Reporting and writing by Zaïré Talon Daniels
Public artwork has historically been understood as a way for humans to beautify and place value on the landscapes around us. Art helps the community remember the past and build a launch point to the future. Graffiti, on the other hand, is typically associated with vandalism and urban decay.
Local artist Caleb Aronhalt has a different opinion.
Aronhalt was commissioned by Summit Metro Parks to paint a mural on its walking path that is located at the underpass of Kenmore Boulevard and the Towpath beside Summit Lake. Although the Towpath’s bridge across Summit Lake is widely beloved, the underpass is, well, an underpass.
Aronhalt is not new to this task — he has worked on several other murals in the city, following a unique motif of characterized creatures he calls his “minions.”
“Painting murals is one of those hobbies that makes me feel alive,” Aronhalt says.
Aronhalt got his start in the arts at Firestone High School under the leadership of his teacher James Dauphin. “He pushed me and allowed me the freedom to experiment and grow with my art,” Aronhalt says.
Aronhalt has worked with mixed media, screen printing and spray paint.
“[Graffiti] and cartoons have been a huge inspiration for me,” says Aronhalt. “There’s a huge difference between vandalism and graffiti. Putting art in public rejuvenates the community. Bright colors bring people, and art on walls is better than ad space.”
Aronhalt’s 27-figure mural made its debut on Monday, August 31 and below is a list of other murals he’s worked on in the city.
- The North and South corner of Kenmore Blvd and 15th Street
- Art on the right side of Kenmore Automotive. 1554 Kenmore Blvd, Akron, OH 44314
You can find more of Caleb Aronhalts’ work on Instagram @caleb_aronhalt_art .