Art lovers, have you spotted the city’s newest mural?
Louise Vermeil, a senior at Loveland High School, has designed and painted a mural along West Loveland Avenue near Village Anniversary Park. The mural, located on a sidewalk retaining wall, features Loveland landmarks such as the Little Miami River, Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail, Château Laroche (Loveland Castle), Historic Downtown, and the water tower.
The main design of the mural is complete. This This spring, once the weather warms, Vermeil will add a few finishing touches — like bikes and kayaks.
Onlookers will note the mural is painted in rich, eye-catching primary colors chosen by Vermeil for their whimsical tone — “I like to use softer colors in my work to make the design assimilate to the space as much as possible. I want people to see the trees and park around the mural without being distracted by the design.”
Vermeil approached the city with her design in Summer 2022. With city administration’s approval, she then presented her idea to the city’s Arts Commission. Public Works washed the wall to prepare it for painting. Paint was purchased locally by the city through Ace Hardware, 675 Loveland-Madeira Road.
“Ms. Vermeil’s initiative to undertake a large beautification project on her own was impressive. We were delighted with her design that features scenes from the Loveland area. This mural is a welcome refresh for pedestrians and drivers as they travel along West Loveland Avenue,” said David Kennedy, Loveland City Manager.
Vermeil explained that she has always wanted to paint a mural: “One day I decided on a location in Loveland that needed some updating and drafted a design for the wall. I wanted something that said ‘Loveland’ while also being undeniably a ‘Louise’ design. Most of my work and illustration is whimsical with larger shapes and primary inspired colors, and I think that’s reflected in the design.”
In November 2022, Vermeil began drawing the design, mostly after school and on the weekends. With the help of volunteers, the design was painted. She estimates the mural was completed 90% by freehand.
“Most of it was just me laying out the design as I went along, rather than sketching everything out at once. I tried to outline shapes so my painting volunteers could fill in the colors,” she explained.
What was the hardest part of the mural? Vermeil said it was simply finding the time in her busy school and work schedule. She credits her team of painting volunteers for helping her complete the mural’s main design — “I was really lucky to have some good weather and a relatively seamless process!”
A talented artist, Vermeil enjoys sculpting, illustration, and design. She owns her own business, Louise Vermeil Designs, where she primarily sells pottery. Upon graduation, Vermeil plans to move to Washington DC for college, while continuing to grow her business.
This marks the third instance since the early 2000s that the West Loveland Avenue mural has been painted. Each time, it has been painted by Loveland High School students. The Arts Commission hopes to continue to work with local students in the future on this community art project.