Trillium starts summer work with sidewalk murals


PORTSMOUTH- Portsmouth’s Trillium Project hit the ground running last weekend after an extensive planning and fundraising season with the first phase on three new mural installations in downtown Portsmouth.

Trillium Project, one of Scioto County’s fastest-growing non-profits only made its name known a few years ago with the mission to provide more equitable public arts projects to the community. The group has done a bit in the warmer months, where they could hit the streets and create opportunities for the community without the hindrance of bad weather. In the colder months, their time has been spent planning and coming up with a massive overhaul in how the community may see art in the future, especially with its massive plan known as Second Glance.

Second Glace wrapped its planning session over winter and Trillium now looks forward to implementing some of that plan as they secure funding to bring plans to life. The only elements left in their plans consist of community meetings for broader input, which the project has been dedicated to since inception.

They’re in the middle of these sessions and they have also begun work, installing new murals in front of Rag and Bone, Smith Drugs, and Patties and Pints. The work is halfway done, with the intention to wrap up these new murals this coming weekend during Serve Day.

Recently the group has been holding fundraisers to keep them moving forward with funding while remaining in the community eye and simultaneously waiting on award notices on submitted grants. Recently, they’ve made big news by receiving a $20,000 grant from WesBanco. They made an even bigger splash by announcing a $50,0000 grant from the Our Town program operated by the National Endowment for the Arts. They’ve also been working hard to fundraise matching dollars and writing for smaller, local grants to keep their work going. The current projects are being funded by Portsmouth Area Ladies and Serve Day 2024.

“We’re incredibly proud of our team and excited for Portsmouth,” Trillium Founder Amanda Lewis said. “It means that the efforts of local champions, post opioid epidemic, aren’t going unnoticed and we’re being recognized by national agencies who are excited about investing in those efforts to support the Portsmouth community.”

Lewis said that sidewalk murals have been in their plans for some time, wishing for a desire to have art in new and unique places.

“We wanted to be able to activate public spaces that aren’t typically thought about, and sidewalks are a great kicking off point. We’re taking a boring space and giving it life while showcasing and supporting local businesses,” Lewis said. “These murals become spaces for curiosity and interaction, and what better place to put them than in front of our favorite local businesses? It’s a great exchange, we get to create more art and the businesses see more patronage at and near their spot.”

Lewis also commented on the viability of the project and the continuation and maintenance of the projects.

“We have a preservation account with funds set aside strictly for supplies to touch up the murals as they wear,” Lewis explained. “That was a great suggestion offered by Charlotte Gordon during our first community forum.”

In addition to the plans for maintenance for the murals, Lewis says that these installations were carefully planned to last. Not only did the group spend much time preparing the pavement and has plans to properly seal the work, but they believe the concrete and low traffic will help.

“We wanted to start with sidewalks because they’re a low cost, high impact project with great durability compared to crosswalks or asphalt art projects,” Lewis explained.

The artists and volunteers currently at work include three lead artists, Amanda Lewis, Klaire Smith, and Fox Nguyen; four assisting artists, Alejandro Ortega, Sydnee Jordan, Edwin Martell and Elliot Cade. Lewis’ six-year-old niece, Rowyn was their youngest member, as she volunteered her time to make art in front of Smith Drugs possible.

Summer is only halfway done, and Lewis says much more is to come from Trillium while the weather is still welcoming of art.

“It’s been a lot of fun and we’re thrilled to finally get paint down around town,” Lewis continued. “We’re going to continue adding sidewalk murals throughout Boneyfiddle and Downtown this summer and our artists are working like crazy, meeting with business owners and tenants to collect wish list items for murals. We’re looking at Portsmouth STEM Academy, Muse 609, and Align Massage Therapy next.”

Lewis recently announced the group was over 25 percent complete on their overall fundraising goal of $388,766. They continue to fundraise and are currently running a split the pot benefit.

Trillium Project is a 501©3 non-profit serving area artists to fund projects that make their craft more visible to the public in exciting and fresh ways. Learn more about their efforts online at The group is also highly dedicated to communicating with the public about their projects, funding status, and artistic opportunities on its Facebook page. For questions, someone may be reached by email at [email protected] or by telephone 740.352.4498.

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