Art Bomb Brigade brings inspirational mural to region


The University of Akron’s Art Bomb Brigade, which has contributed six murals to the greater Akron area since its inception in June 2016, is about to unveil its newest work of art.

Thirteen students from our Myers School of Art participating in Art Bomb’s experiential learning class were charged with generating original mural designs in collaboration with artists and clients from Community Support Services of Summit County (CSS). 

“The collaboration process with my classmates and the clients added a dynamic that defines the idea of coming together for the good of the community, and I was stoked to be a part of the process,” says Danielle Perich, one of the UA student participants.




A public celebration to unveil the mural will be held on Wednesday, May 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Community Support Services, 640 Wolf Ledges Parkway, Akron. Food will be provided by The Square Scullery Food Truck. Music by Chris Miller will be featured at this free event.

The mural project was launched with an arts grant from the John S. and James. L. Knight Foundation by Elisa Gargarella, associate professor of art and art education area coordinator, and Marissa McClellan, a special lecturer in art. Gargarella serves as director of the Art Bomb Brigade, and McClellan is assistant director. 

Aimed at giving students real world learning opportunities, Art Bomb Brigade specifically designs experiences for students to be at the center of public art planning, funding, implementation, community building and outreach. Additional funding from The University of Akron’s EX[L] Center allowed Art Bomb to invite CSS to be part of that same set of creative processes, and to develop plans for a 3,000-square-foot mural.

Working with clients, UA students developed the “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” mural for the whole side of the building on Wolf Ledges, which will be visible to thousands of commuters. Based on a quote by poet Emily Dickinson, the colorful and bright “Hope” mural aims to inspire both clients and local residents to strive toward recovery and let their dreams fly. 




“When I was asked to participate in this project, I was honored,” says Mark Percival, one of the clients from CSS. “To me, it’s about being part of something bigger than me. And to express how CSS has helped me recover.”

Art Bomb is different from other public art projects, says McClellan. “We are an art education program. Working specifically with community organizations, artists and students, the program supports creative leadership and thoughtful design to illuminate spaces around the city.” 

About Art Bomb Brigade 

The mission of the Art Bomb Brigade is to breathe new life into Akron neighborhoods through high impact public art. Local artists to work with University of Akron students to develop and paint the murals. The finished works of art can be seen at Downtown Laundromat, Chill Ice Cream Company, the Akron Sustainer, Echogen Power Systems, the Mill Street Bridge near College Street and the Barberton Library.  

This community arts program is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knights Arts Challenge, GAR Foundation, Community Support Services of Summit County and The University of Akron’s EX[L] Center.


Media contacts: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or, or Elisa Gargarella,, or Marissa McClellan,