December 2023

ArtWorks Mural at The Hayden Adds Vibrancy to Roebling Point

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Monday December 4, 2023

ArtWorks Mural at The Hayden Adds Vibrancy to Roebling Point

A bright new mural now adorns the perimeter of The Hayden at Roebling Point, a site that was formerly the Kenton County Administration Building and jail at 103 E 3rd Street in Covington, KY. Al. Neyer partnered with Urban Sites on it’s redevelopment, transforming this corner of an area rich in history. The Hayden now stands at 133 apartment units with an amenity suite and 4,000 SF of ground-floor retail space. Wrapping our construction of the project was just the start of the vibrancy that it would bring to the area as residents made the community home. Next, a highly intentional process ensued to determine how a public art installation could serve as a permanent reminder of the neighborhood’s history and culture.

Determining the Design in Partnership with ArtWorks

After evaluating several prospective design partners and receiving guidance from Al. Neyer and Urban Sites leadership, we partnered with ArtWorks, an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. ArtWorks presented us with a selection of three artists and their designs, though initially, none of them quite aligned with our vision. In our continued collaboration, we pressed for a design that was forward-looking and visually stimulating, drawing attention to the site and reminding people, as our CEO, Molly North, said at the time, “of what they can be rather than where they’ve already been”.

After reviewing extensive design inspiration, we requested Christian Dallas, a contemporary painter and muralist who works in Cincinnati, who also created the Electric Avenue ArtWorks mural along the bike trail near Xavier. After formally selecting Christian, we challenged him to create a design that would complement our adaptive reuse project while also tying in aspects of the project location like northern Kentucky, the river, the first thing you see coming off the Roebling Bridge to drive south. We also asked that he impart a sense of whimsy – something fun and slightly quirky.

With that, Christian shared an initial concept that involved a juxtaposition of Northern Kentucky wildflowers and native fish of the Ohio river, also incorporating elements of the concrete wall behind the mural. We loved the design, but the fish were divisive amongst our group – quirky and interesting, but not yet fully hitting the mark. Christian modified the design to remove the fish. Instead, he added midcentury lightbulbs to the composition for a touch of surrealism and golden rod, zinnia, and dahlia flowers. That final design is reflected at the finished mural.

Bringing the Mural to Life

ArtWorks Mural Studio embraced the task of realizing Christian’s design this fall, engaging a team of eight talented artists aged 18–24. The Hayden mural, spanning about 1,200 square feet on adjacent walls, came to life one brushstroke at a time.

“A great thing about ArtWorks is that not only do you get to work on mural projects and paint, but also work in a studio, develop your own portfolio, and grow as an artist while working and being paid,” said Peyton Harshfield, ArtWorks mural studio artist, who worked on the Hayden mural.

ArtWorks’ creativity in action is only possible thanks to partnerships, like this one for The Hayden mural. “Covington has a wonderful creative base, and we are glad that this mural welcomes individuals to the Hayden and to the City as they cross the Roebling Bridge. The mural is the cherry on top of a successful partnership with the City and County,” adds Danny Lipson, Chief Development Officer at Urban Sites, the co-developer and property management company behind The Hayden.

About ArtWorks

Since 1996, ArtWorks has collaborated with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations, and nonprofits to build creative works of art that support the Greater Cincinnati region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks has employed and trained over 3,500 professional artists and 4,000 youth, ages 14–24. Over the past 27 years, this collaborative approach has created a citywide gallery with more than 14,000 public and private art projects, including more than 300 permanent outdoor murals. Learn more about ArtWorks.

Read more about The Hayden development and take a look inside the modern luxury apartment community from the Cincinnati Business Courier.




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