Once Upon the River is a new public artwork by Cincinnati-based painter and mixed media artist Tina Westerkamp. This ArtWorks project was recently installed on the second floor of the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.
The imagery was inspired by the Ohio River and the historical neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine, and the mural contains portraits of Cincinnati visionaries Harriet Beecher Stowe, Levi Coffin, Jenny Porter, Wendell Dabney, John Isom Gaines, Ludwig Hudepohl, and Christian Moerlein, as well as fragments of lyrics by local musicians Jake Speed, Wild Carrot, Over the Rhine, and Kim Taylor.
The above detail of patterned tile and distressed language reminds me of Reclamation by Lesley Baker, a sculpture I encountered in Indianapolis a couple of years ago. Here’s a closeup of that artwork:
Back to Once Upon the River:
In the above photo, you can see that Tina Westerkamp made use of some of the ornaments we photographed and traced for our Flourishing line earlier this year:
Found objects have been assembled into vignettes, as if the artist has cataloged her archeological finds: