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River Run Mural

Big changes are coming to the nearly 1,000-foot-long floodwall across from RiverScape MetroPark this summer. A colorful, active living-themed design, created by Oakwood resident Amy Deal, has been selected for the River Run mural in downtown Dayton.

"My vision was to approach the project by including what is happening on and near the river, as well as showcasing that our river is healthy with an abundance of beautiful nature and wildlife," said Deal, whose design was among more than 80 submitted. "The bike/running/walking trails in Dayton are spectacular. The impending River Run project is exciting and will only enhance river activity. I also included historical significance by symbolizing the Wright Brother’s Wright Flyer with graphic use of lines, which represent bridges. The circles represent Dayton’s history with bicycles. Dayton is active with cycling, walking, running, rollerblading, canoeing and kayaking to name a few. Dayton has opportunities for everyone."

The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP), Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC), Miami Conservancy District (MCD), and Five Rivers MetroParks led the search for artists/designers to submit ideas to be painted on the 953-foot-long, concrete floodwall on the north side of the Great Miami River.

"The goal of the project is to commission a design that highlights or reveals something unique about the recreational, environmental or aesthetic beauty of the river," said Bear Monita, chair of the design selection committee. "Amy Deal’s design does just that."

River Run Mural Rendering

Production of the mural has begun, and is expected to be completed by the end of September, 2015. Downtown art programming and education services provider K12 Gallery is serving as the contractor, tasked with applying Deal’s design to the floodwall.

"We believe the mural will add to the attractiveness of Dayton’s riverfront and transform our floodwall into a piece of artwork for thousands to enjoy on a daily basis," said Janet Bly, general manager of MCD, the agency managing the Dayton region’s flood protection system since 1915.

The River Run Mural will complement RiverScape River Run, a project that seeks to improve riparian habitat along the Great Miami River by removing dangerous low dams and replacing them 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. A vibrant, thriving center city is crucial to the prosperity of the City of Dayton and Dayton region. The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan calls for building on downtown’s strengths to create the type of bustling city in demand today and to attract the young, talented workforce needed to propel Dayton’s economy.

The River Run mural project began when MCD rehabilitated the 90-year-old wall last fall and is made possible through the support of the CareSource Foundation, The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, and Cox Media Group Ohio.

About the Artist

Amy Deal is a long-standing member of the Dayton art, design, and advertising community. She began working in an entry-level design position at the Icon Group immediately after receiving a BFA in visual communications from Kent State University in 1988. She then spent time at Real Art Design Group as their art director, and began her MBA studies at Wright State University to further her career while moving into a position of marketing manager with an area tech business.

After the birth of her first child 20 years ago, she slowed down to focus on being a mother. Three children later, her youngest is now 16 years old, Amy decided it is time to do what she loves most: painting. Having some recent success in the last few years, she is now painting full-time out of an east Dayton studio.

Amy is a board member with The House of Bread as well as a member of The Wright Memorial Public Library Foundation. She has shown her art at the Rosewood Arts Center, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Visual Arts Center, and Missing Peace Art Space. Currently she is part of the Art Comes Alive show in Cincinnati at Art Design Consultants, and has been invited to show 2 paintings at this year’s Ohio State Fair. Her art can also be seen until the end of June at Java Nation in Celina, Ohio.

"The Dayton arts scene is thriving. The local artists are an expressive, encouraging, inspiring group always finding ways to cultivate and develop the entire community."

Amy Deal