River Run Mural design by Amy Deal of Oakwood. (Source: Contributed)

Oakwood artist selected for Dayton’s River Run Mural

Amy Deal’s proposal chosen for 1,000-foot-long floodwall from 80 submissions

Oakwood artist Amy Deal has been selected to transform the 1,000-foot-long floodwall across from RiverScape MetroPark into a colorful River Run mural.

Collaborating on the summer project are The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP), Miami Conservancy District (MCD), and Five Rivers MetroParks. Dayton’s downtown K12 Gallery will serve as contractor for the three-month creative endeavor that will get underway in July.

The official announcement came Thursday morning when the artist had the opportunity to show off a prototype of her design, one of 80 submissions received. Deal said her goal was to design a mural that would appeal to all age groups and excite both kids and adults.

The 16-foot-tall mural, in muted shades of rust, gray, blues and green, will be created with special concrete paint. Deal said her graphic artwork blends images of what’s happening on and near the river — such as bicycling and jogging. The images showcase “that our river is healthy with an abundance of beautiful nature and wildlife.” There are even references to the Wright Brothers, with subtle designs of bicycle wheels and The Wright Flyer.

The call to submit ideas for the 953-foot-long, concrete floodwall on the north side of the Great Miami River first went out to artists and designers in the fall. Nearly 2,000 community members provided feedback on the finalists on Dayton.com. That community input was one of the factors taken into consideration by the Design Selection Committee.

“RiverScape is a gathering place, and this is another step in making downtown more livable and fun for the community,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

Janet Bly, general manager of the Miami Conservancy District — which owns the flood wall — said it has protected the neighborhood from flooding since 1922. “Now it will continue to do that but be a beautiful new addition to RiverScape, downtown Dayton and the view,” she said.

Deal — a long-standing member of the Dayton art, design, and advertising community — currently paints full-time in her east Dayton studio. She formerly served as art director of the Real Art Design Group and has exhibited at Rosewood Arts Center, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Visual Arts Center and Missing Peace Art Space. She’s part of the Art Comes Alive show in Cincinnati at Art Design Consultants, and will exhibit paintings at this year’s Ohio State Fair. Through the end of June, her art is on display at Java Nation in Celina.

The River Run mural project began when the conservancy district rehabilitated the 90-year-old wall last fall. The River Run Mural will complement RiverScape River Run, a project that will remove dangerous low dams and replacethem with in-river flow control structures that double as recreational paddle sport channels. RiverScape River Run is the signature project of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a multipronged economic development initiative and strategic blueprint for Dayton’s center city, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership. The project was made possible through the support of the CareSource Foundation, The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and Cox Media Group Ohio. Visit www.downtowndayton.org for more information.

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