Art Walks in NKY

If you’re looking for something to do on a nice, perhaps chilly day, how about taking a free, self-guided tour of public art in the river cities?

You’ll explore the eclectic urban neighborhoods, discovering beautiful buildings, learning history and examining the world class art on display.

The NKY Art Tours are an initiative of the Public Arts Network, which promotes the arts in Northern Kentucky. You’ll be taken behind the scenes of each art piece, learning about the artist, the imagery and the installation.

Living Mural

On the downtown Covington tour, you’ll visit one of the first “living murals’ in the US. Called Pennies from Heaven, it was painted by a world-famous artist group, The London Police. It depicts a dog spaceship surrounded by characters that the artists call Lads. You’ll learn the identity of the man inside the spaceship and why the living wall component was added.

Pennies from Heaven mural

Captain Greene

Taking the Riverside Drive Statue Tour, at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio Rivers in Covington, you’ll meet Mary B. Greene, the first female licensed riverboat captain on the Ohio. She stands with an instrument called a telegraph, but it’s not the kind used to send a Morse Code message. She was known for her entertaining stories of life on the river and, according to local ghost stories, her influence continued after her death.

Captain Mary B. Greene

Flight of the Garner Family

You’ll walk in the footsteps of historic figures on the Covington Black History Tour, reading stories both uplifting and tragic. Among the tragic is the tale of Peggy Garner and her attempt to escape slavery by walking across the frozen Ohio River. Her flight has been immortalized in a mural on the floodwall near the Roebling Bridge.

Flight of the Garner Family mural

As you view the art on the tours, you’ll come upon many cozy restaurants to grab a meal or a drink. You’ll also discover interesting shops and charming parks along the way. NKY Art Tours are a fun way to spend a day in the river cities.

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