Sunday, July 30, 2000

Park to feature public art

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — By next fall, a new community park just blocks from the Ohio riverfront will have public art that people can sit on, stand on or play on.

        The project, named Covington's Millennium Mosaic, will include seven concrete benches covered with colorful glass tiles. With the help of the community, the mosaic's images will reflect who makes up Northern Kentucky's largest city, and depict its past, present and future, said visiting artist Olivia Gude.

  Learn about Covington's Millennium Mosaic project at a reception.
WHEN: Monday , 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Duveneck Center, 1230 Greenup St. (formerly Klingenberg's Hardware Store).
WHAT: Lead artist Olivia Gude will explain ways the public can be involved in the project and seek ideas for a mosaic theme that represents the community of Covington.
FOR YOUTH: The Covington Community Center is seeking six local high school youths who, for a stipend, will help turn the design into a mosaic.
WHO TO CONTACT: Jean St. John at the Covington Community Center, (859) 491-2220, extension 17, or email “”.
        She will lead Covington Community Center staff and an advisory board of residents, businesses and local institutions in the creation of the Millennium Mosaic.

        “We want these to be user-friendly, something that people will feel comfortable touching, leaning against or sitting on,” she said. “This project is a way for Covington residents to show what being an extended community means to them.”

        The mosaic also will showcase 100 Covington landmarks in the form of clay houses, bridges and churches, all about the thickness of a pancake and 3 to 5 inches in length.

        Residents can suggest ideas for the mosaic, view prototypes of the benches or learn about how to get involved at a reception for Ms. Gude and local assistants Jill Freking and Pete Jaquish.

        The reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Duveneck Center, 1230 Greenup St. While artistic experience is welcomed, it is not required, as training will be provided.

        During the next three months, Ms. Gude, a Chicago-based artist and educator, will help Covington residents design and create the $168,000 mosaic.

        It will be a scene reminiscent of a quilting bee.

        Covington resident volunteers will sit around a table in air-conditioned comfort, getting to know one another and expressing themselves and their sense of community through an artistic endeavor, Ms. Gude said.

        “The arts help community members express how they feel, and what they want from their community,” said Jean St. John, the community center's arts coordinator. “Projects like this let a community tell its own story.”

        The Millennium Mosaic will be part of Park Place Square, a pedestrian park planned for a city block bounded roughly by Greenup, Scott, Third and Fourth streets. The park is scheduled for completion in fall 2001.

        It is a project of the city of Covington, Kenton County and Southbank Partners Inc., a consortium of economic development and government officials improving Covington, Newport and Bellevue.

        Covington recently pledged $500,000 toward the $2 million park.

        Park Place Square also will include reflective pools, textured concrete walkways and a 40- to 75-foot monument topped by a beacon that would be directly across the Ohio River from the future National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.


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