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South Euclid cans, bags, bottles turn fence into work of art

SOUTH EUCLID — Two women have worked for two years to turn a fence into a work of art for all of the public to enjoy.

Carol Hummel and Debbie Apple-Presser are working for Heights Art, a non-profit responsible for many public works of art in the area. Hummel and Apple-Presser, who are primarily sculptors, are using thousands of milk jugs, plastic bags and soda cans, weaving a summery scenery along two blocks of wire fencing.

The project is called “Fencepiration.”

“The most wonderful thing about this is the community involvement. The pride people have from contributing,” Apple-Presser said. Whole Foods Market donated resources and work space to the artists in their store across the street. The mural is along Cedar Road, near the Cedar Center shopping center, just north of Warrensville Center Road.

The property behind the fence was once home to an old strip mall. Torn down and declared a brownsfield site a few years ago, the property is in the first stages of new construction. When asbestos and dry cleaning chemicals were found to have left pollution after the old shopping center was razed, crews required cleanup before a new center could be developed.

The Coral Company is planning to break ground this fall on a 60,000 square-foot retail space.

In the meantime, Hummel and Apple-Presser have beautified the block for all to enjoy. “People jump out of their cars and hug us. It just really makes you feel good,” Hummel said. The artwork has already weathered one Cleveland winter and will remain on display until construction begins on the new retail center. The artists hope members of the community will want to help find a permanent home for the art pieces once it’s time to take it down.

“Art makes people proud of their communities, and involved in it,” said Hummel.

Heights Art will host a public discussion on the mural Friday, July 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at their facility at Cedar and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.