ArtsWorks creating mandala-inspired mural at Esoteric Brewing

A new mural coming to Walnut Hills aims to add a pop of color and culture to the façade of Esoteric Brewing Co. at Paramount Square.

The project is a collaboration between the brewery, ArtWorks and Model Group, the property development and management company.

The mandala-inspired look of the mural came from the creative mind of visual and community artist Radha Lakshmi. An East Walnut Hills resident, Lakshmi’s design reflects aspects of her personal cultural identity, and aims to promote diversity and community togetherness.

Rendering of ArtWorks mural at Esoteric Brewing Co.
A rendering of the mural

Born and raised in India, Lakshmi primarily practices the art of kolam and mandala, a ritual art form traditionally composed of an ornate, abstract design. They typically have a circular or geometric form.

Mandala, a Sanskrit word for circle or completion, has a long history and is recognized for its deep abstract spiritual meaning and representation of wholeness. 

Lakshmi is working closely with a team of youth apprentices, ages 16 to 21, to bring her vision to life. The eight apprentices are working alongside teaching artists Thomas Osorio and Hanna Smith.

Radha Lakshmi

So far, the work has focused on priming and gridding the wall on East McMillian Street to prepare it for painting. They expect to complete painting it by the end of October.

The mission of promoting diversity aligns with the mission of Esoteric’s founders, Marvin Abrinica and brewer Brian Jackson.

When it opened in 2020, Esoteric became Cincinnati’s first minority-owned and operated brewery. In addition to making great beer, the team aimed to highlight the diversity and resurgence of the Walnut Hills neighborhood.

To promote the mural project, Esoteric plans to make Lakshmi’s design the label for its 32-ounce crowler jugs. Esoteric is also inviting patrons to contribute to the cause, offering opportunities to donate, alongside hosting special events and happy hours dedicated to fundraising for the mural.

“Esoteric Brewing Co. has always been dedicated to celebrating diversity and community, and this mural perfectly embodies our commitment to those values,” Abrinica said. “We can’t wait to see the vibrant colors and intricate design come together, welcoming residents and visitors with open arms.”

ArtWorks considers this a “gateway mural” to Walnut Hills given its prominent location at historic Peebles Corner at the intersection of Gilbert Avenue and McMillan Street. This is the fourth mural created by ArtWorks in Walnut Hills since 2021. The collection includes works by Kathryne Gardette, April Sunami, and Mz. Icar.

The mural collection is part of ArtWorks’ community engagement planning strategy and a partnership with the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. ArtWorks recently relocated its headquarters to Gilbert Avenue.

Over the past 27 years, ArtWorks has led the way on the creation of more than 300 permanent outdoor murals across the Greater Cincinnati region.

ArtWorks Cincinnati

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