Cincinnati is an incredible place to discover art that tells a story about the city’s past while creating a bright image of its future through murals and street art. On the Eastern side of town you can find yourself on an adventure through a tunnel of paintings that give a glimpse of Cincinnati’s train history! A few artists have collaborated to transform this area into a thriving location for art that celebrates the River City’s timeline.
Connecting Walworth Avenue and Riverside Drive is a historic pedestrian tunnel, called the “Walworth Junction”. This pathway is filled with detailed murals depicting old railyard scenes, including portraits of conductors, and life in Ohio during the 1900’s. The site for Walworth Junction was formerly the Pendleton Yard and was built in 1917. This was a connection stop used for transportation to and from the City of Cincinnati. This stop was in operation as a switch station that was used to link Cincinnati to many other railroads throughout the country. The fascinating artwork in this enchanting tunnel was done by Brian Beck, a local creator that studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He seeks to teach art and continues to make amazing pieces all over town! With the help of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati, Brian gave this pathway a complete makeover that tells a story and gives educational insight to the history of trains in the Queen City.
We asked Brain if he could share something about his experience working on this project and this is what he had to say, “Last year I was honored to work with Thomas Ackermann and East End Development at Homearama’s 2020 location at Walworth Junction Pendleton Yard. This project was particularly interesting to me as the concept of the project was to incorporate the railway and train station history of East End and implementing my style of work into the project. I found myself immersed in the history of the location site and wanted to portray this history to the residents of the new development. I brought on two other local artists to accompany me through the project: Jim Conroy and David Michael Beck. The mural starts at the face the stairwell on Walworth Ave. and continues through the tunnel underneath the original train tracks connecting to Riverside Drive.”
Another muralist that has recently added his artistic flare to the Walworth Junction Tunnel is Joshua Stout. He enhanced the Riverside Drive entrance of the tunnel with a groovy design that beckons you into the tunnel of art! In an effort to beautify Cincinnati, Joshua makes neighborhood based murals that give a joyful sense of the community. His work is charming and fun with a whimsical element that makes you smile with delight. Take a short walk down the street to view his playful flying pigs that are a part of his “East End” mural that depicts elements of Cincinnati’s classic imagery! When we talked to Joshua about his art he said, “I try to make work that makes people happy and is inclusive no matter who you are. I like to add bright colors to unexpected areas as a way of helping beautify communities.”
Eli’s Barbeque is also within walking distance if you want to grab a bite to eat after exploring the nearby art! This local favorite is one of the best places in the area to get delicious smoked barbecue and enjoy outdoor seating with their picnic garden aesthetic. https://www.elisbarbeque.com/
The East Side of Cincinnati has so much art and history that each time you visit you will discover something new and interesting about the area that will make you want to come back for more!