NEWPORT, Ky. — The cities of Newport and Cincinnati are celebrating a local artist's latest project, beautifying where Kentucky and Ohio meet.

The mural on the ‘Purple People Bridge’ is a part of a beautification project along the Ohio river. 

What You Need To Know

  • The mural was a collaborative effort between Grote, meetNKY, Visit Cincy, and the Purple People Bridge Company

  • The mural is a part of a beautification project of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio hoping to increase tourist attraction

  • New Purple People Bridge mural combines iconic symbols from both sides of the river

  • Artist Matthew Grote designed the mural for a few weeks and completed the painting in 12 days

Artist Matt Grote, native of Cincinnati, said he has always loved the view from the 'Purple People Bridge'.   

“You can see Covington and Newport and downtown Cincinnati, obviously," he said. "And it's actually quite peaceful."

The 39-year-old said he’s been painting since childhood and it has provided him a way to connect with people and self express.

“I’ve always just wanted to live a life creating things,” Grote said.

Baseball, music, art and food are a few of the topics shown in the mural to emphasize important things in each state.

“What you’ll see is, is a number of sort of icons and images that represent nature, culture, food achievement, those types of things, you know, artistic expression and everything on the Ohio side has a has a counterpart on the Kentucky side,” said Grote. 

Grote’s mural is titled, “Where We Connect.” The artist was commissioned by MeetNKY and Visit Cincy as part of a beautification project.

Grote shared some of his favorite designs of the mural.

“We’ve got Kentucky bourbon here, which is something that Kentucky has become known for worldwide,” he said. “It’s you have the best bourbons. You’ve got to get them in Bourbon County, right?”

Like Grote, MeetNKY and Visit Cincy strive to beautify the two cities and highlight their unique connections.

“This is all part of a beautification project that we’re doing here as part of the Cincy region and meeting Kay,” said MeetNKY, Director destination Marketing & Communications, Amanda Johanneman.

While Senior Communciations Manager of Visit Cincy, Eileen Osborne said there is a connection.

“We’re really connecting all the way through with the river and everything and with, you know, just kind of some of the things that overlap each other over that state line,” she said.

Grote said he hopes the mural encourages people to take in the scenery.

“I wanted to give them something to remember and to feel joy about as they’re crossing it and they’re spending time in this place. Maybe they can stop and take a couple extra seconds to look around.”