Artists, community to celebrate Edgemont Solar Garden mural together Saturday



A mosaic mural spotlighting the importance of collaborative community engagement will be dedicated during the Greater Edgemont Community Coalition’s Annual Community Festival on Saturday, June 22 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Edgemont Solar Garden Outdoor Classroom and Performance Space, 919 Miami Chapel Road in Dayton.

Spearheaded by Culture Works, Dayton’s local arts agency and united arts fund, and designed with input from the Edgemont community, the mosaic is part of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Creative Placemaking grant project titled Our Town Dayton: The Art of Business, which included a year-long program educating area artists about the business of the arts. In May, Edgemont’s Five Rivers Health Center notably invited artists and members of the community to assist in placing the tiles on the mosaic, further strengthening the bond between the project and the community.

“Culture Works is grateful to bring programs like the NEA’s Our Town Creative Placemaking grant to our region,” said Lisa Hanson, President and CEO of Culture Works. “The beautiful outdoor classroom space with the community-inspired mosaic mural demonstrates how art builds partnerships, expresses our identity, unites the community, and makes our lives more vibrant. I can’t wait to see how this project impacts our community in the future.”



Hanson was also proud of the project thriving on community partnerships.

“Parallax Advanced Research provided an online curriculum module for artist training, and Sinclair Community College provided college credit to participants who submitted a portfolio to review,” Hanson explained. “Messer Construction built the wall and its supports and erected the sun sails. The Greater Edgemont Community Coalition hosted the project by hosting community outreach sessions and even moving dirt.”

Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims also praised the project for its community-centered vision.

“The Culture Works Our Town Dayton Creative Placemaking Project is truly an exciting nexus of artist, neighbors, and organizations aimed at enriching community-centered spaces,” Mims said. “I look forward to the positive impact this project will have on the Edgemont Solar Garden and all who call the neighborhood home.”

Organizers noted the artists asked the community for design input through open discussion, surveys and ideation sessions. The end result symbolizes “the community’s united commitment to growing their food, represented by adinkra symbols and icons symbolizing water as a preservative for plants and all life.”

The adinkra symbols include:

  • Icons symbolizing water as a preservative for plants and all life;
  • Brown hands reaching toward the sky;
  • Sunlight represents hope for the future.

The words “Love poured into dreams. Home, Heart and Soil restored” from a poem written by one of the program’s trainees, are interwoven throughout the mural mosaic.



Edgemont Solar Garden was founded in 1978 through a partnership with City Commissioner Dean Lovelace, Brother Ed Zamierowski from the University of Dayton, and Mattie Davis, an Edgemont resident leader. Their combined efforts transformed a razed factory site on Miami Chapel Road into a neighborhood garden and community center.

In recent years, the Edgemont Solar Garden partnered with Ohio State Extension and Homefull to renovate the greenhouse on the property. The renovation was funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Repairs to the hoop house, construction of raised beds and an update to the electric system were also completed with CDBG funds.

“Culture Works Our Town Dayton is an excellent example of collaboration and art innovation to elevate cultural awareness within the Edgemont neighborhood,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.

For more information about the Edgemont Solar Garden visit,

For more information about Culture Works visit,

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