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Thursday, October 25, 2018

City Club of Cleveland Unveils New Mural at Cleveland Metropolitan School District New Tech Collinwood

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge christopher_darling.png
It’s Free Speech Week, and to honor the national event, the City Club of Cleveland has commissioned three original murals by local artists to be placed throughout Cleveland for its Freedom of Speech Mural Project. Created by the late Christopher Darling, the second mural was just installed at Cleveland Metropolitan School District New Tech Collinwood.

Inspired by Neolithic Period cave drawings and current graphic novels, Darling decided to take a sequential and narrative approach to this mural.

“By drawing color from the original Elmer Brown mural and incorporating shades of the lake and city parks, I’ve developed a palette at looks both contemporary and nostalgic for the turn of the century,” says Darling in an artist’s statement.

The story is told in three parts.

“First is dialogue—the foundation of the City Club’s work," says Darling. "The burning earth from Brown’s original mural is restored and Elmer Brown takes center stage in the story. The second story is intended to reflect Cleveland’s great diversity and the importance of engaging people of all ages, races and genders to bring their voices to the conversation in order to strengthen our democracy. The final story is more metaphorical. Democracy is the bedrock of our country, symbolized with a pillar, our flag, and a liberty bell, and I placed myself in the bottom as a participant in democracy. The woman in the center is holding documents representing the rules, regulations, and institutions of the past that are falling into obscurity to make way for a new, bright future.

City Club CEO Dan Moulthrop says the mural project reflects the City Club's commitment to promoting free speech at a time when it's come under fire.

“Every week we invite audiences and speakers to participate in civil, civic dialogue because we believe having a place dedicated to the practice of free speech deepens our understanding of each other and strengthens our democracy," says Moulthrop. "Each of these artists has interpreted our mission in their own voice and from their personal experience to create a visual representation of the challenge and privilege of our right to free speech.”

The third art installation by Donald Black, Jr. will be completed in the coming weeks and installed at the Harvey Rice branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

The first mural in the series is already displayed outside Bonfoey Gallery in Playhouse Square.

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