Artists with disabilities use Hamilton's fire hydrants as canvases


    Fire hydrants on High Street in Hamilton are being used as canvases for a group of extraordinary artists. (WKRC)

    HAMILTON, Ohio (WKRC) - Fire hydrants on High Street in Hamilton are being used as canvases for a group of extraordinary artists.

    There's always something happening at Inside Out Studio. It's a place where there are no limits for artists like Liz Pfeiffer.

    "I get to be myself. I'm an artist, so yes, this is how I get to be myself a lot," Pfeiffer said.

    Allison Davis also uses the studio. She's finishing a commissioned painting.

    "The staff is awesome too. They really encourage me to step out of my comfort zone," Davis said.

    The art studio for adults with disabilities has been around in some form in Butler County for more than 10 years.

    "Being around here I get to make new friends," said Pfeiffer.

    Now centralized, it's a place to create and showcase artistic abilities. The pieces are also for sale. The artists keep half the money; the other half buys more supplies.

    Here in the studio is where the creativity begins but not where it ends. After the artwork is finished, it comes out to the gallery. Paintings, mugs, glassware -- it's all for sale. But there's more outside the studio.

    On the streets of Hamilton, you may have noticed colorful fire hydrants. They're all painted by the artists from the Inside Out Studio.

    "It made me feel really good that people with disabilities can go out and enjoy the community and [be] able to help the community look nice," said Davis.

    The hydrant art got the city's blessing as a way to give the streets a little pop of color. Most of them are on or off of High Street. Some have flowers, others stars and waves. There's even a hamburger and french fry hydrant by the McDonald's.

    "The community loved them; the city loved them, so they wanted to move forward with the project," said Inside Out Studio's art education coordinator, Stephen Smith.

    In 2017, 28 hydrants got a new paint job. In the summer of 2018, nine more in the Lindenwald neighborhood were painted.

    "That is really cool to me; that is awesome to go past them and be like, 'Oh yeah, we did those,'" said Davis.

    There's a little more than 300 fire hydrants in the city. Click here to learn more about Inside Out Studio.

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