Playhouse Square today announced it has selected two local artists – Nathalie Bermudez and Alicia Vasquez -- to create a mural reflecting its 100th anniversary theme “Together We Shine.” Located in the KeyBank Concourse leading from the Playhouse Square parking garage to the theaters, the 106-foot-long work of art will welcome and inspire visitors, as well as commemorate the celebrated history and bright future of the not-for-profit performing arts center.
“With the addition of Alicia’s and Nathalie’s mural in the KeyBank Concourse, audiences are able to immerse themselves in the arts from the moment they enter Playhouse Square,” said Gina Vernaci, Playhouse Square President and CEO. “The joyful illustrations in this painting give us the opportunity to create a welcoming atmosphere for our guests, shine a light on the incredible talent we have here in Northeast Ohio and celebrate Playhouse Square’s centennial anniversary.”
In July 2022, Playhouse Square issued a request for qualifications for artists living and working in Cuyahoga and the surrounding counties. The organization received a dozen applications, and Bermudez’s and Vasquez’s design was chosen by Playhouse Square staff members and its executive leadership team. Both artists have created other public art around Northeast Ohio, but the mural at Playhouse Square marks their first time collaborating on a project.
Inspired by the diverse community in Cleveland and the power of storytelling for this project, Bermudez and Vasquez centered their concept on unity with the theme “Together We Shine.” As visitors walk through the KeyBank Concourse, they will see a collage of scenes where both artists were able to join their artistic styles and imaginations. Guests will notice one scene of people dancing around a fire, which came from the idea of how storytelling began and how it has changed over time. It also represents the joyful dance and music performances seen at Playhouse Square. The larger-than-life, patterned blue and purple faces represent elements from the Earth working together, while the stars they hold – and are seen throughout the mural -- tie together the piece’s overall theme of “Together We Shine.” The stars also signify the light that each person has and the importance of sharing it with the community.
Painting of the mural will begin on Monday, October 17 and is expected to take approximately two months to complete.