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DAAP Professor Leads Effort to Improve Over-the-Rhine:
Art in the Market Project Also Benefits Young Teens in Community

Date: Sept. 29, 2002
By: Eric Lose
Photos by: Colleen Kelley

In 1990 Frank Russell finished up at Harvard at Graduate School of Design and headed out to a job in Chicago. He took a slight detour on the trip and stop off in his hometown of Cincinnati: twelve years later he's still here.

Frank Russell with one example of Art in the Market

Russell is director of the Community Design Center for the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

He's also the project director for Art in the Market, a partnership project between UC and the Over-the-Rhine community. Art in the Market employs at-risk youth who work with UC students to create public works of art that are installed in the Findlay Market district.

Since Russell helped found the program six ago it has grown from a single summer session to year round, with 20 to 25 teens involved on a quarterly basis. He said the most rewarding part is watching them grow.

2002 participants in Art in the Market

"When they come to us they have an interest, but few have any real background in fine arts. We help develop that interest."

According to Russell the UC students benefit as well. "It allows the kids to have a mentoring relationship and the UC students are exposed to some of the issues the kids are going through in the Over-the-Rhine environment."

Previous Art in the Market project

Art in the Market has installed 22 pieces of Public Art in the neighborhood. "We try to position the works at vehicular and pedestrian gateways like visual markers that draw people towards the market."

Russell hopes Art in the Market becomes a model for other neighborhoods. "They can exploit this type of program for their own community development. It's a benefit to the kids and college students and also creates art in areas that are blighted."

Find out more about Art in the Market.

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