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County considering ArtWorks mural at the Justice Center

Tana Weingartner

An aluminum tile wall in the Hamilton County Justice Center lobby is falling down and ArtWorks has a plan to fix it.

"It's going to cost us the same amount of money to either remediate that wall and paint it white," says Lisa Webb with the county budget office, "or have ArtWorks come in and put a beautiful mural up on the wall."

Webb says the current decorative aluminum tiles are coming off the wall, creating a public safety hazard.

The Sheriff's office, county officials and ArtWorks will soon begin brainstorming ideas to replace the tiles with a painting.

When asked for mural theme ideas, County Commissioner Todd Portune suggested the group talk with people in the county's re-entry program.

"What are their aspirations?" he asked. "And how could they be reflected within the context of a mural in a building that's devoted to justice and the restoration of human beings?"

Sheriff Jim Neil also suggested highlighting Hamilton County's history.

The glass-fronted Justice Center lobby is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. County officials working on the project want something vibrant that can be seen from the street.

If the plan goes forward, it will be part of ArtWorks annual summer program which hires young people to paint murals around town.

The price is estimated at $33,400.