This summer ArtWorks brought Antonio Adams, Cedric Michael Cox and twelve apprentices together to create the Raymond Thunder-Sky Legacy Mural for ArtWorks‘ Summer MuralWorks Program 09. For six weeks, project manager Cedric Michael Cox and his team worked on the largest mural in ArtWorks‘ history. The 26’high x 100’ long mural is on the side wall of Visionaries & Voices located at 3841 Spring Grove Ave in Northside.
Above: artist Cedric Michael Cox in front of the mural. Below: V&V artist and mural collaborator Antonio Adams.
Designed by Cincinnati artists Antonio Adams, Bill Ross and Cedric Michael Cox, the Raymond Thunder-Sky Legacy Mural is a tribute to one of Cincinnati’s most loved artists. Raymond Thunder-Sky was one of the founding artists of “Art Thing” which later became known as Visionaries & Voices.
Discovered by Bill Ross in 1999, Raymond was known as the colorful construction clown who traveled around the city of Cincinnati with his hard hat and tool box filled with art supplies and inspiration. Raymond visited construction sites around the city and produced vivid drawings of wrecking balls tearing down local landmarks and buildings. Raymond was a self-taught, or outsider, artist who stood as a champion for all of the outsider artists at Visionaries & Voicess and beyond.
Similar to his colorful drawings, the mural symbolizes deconstruction and rebirth with images depicting the breaking down of the old to make way for the new. Raymond’s love for the circus and the clown lifestyle reminds us that we are all young at heart, and that change should be welcomed and not feared. His artistic vision of a better world and his prolific work ethic is a superior example for every fine artist to follow. Raymond died at age 54 in October of 2004, but his legacy lives on and will be remembered always.
Photo of Antonio Adams by Brandon Farmer. All other photos by Sashia Jenkins.