Northside Transit Center Artwork

At the grand opening of Metro’s Northside Transit Center, Metro unveiled artwork designed by winners of the transit agency’s art contest for Northside residents. The contest was launched to help add a special Northside touch to the center’s design and asked residents to submit designs following the theme, “What does Northside mean to me?”

The artwork is displayed prominently on installations at the transit center’s entrance and exit. The artwork includes:

“Host” by Claire Darley

Since receiving an MFA in painting in 1982 from the University of Iowa, Claire has taught at both the University of Cincinnati (1982-1984) and the Art Academy of Cincinnati (1984-2020). She has maintained a studio in Northside since 1984 and moved to the neighborhood in 1991.

The subject of her painting is a large beech tree within Buttercup Valley Nature Preserve. One of the treasures she loves about Northside is living surrounded by four nature preserves. Of the preserves she says, “The hundreds of thousands of trees here feed and house countless birds, animals and insects, oxygenate, cool and clean our air and sustain our spirits. The shapes, colors, contours of land, and wonders I experience being in 'our' forest have informed my artwork for decades.”

 As a board member of Northside Greenspace Inc., in 2019 she spent 86 hours removing invasives in the Northside preserves. Claire says, “I don’t consider this “activism” as art, but it is motivated by the same source as my artwork: to honor and respect the environment by which we are hosted and blessed.”

“Home” by Matthew Grote

A Cincinnati native, and resident of Northside, Matthew graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Industrial Design and has spent the past 10 years pursuing art professionally. His passion for public art can be seen through his involvement in numerous murals throughout the city. His connections to Northside run deep. According to Matthew, “The Northside Tavern has an old photo on the wall of the same building. At that time it was the original Grote Bakery, my great uncle’s business. On the same block was my grandfather’s business, a produce store.”

Matthew’s work, entitled “Home” is an ode to the vibrancy of the community. He states, “Northside is an open-minded, diverse neighborhood. People can be who they want to here. They live their life in a community that accepts them. The butterfly in the foreground of the painting represents the full spectrum of people that live in this community. The buildings, which I enjoy seeing on my walks, are as beautiful and diverse as the people who live here. Northside is a place where people live, play, work, celebrate, create, congregate, and build futures. It is a community that can best be described as home.”   

“Bussin’ to N*Side” by Shane Hatfield

Shane moved to Cincinnati 10 years ago to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Coupled with heavy study in printmaking, primarily silkscreen, he has produced figurative works of art featuring bold designs and collage elements.

Shane both lives and works in Northside and rides the Metro to work every day. He says of the neighborhood, “I love being in Northside, where I can dig through crates at the record store and pop next door for lunch before strolling around town with my dog. It’s a community full of friendly people who love coffee and beer and pizza. You can run around with your kids in the park, or get together with your pals to hike through the woods. Northside is a community with quirks, and I call it home.”

Shane’s piece entitled, “Bussin’ to N*Side” represents the local businesses and attractions that bring people to Northside by way of the Metro. Of his work he says, “I wanted the image to be fun and loose and be like a collection of stickers on a skateboard or a laptop, showing pride for my neighborhood.”

“Great Aunt Pat” by Amanda Nurre

Amanda Nurre was born and raised in Cincinnati and moved to Northside in 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 and has been an active artist focused on painting, drawing, and stained glass ever since.

“Great Aunt Pat” is a mixed media piece, comprised of chalk pastel, ink, pencil and watercolor on paper. It was completed in early February 2016, just before the passing of the woman featured, her Great Aunt Pat. Amanda says of her Great Aunt, “Pat was our eccentric and very dedicated babysitter when my parents were away at work. Pat spent many years of her life living independently in Northside where she renovated a house on Witler Street. Her favorite bakery was Bonomoni, and she used to bring over boxes of their donuts for my siblings and me to share. Pat embodied many of the qualities I’ve encountered in fellow Northsiders—she was stubborn and opinionated, interested in art, passionate about reading and loved her dog (a Welsh Corgi named Betsy). She introduced me to jazz and Bob Dylan, opera music and Greek dancing through her extensive record collection. She loved to bake stuffed peppers, to care for young children, and argue about everything—from parenting techniques to my choice of boyfriend.”

“Mind of Northside” by Zosia Vogan

At 11 years old, Zosia has been a Northside resident her whole life. She lives with her mom, dad, younger sister, older brother, and two dogs. Zosia really enjoys school and has been a Montessori student since age three. When she’s not in class, Zosia enjoys riding horses, ballet, and playing with her siblings. Her favorite animals are ferrets, horses, and kelpies. Kelpies are mythological water dwelling horses made out of seaweed.

Zosia’s piece was inspired by her experiences growing up in Northside and the many changes she has witnessed. About her piece entitled, “Mind of Northside” she states, “Since I have lived here for so long, I have seen the many changes that have been made, good ones and less important ones. But they all are a part of this amazing place that we call Northside. In my drawing I have included some of the things that describe Northside. This includes fun—for all the different places we can go, diverse—for all the different people we have living here, and walkable—for all the places you can walk to and paths.”

Learn more about the Northside Transit Center and the new amenities it offers riders.