Saturday, September 14, 2002

Covington points out its neighborhoods

Welcome signs greet visitors

By Cindy Schroeder,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Cincinnati has its seven hills, Covington has its 12 neighborhoods.

        And signs are going up to point them out in all their individuality.

[photo] Artist Jackie Slone with the mosiac sign she built for the Mutter Gottes neighborhood.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Residents of the Austinburg and Mutter Gottes neighborhoods hope new welcome signs being dedicated today will increase neighborhood pride.

        “Hopefully that's the kind of thing these projects will spur — more beautification efforts,” said Jean St. John.

        As director of community arts initiatives at the Covington Community Center, Ms. St. John helped secure funding for the signs from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Louise Taft Semple Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

        She also matched local artists with neighborhood volunteers to create the 2-foot-by-4-foot glass tile mosaic signs. Each sign has an elaborate frame created by Stewart Iron Works.

        Community leaders hope to erect welcome signs in all of Covington's 12 neighborhoods that express interest.

        “I think there's more of a neighborhood identity (with the signs),” said Rick Ludlum, the vice president of the Austinburg Neighborhood Association. “People usually hear about the MainStrasse, Licking Riverside and the Wallace Woods neighborhoods, but the other neighborhoods aren't so well known.”

        Twelve Covington teenagers created the two signs during a workshop at the Frank Duveneck Arts & Cultural Center in Covington. Jackie Slone and Rosemary Topie of the River City Mosaic Public Art Group designed the welcome signs with residents' input and helped coordinate the process, Ms. St. John said.

        “As visitors come in, I hope they think that our neighborhood's special,” Mutter Gottes resident Cid Kamufsaid Friday, as she showed off the new welcome sign at the Triangle, a small island anchored by Craig and West Sixth streets.

        The Mutter Gottes sign, which has a blue background, features brown arches and four pink floral designs reminiscent of the nearby Mother of God Church.

        “We didn't want to copy the church, but we wanted some design element that would represent the neighborhood,” Mrs. Slone said.

        Austinburg's sign features the neighborhood logo of a flower in bloom as its centerpiece, with the neighborhood name in a downward crescent.

        Residents decided to erect the sign on Scott Boulevard at the CSX overpass. .

        Interested Covington youths ages 13 to 17 are being sought for the next sign workshops, which will create signs for the Wallace Woods and Eastside neighborhoods.

        The workshops, which will meet twice a week for eight weeks, will begin Sept. 23.


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