23 October 2020 // JRA Culture

Community Building by Design – Tony Schmidt’s Tale of a Trail and an Ale

As you may have noticed in our recent #FeelGoodFridays video, we love Cincinnati! We love it even more when we can give back to the community we’ve called home for over 30 years. Recently, JRA Art Director, Tony Schmidt, had the opportunity to do just that, lending his time and talents to a local cause – and a local brewery. Here’s his story!

Blazing a Path

About a year ago, I was looking to get involved with my neighborhood of Mariemont, and a neighbor told me about the Murray Path Project. The Murray Path Project is a grassroots effort to extend a multi-purpose path along an old trolley line. I offered to volunteer my support as a designer, which led to several renderings and graphic identity. Recently, the project gained new momentum, which resulted in me teaming up with a local landscape architect and fellow Mariemont resident. The collaboration has been great fun, and I feel that I am directly influencing the appeal and services available within our community.

Tony Schmidt 50 West

Tony’s Murray Path logo

Development for the Murray Path shares enthusiasm across Cincinnati, where several other projects are underway. The hope is to eventually connect all of these paths for continuous routes across Cincinnati and beyond. Additionally, Murray Road has been on the Flying Pig Marathon route, so it will be a grand feeling of accomplishment to watch race participants navigate this path with all of its fresh new landscaping as they make their way through my neighborhood.

Cheers to Progress

The Fifty West Brewing Company has been actively involved with the Great Parks organization, which is responsible for many of the trails around Cincinnati. While at a Mariemont Council meeting to discuss the Murray Path Project, several of my renderings were strewn across the Mayor’s table. A guy was standing over the table during a break and asked, “Who did these renderings?” His name was Bobby Slattery, and he is the Co-Owner of Fifty West Brewing along with his dad, Bob Slattery.

Tony Schmidt Fifty West

Fifty West Brewing Company expansion

The Burger Bar at 50W

Bobby was interested in an expansion of 50W that included an outdoor beer garden with fire pits, coffee shop, storage facility and opportunities for live entertainment–all of which connected to a new paved path to run behind the brewery along the Little Miami River (since built). Additionally, they were taking over a former Italian restaurant to convert into the 50W Burger Bar, and they wanted to re-theme the exterior to the 50W brand language. I helped Bobby and the 50W team to develop a preliminary master plan, renderings and 3D model of the campus. Much of those early visuals are a result of what you see installed today. The project was super fun.

50W Beer Garden

On October 21st, 2020, there was a fundraiser at 50W on behalf of the Murray Path Project. 50W recently developed a short run beer called “On Your Left” Pale Ale (only available at the brewery), which includes the Murray Path logo I designed. Proceeds from purchases of the beer benefit the Murray Path project. A 4ft x 6ft banner of one of my renderings was developed and on display (see featured image). Car magnets and yard signs of my designs are frequently on display throughout Mariemont.

“On Your Left” Pale Ale, complete with Tony’s Murray Path logo

It was a privilege to be able to support these worthwhile community development projects, and the perks weren’t bad, either. Cheers!

Tony Schmidt Fifty West

Tony Schmidt enjoys the fruits (hops?) of his labor.