Mural welcoming all to the Oregon District to be unveiled Saturday

The Oregon District Bridge Mural designed and painted by Dayton native, Dave Scott, alongside muralists B.K Elias, Lydia Williamson, and a host of volunteers has been completed. CONTRIBUTED
The Oregon District Bridge Mural designed and painted by Dayton native, Dave Scott, alongside muralists B.K Elias, Lydia Williamson, and a host of volunteers has been completed. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The bridge that welcomes countless visitors to the Oregon District has a new look that will be revealed this weekend.

Dave Scott was the local artist hired by the Oregon District to breathe, or paint, life into the bridge on East Fifth Street, between Smokin-Bar-B-Que and Arby’s. Scott, alongside muralists B.K Elias, Lydia Williamson and a host of volunteers, began working on the mural in September.

ExploreVibrant mural underway on Oregon District bridge

The vision and execution of the mural will be unveiled during a celebration on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees are asked to meet on the sidewalks of the entrance to the Oregon District on East Fifth Street.

Wearing a mask and social distancing will be required at Saturday’s celebration. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The bridge project has been something the Oregon District Business Association (ODBA) has hoped for for nearly a decade, and has been a priority for the association for the last two years.

This mural project is part of a broader strategy of the ODBA and will help provide accessibility to art and creative expression without barriers, according to an ODBA release.

“I think the new mural will continue to strengthen the Oregon District’s distinctive identity,” said Oregon District Business Association treasurer Natalie Skilliter. “It’s a spectacular gateway to the district and I hope it’s a visual cue for our guests to let them know that they’re approach a place that is very special.”

ExploreNonprofit opens free grocery store on North Dixie Drive

The project was spearheaded and brought to fruition by Dana Graham, elected to the ODBA Board in 2020.

“With this opportunity to co-manage the bridge mural project, I was excited that the ODBA could provide the platform to highlight the work of underrepresented talent and see their work shine on what will become an iconic Dayton landmark,” Graham said. “Dave Scott is an incredibly talented artist and we are so in love with his mural.”

Scott is a Trotwood native who says he considers himself a minimalist and takes a simplistic approach to his work.

Scott’s style is to use color to express emotion.

“The mural to me is a symbol of artistic freedom,” Scott said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have done this, and I appreciate everyone that helped me complete it. The mural is a huge milestone for my career. With it only being my second mural, it takes me to that next level and I’m excited to see what’s next. I hope it brings new life to people in the Oregon District and inspires them in ways I can’t even fathom.”

An important aspect of the district’s latest mural was to have a Black artist spearhead the project and bring along other artists in Dayton’s Black and Brown art community, according to Graham.

Lead mural artist, Dave Scott and a volunteer, get started on what will be the Oregon District bridge mural.
Lead mural artist, Dave Scott and a volunteer, get started on what will be the Oregon District bridge mural.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

“It’s important to know that the creative community of Black and Brown and other minority identities, especially those of the millennial generation, have always been abundant in the city of Dayton," Graham said. “We’ve contributed to different artistic eras, political movements, community re-shaping, and entrepreneurial landscapes. The painting of the Oregon District bridge is just another great example of that influence that will continue building the culture of our city.”

The president of the ODBA, Kyle Babirad, said Scott and Graham assembled a team that truly represented Dayton.

“This mural has been in the works for such a long time. It was important to our (ODBA) board to create a spectacular entrance and gateway into the district that represented the vibrancy of our businesses and of our residential neighborhood," Babirad said.

In Other News