Front Street Public Planter Art
Oct 06, 2020
Cuyahoga Falls residents and visitors can now enjoy public art on the planters on South and Central Front Street. The DTCF Partnership invites the community to talk a walk down Front Street, enjoy the beautiful Fall weather, and visit some of Downtown's many shops and restaurants.
Local artists were asked to submit samples of their work and seven were selected by a committee consisting of representatives from the DTCF Partnership, Collide: Cuyahoga Falls, the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, and the community. The artists were then commissioned to create pieces reflective of Downtown's Riverfront Heritage and vibrant, diverse community. The artists come from a variety of backgrounds and include painters, photographers, and graphic designers.
Artist biographies and a map of the locations can be found below.
This project was made possible thanks to a generous Arts & Culture grant from the Akron Community Foundation.
1. Abigail Cipar
Based in Akron, Abigail Cipar is slated to earn her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron in 2021. Her primary body of work, which utilizes a variety of mediums ranging from oil paint to soft sculpture, focuses on identity and personal connections to the Ohio landscape. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she has received a number of prestigious awards. These include the 2019 Folk Charitable Foundation Venice Biennale Travel Award, as well as the 2019 President’s Holiday Art Award. Cipar has exhibited work throughout Summit county. Most recently, her work was selected for the Femicentric: 2020 Vision juried exhibition at Summit Artspace and the 2020 GAR Foundation Student Art Show at Andrew Jackson House.
Cipar's art is installed outside of TRIAD Marketing on Front Street.
2. Miyah Greenwood
Miyah Greenwood's experience with design comes from her background as a painter and sculptor, both of which she is currently studying at Miami University in Oxford Ohio. She is an artist primarily focused on the beauty of nature and how she can take the beauty that she takes in from nature everyday and synthesize it into artwork for others.
Greenwood's inspiration for the design of these planters came from the beautiful experience of the sunset from the Cuyahoga River. The design pays homage to the beauty of the parks in Cuyahoga Falls such as Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the river that runs through the Falls as well as intentionally replicating the beautiful sunsets that grace northeast Ohio during the summer. The vision behind the gradients on the planters was to be able to immortalize those beautiful summer evenings for Cuyahoga Falls residents to see at any place any time.
Greenwood's website can be found here.
Greenwood's art is installed outside of HiHO Brewing Company and The Social Dept. on Front Street.
3. Jennifer Sheriff
Jennifer Sheriff was born and raised less than four miles from the internationally known Toledo Museum of Art, one of her favorite places to frequent as a child. She earned a B.A. in Political Science in 2005 and subsequently graduated from law school in 2008, at which time she relocated to sunny Phoenix, Arizona in pursuit of immediate courtroom advocacy experience. Although she would categorize her appreciation for art as lifelong, she painted her very first canvas in 2016. Since December 2017, she has created over two hundred original acrylic paintings in her basement studio.
In the relatively short time that Sheriff has been painting, she is already an active contributor to her local art community, which has included showing a wide variety of paintings in themed gallery exhibitions presented by the Toledo Artist’s Club, designing an outdoor vendor booth at the 2018 “I Love Olander Day” metro park event, and participating in the 2019 “Undisclosed” art show, a community fundraiser held annually to benefit the Toledo School For the Arts. More recently, she was honored to present her first solo artist exhibition at Up Front Art Space, a charming contemporary gallery and frame shop located in Cuyahoga Falls. Her artwork has also been included in a wide variety of multi-artist exhibitions, including “Small and Smaller” (Brooklyn, New York), “hive/mind ii” (Ypsilanti, Michigan), 6th Annual Swanton Fine Art Exhibit & Sale” (Swanton, Ohio), and the 2019 Findlay Art League Fall Juried Show (Findlay, Ohio). Additionally, she was selected to serve as an artistic partner to the Akron Symphony Orchestra in their debut “Art and Music Poster Series” for the 2019-2020 concert season. Finally, she is proud to share that several of my paintings were featured in the May 2020 issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine after she received an Honorable Mention Award for their 2020 Creative Arts Competition.
Going forward, Sheriff plans to continue experimenting with different color schemes and painting techniques to broaden her stylistic approach to creating both abstract and realistic imagery. She also hopes to expand her current inventory of angel artwork in partnership with Angela’s Angels, a unique bereavement gift shop located in the historic block of downtown Sylvania, Ohio. In doing so, she hopes to deliver healing comfort to grieving families of all walks of faith while honoring the lives of those she has loved and lost.
In conclusion, although she is not currently a resident of Cuyahoga Falls, many of her artistic creations have “lived” in this community since May 2019. In fact, Sheriff often remarks that Cuyahoga Falls introduced her as an emerging artist since she was so reluctant to share her paintings with other people for the first half of her artistic journey. To be sure, Cuyahoga Falls will always remain near and dear to her heart, and she looks forward to future collaboration as we strive to promote creativity and ongoing respect for the community we share.
Sheriff's website can be found here.
Sheriff's art is installed outside of VIVO Beauty Bar on Front Street.
4. Bryce Lowry
Bryce Lowry is a 17-year-old Ohioan photographer with Autism who has started a foundation, Art for Autism Cares. The idea for Art for Autism came home one day in a 12-year-old boy’s backpack. That young boy was the artist, Bryce Lowry. He had just completed a two-week hospital stay, which was followed by admittance to a two-week intensive behavioral therapy program at Nationwide Center for Autism and Related Disorders Clinic. This was the program that would turn Bryce’s life around.
Bryce had struggled with emotional regulation since he drew his first breath. At five years old, after countless doctors and medications, he was diagnosed with Autism. Needless to say, his elementary school years were horrific and filled with hospital stays, medication changes, confinement in padded rooms in school, abuse at the hands of trusted adults, and astronomical frustrations at being misunderstood. It seemed as if nothing could help Bryce gain control, and therapies and doctors became a daily routine.
Anything and everything that life could throw at him seemed to happen, and yet Bryce endured and continued to persevere. And just when things seemed the darkest at the age of 12, he produced a business plan out of that dirty backpack and emphatically said, “Mom, I see so many kids at my school who need the help I’ve gotten and I want to do something. I want to sell my art and give the money to other kids so they can get the help I’ve had, because I don’t want anyone else going through the things I’ve been through. That’s why I’m going to call my business Art for Autism.”
Bryce had recently begun taking pictures and people were noticing that he had an eye for capturing intriguing, beautiful images. The unusual thing about this wasn’t just his age, but the images themselves weren’t what most people would consider “beautiful” with the naked eye. Rusty metal, sad abandoned buildings, junk in a field, snarled trees, lonely rooms, and a detail on an object that no one else can see make up most of his art … but somehow he captures the beauty in it.
“I love old things that once had a life of their own, but are now forgotten. I can somehow feel the loneliness of the object, and I can imagine a time when it was new and beautiful. Sometimes I get lost in feeling and I physically react from smiling to crying. My hope is that my artwork evokes those same feelings in others,” stated Bryce.
A portion of all proceeds from the artwork will help fund therapy programs and resources for other individuals with Autism and related disorders. “This is my passion, because I have lived it and will continue to live with it for the rest of my life. I know firsthand the positive difference this will make,” Bryce said.
Lowry's art is installed at the southern end of High Bridge Glens Park on Front Street.
5. Kimmy Henderson
Kimmy Henderson also known as Makikisart (mama and Aunt Kiki mooshed) is a self-taught artist who first picked up a paint brush after becoming a mom and never put it down. Using many methods and types of canvases from glass to wood, walls to faces; her varied painting style is apparent in her diverse portfolio. Inspired by her personal battle with Bipolar I and generalized anxiety disorder, Kimmy is using her art to help raise awareness and end the stigma on mental illness with the 'Bipolar Butterfly Project'. She now teaches a variety of classes and workshops and enjoys helping others experience the relaxing, therapeutic benefits of creating art.
Henderson's art is installed outside of Hunt's Bar, just south of Butcher & Sprout on Front Street.
6. Chris Comeraito
Comeraito has been creating art her whole life, but only developed her own style in the last decade or so. When she began teaching art, she was eager to learn new things so she could pass it on to her students. That's when she discovered art from cultures around the world. Comeraito was drawn to the art from Oaxaca, Mexico and the art made by the Aboriginal people of Australia. These types of art contain numerous patterns and small white dots. Now, she makes art that makes her happy. Her work is colorful and whimsical. When people see her work, she wants them to have a feeling of joy. She works in many different mediums and enjoys blending the colors with paint. The intense detail of the patterns she makes holds her attention for hours. Every time Comeraito creates a new piece, she is amazed by what she has done. Art should be made for everyone to enjoy, and by making art in public spaces, we make that possible. As she began to work on this project, her mind was drawn to the river. Life in Cuyahoga Falls has always been centered around the water. Each piece of art on this planter depicts the different aspects of how the river is intertwined in our community.
Comeraito's website can be found here.
Comeraito's art is installed outside of the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Station on Front Street.
7. Dara Harper
Dara Harper is an artist, educator and co-owner of Art Only Boutique. She is uniquely driven to use art to create conversations and develop meaningful relationships that will make a positive impact in our everyday lives. Dara Harper is inspired and influenced by the authenticity of the common man etching his or her place out in life. Her most recent work she has pushed more abstractly; pulling away from figurative representation. Investigating symbols of change layered in a stronger color palette, Dara Harper is now building upon more of her own memories and experiences; becoming more transparent in her expression. She hopes to develop a more fluid transition of thought and empathy in how she represents change. Dara Harper believes art changes and grows as one does through life. There is no formula, art breathes and lives intrinsically with the person that creates it. For her, art has comforted, pitied, and motivated her. Dara Harper lives her life in color, boldness, and yet humility.
Harper's art is installed across the street from Metropolis Popcorn, Pav's Creamery, and Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop on Front Street, near Portage Trail.