Typical “welcome to the neighborhood” gifts can come in all shapes, sizes and forms – from a pie or plate of cookies to a fruit basket or even a small potted plant. In rare cases, it can also mean adorning the entry-level walls in a neighbor’s new office building with artwork, as in the case of the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), who has done just that for new neighbor Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC).

Although 3CDC moved into its new home at 1203 Walnut Street in December 2014, the renovated building was not fully completed at the time of the move. A number of office spaces still needed to be built out, and 3CDC still had a few walls that needed decorating in order to liven the organization’s new workspace. One such space was the white-walled entry to the office, whose only color at the time of the move was the 3CDC logo, hanging in large letters along the back wall.

Looking to remedy the problem this spring, a member of the 3CDC development team offered a large wall in the ground-level entryway of the 3CDC office building to the organization’s new neighbor, the AAC (located right around the block at 1212 Jackson Street), for the display of student artwork. 3CDC’s plan was to rotate in new work on a quarterly basis, and the thinking was that the collaboration would be mutually beneficial – real world experience for AAC students, and vibrant, ever-changing, artwork to brighten 3CDC’s entryway.

“As a Professor, I believe that our students should be, and are, prepared to leave school and immediately begin to practice as professionals in the real world,” said Keith Benjamin, the AAC professor tasked with choosing which student’s artwork would be displayed. “This new connection to 3CDC will add to the list of opportunities that our students benefit from to refine their skills while still in school.”

In collaboration with Galen Crawford, AAC Director of Student Services, Benjamin recommended Senior painting major, Brian Cobb (AAC ’15) to be the first AAC student to exhibit his work in the 3CDC entryway. Today, those entering 3CDC’s new office are greeted with five of Cobb’s vivid paintings as they make their way to the elevator, offering the recent graduate a showcase for his work, and providing 3CDC employees and visitors with something other than a plain white wall to look at as they arrive at the building.

“My hope is that this partnership will continue so that many more students can benefit from the experience,” Benjamin said. “I also hope that 3CDC benefits from the exposure to the intense creativity happening on the other side of the block.”

Catch the interview of the artist Brian Cobb (AAC ’15) on Local 12’s Newsmakers this Sunday at 6:00 a.m.

Content in this post was provided by 3CDC. The Art Academy does not own any copy deriving there from.