People’s Liberty project grant winner turns basketball court into artscape

Courts of Art, Court No. 1, opening in Eden Park (Photo by Ashley Kempher)

Outdoor court gets a makeover thanks to project grant

The People’s Liberty Project Grant winner turned an idea he had been percolating since 2017 into reality. Clay Brizendine’s lifelong affinity for basketball coupled with his pride in Cincinnati, led the sales and marketing professional to develop the Courts of Art project.

Courts of Art seeks outdoor basketball courts in need of attention and makes them over, transforming not only the playing experience but also the visual experience. While physical upgrades to make the court more playable are mandatory, Courts of Art also uses the surface as a blank canvas to showcase thematic artwork.

The first court Brizendine chose to transform is in the Eden Park reservoir area, located just south of Mirror Lake.

Clay Brizendine of Courts of Art

“Given timing and budget, I knew a single court, versus two or three together, is what we could accommodate,” Brizendine said. “I had an eye for courts that had some concrete or elevation issues, but nothing that was in total disrepair where playing was impossible. Most importantly, there had to be a community around it. Eden Park draws people in from a wide area and so does that court. So while you have Mount Adams as the closest neighborhood, the court hosts players from across the region, too.”

The new court design, developed by local artist Robin Ewers Carnes, depicts historical elements from the park and reservoir area’s 150-year history, some of which can still be seen today.

Courts of Art hosted a free celebration at the Eden Park court after the project’s completion. Guests heard how the park’s history helped inform the design and had a chance to play on the newly finished court.

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