires. “The intention of (the monument) is to show veterans that we appreciate their service,” Danhires said. “This sculpture indicates a value this community has.” He designed the monument to represent all types of American veterans through three figures. The sculpture features female, African-American and disabled veterans to “indicate that everyone who served is being appreciated,” Danhires said.
Located between The Historic Train Depot & gazebo on Franklin Ave., the images coming forth from this bronze relief sculpture survey Kent’s history from the Native Americans, to early settlers, the Underground Railroad, to John Brown, John Davey, to a city revolving around information and technology. Also made by local artist George Danhires.