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Type of Work: mural

Amber Esner is a Cleveland-raised artist with a background in illustration & design. Her works are usually based around things that people say, experiences that make her heart melt, & interactions that make her stomach ache. She really likes screen printing too.

My concept is based around the process of how people deal with loss by letting go of -- or holding onto -- specific objects. Those objects illustrate a visual representation of that relationship, holding emotional significance even after the relationship has ended. The diverse amount of objects give an understanding that each individual has a different experience with the subject. It helps us recognize our individual differences and the way we deal and grow from loss.

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Alan Giberson

Type of Work: mural

Alan Giberson has been painting signs for the past two years. He originally began his trade when painting name plaques for Christmas presents, where he discovered the niche of “sign painting.” Since then, he has been hooked, painting signage for local Cleveland businesses. He feels that while technology can pump out things fast and cheap, hand-painting his work really illustrates his passion for his work. Giberson believes that this can be a lifelong career for him, and can picture himself “slanging a brush around when I’m 70 years old.”

In the book, M.S. Handler, a New York Times reporter, uses the term “noblesse oblige” to describe Malcolm X. Derived from French, the term means “nobility obliges”: that is, the concept of nobility extends beyond mere entitlements, and requires the person who holds such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles.
I chose this term based on both design tactics and its distinctive structure. It is easily readable from the trains, and the French derivatives make it an interesting piece to look at. It is my hope that commuters who see the mural look up the term, and educate themselves on both the literal and figurative translation of the phrase.
I truly believe in what the phrase represents. In today’s society, we see some living by this phrase, and some not. It is a good reminder for those who lead to lead with dignity, and for those who look to those leaders, it is a reminder of the expectations they should have of their peers.

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Aaron De La Cruz

Type of Work: mural

Aaron De La Cruz’s work, though minimal and direct at first, tends to overcome barriers of separation and freely steps in and out of the realms of design, graffiti, and illustration. The parameters he has chosen to work within actually allow him to free himself and react to the very limitations he has created. This overriding structure and the lack of deliberation while moving within creates a tension when encountering his work due to the almost computer-generated grid-like systems he creates by unplanned mark making. The act and the marks themselves are very primal in nature, but tend to take on distinct and sometimes high meanings in the broad range of mediums and contexts they appear in and on. His work finds strengths in the reduction of his interests in life to minimal information. De La Cruz gains from the idea of exclusion; just because you don’t literally see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I decided to use this story as my source of inspiration for a few reasons. Growing up, I battled with learning how to read, so this story reminded me of my hardships during that time in my life. I also reflected on when my parents would speak Spanish around my brother and I, so we wouldn’t know what they were saying, but we eventually caught on. In my design, you can see 12 large black designs. These illustrations are deconstructed letters and represent the black ink of a book, as well as the 12 stairs Sophie talks about in her story. There are also a few commas and periods, as I felt these were strong metaphors on her outlook on life and the advice she was given.