Summer Jam 2018 is all about the Hilltop Rising! Similar to many urban neighborhoods, as jobs left the area poverty took their place. The foundation set by the community remains, but the area has lost many residents and some of its major employers, causing a slow decline over recent years. The name of this area derives from Lucas Sullivant, who was first deeded this land. For a time the area was known as “Sullivant’s Hill” and as time went on the ownership of the land was transferred the name changed to the Hilltop. Summer Jam West, has added art and sculpture to the neighborhood each year (see our past years’ Summer Jam West Blogs. In just 4 shour years Summer Jam has installed 3 major pieces of artwork on the Hilltop: ONTHE WINGS OF CHANGE A SCULPTURE, THE FANTASTIC FOOD GARDEN, a mural and the MOVIN’ AND GROOVIN’ mural. This year a MAJOR art installation will be a sculpture depicting the artist’s vision of HILLTOP RISING! It is of a Phoenix which symbolizes the Hilltop rising from the ashes. The sculpture allows for an interactive experience, inviting the viewer to walk between the unfolding wings.
The reader should visit two Hilltop sculptures that PFW has had sponsorship interest in. The first sculpture created by Alfred Tibor called THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE tells the story of Arthur Boke Jr. who was the first African-American resident of Franklinton, Ohio. His story tells far more than the color of his skin. It is a story of love, selflessness, compassion, and understanding expressed by Sarah Sullivant. Her example reaches out to humanity with a mother’s pure love that accepts all human beings as equal, who share each other’s burdens, listen to each other’s stories, and learn what it is to live in harmony.
In 1803, Sarah had just given birth to a son. Several days later she found at her doorstep the abandoned baby of her house maid, who was “her slave” in Kentucky but gained her freedom when she moved to Ohio to work in the Sullivant household. It is what happened next that lifts the story into the rare. Sarah, filled with the love for her own new-born son, could not bear to leave the abandoned baby without help. Urged on by a humanity very seldom seen very seldom seen in those days, she took the baby, and along with her own new son, nursed both to a strong and healthy childhood.
The second sculpture that PFW also helped sponsor on West Broad is of a sculpture of the now extinct Woodlands Bison – which was native to Ohio – that was created by environmental artist, Jim Swain, in memory of 14 year old, Amanda Kirin who was shot dead in her Franklinton neighborhood on Dana Avenue in August 2014. “Police don’t believe Kirwin was the intended target of the shooter…. Friends of Kirwin say the teen didn’t deserve to die. A friend of Amanda…says she doesn’t want to remember her friend for how she was taken from her life, but rather how Kirwin lived her life. She was outgoing (and) funny. She always knew how to keep a smile on her face. Following the murder tearful neighbors raked away debris and weeds replacing the ugliness with flowers, teddy bears, and candles.” HER CLASSMATES AT THE FRANKLINTON PREP SCHOOL FOUNDED THE DANA AMBASSADOR PROGRAM TO CONTINUE TO REMOVE LITTER FROM DANA AVENUE. This goal will be continued as the Franklinton Board of Trade’s project of the sculpture will be built using a metal skin with diamond shape openings that allow viewers to see inside of the sculpture, which will be filled with trash from Dana Avenue. The goal of the sculpture was to partner with local organizations to raise awareness and inspire action together! This sculpture will create more opportunities for people to get involved to protect the environment! Environmental Sculptures provide a great way to engage citizens and increase involvement for community cleanups that also may help to limit crime.