Public art

This scene, painted by Makind Murals, can be seen along the northern edge of downtown Mansfield. There is a trend of public art blossoming in communities. Can Mansfield take better advantage of budding local talents yearning to strut their skills?

MANSFIELD — The Richland Community Development Group Art Sector is leading a public art initiative in downtown Mansfield.

The project will be funded by various businesses and organizations with a 50% matching grant from the Richland County Foundation as part of its Mansfield Rising Project.

During this public art initiative in downtown Mansfield, up to $50,000 in matching funds will be made available to businesses, nonprofits, and sponsors to help in funding the creation of art in a variety of methods, including traditional painted murals, installed artistic wallscapes, window art, as well as temporary and permanent public art on visible walls and surfaces.

Organizations and artists in the area are encouraged to apply to take part in this transformative and revitalizing effort to beautify and create impact in downtown through art. The artists and organizations who apply for matching funding for public art projects will be vetted by a panel of local individuals.

All local artists that have examples of visual art, photography, and graphic arts are encouraged to apply. Organizations may participate outside the designated area of the Mansfield Rising Plan, and may still be matched with an artist for any project, although projects that can receive matching funding are designated within 1st to 5th Street and Adams to Bowman Street area in Mansfield.

Organizers stated that public art has many significant contributions to a community, in its many art forms, and public visual art is both a feasible outcome and already gaining a renewed momentum in downtown Mansfield.

It is hoped that this Public Art Initiative through the Mansfield Rising Plan will help to stimulate the economic advantages of art, and hopes to drive forward the inspiration of the community.



CONTACT: Suzanna Hammond, President of the Mansfield Art Sector of RCDG at

Artistic Methods

A variety of methods and diversity are encouraged to achieve public art in this initiative. Matching funding is specified for artwork only, and not specific to branding or advertising.

Existing artwork in downtown Mansfield and revitalization mural work is encouraged. Recent revitalization efforts such as the painted Train Mural on State Route 13, Main Street Mansfield were completed by volunteers of local nonprofit Mankind Murals Inc. The original mural was created by muralists in Mansfield, in 1977.

There are a number of buildings in downtown that have mural restoration potential, as well as viable space for vibrant new mural concepts and public art ideas.

One local method for exterior art installations can be a game-changer for the community. Wallscapes by Lind SignSpring Group provides local engineering pioneered in Richland County by Lind with experience in billboards and wallscapes as both a product and an independent billboard operator.

Vinyl banner artwork can be tensioned by patented SignSpring, spring and hook technology, can be scaled to any size, and makes an interchangeable option for artwork on a seasonal basis.

Current examples of this method are located as public art installations at a Shawshank Redemption film location at KV Market designed by artist Robin Shoup, as well as the Story of the Library designed by artist Ruthie Akuchie located inside the Mansfield Richland County Public Library.

Both permanent and temporary art in downtown can receive matching funding and can include: paved areas for asphalt artwork, window painting, stenciled artwork both permanent and temporary methods, Rainworks, urban artwork, creative use of blighted walls as well as exterior pipes and fixtures, artwork integrated with blooming plants, with as well as artwork integrated within Mansfield parks such as Central Park.

Artists are encouraged to take part in two additional seasons of artwork for the Art in the Park initiative which will move forward and be commissioned by artists themed and inspired by Our Performing Arts, and Wintertime in Mansfield.

About the Mansfield Rising Project

In 2018, the Richland County Foundation leadership took an unusual track to develop an investment strategy for downtown Mansfield. Instead of hiring a professional consulting firm, it had a resident-led group create the plan.

The Foundation turned regular residents into consultants which gives depth and authenticity to the plan. It provides a road map for projects and opportunities for partnerships to continue the renaissance of Mansfield.

The vision is for Mansfield to become an optimal place to conduct business, gather and live. This vision can be achieved through five key areas: effective land use, wayfinding, technical assistance for business, branding and marketing, and safety.

The Guiding Principles of the plan are downtown is everyone’s neighborhood, big city amenities with a small-town feel, sustainable change happens incrementally and place-making is economic development.

This is a plan for any organization, business, resident, or group looking to get involved. To be successful, this must be a comprehensive effort.

Costs range from sweat equity to millions of dollars. The Foundation will continue to lead, convene, guide, and fund efforts that support this plan. It will be implemented at various speeds and through various organizations with a result of a better downtown.

To read the plan, visit, click “Community Impact” then the “Mansfield Rising” tab.

About the Richland County Foundation

The Richland County Foundation, a not-for-profit 501c3, was established in 1945 as a way for individuals to pool and invest their gifts for the long-term good of Richland County and its residents.

The Foundation helps people in Richland County give back to their community by investing their gifts for charity wisely so that grants can be made to improve the quality of life for all the county’s residents.

Working together with donors, the Foundation meets important needs today and plans for a strong future.

For more information on the Richland County Foundation, contact Maura Teynor, chief advancement officer, 419-525-3020

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