Storybook comes alive


Heather Storer says it is partly because of the lessons she learned at Hillsboro High School that she was able to help design a display that will be featured Oct. 12-15 at BLINK in Cincinnati.

BLINK is a four-day light and art event spanning 20 city blocks, from Cincinnati’s Banks to Findlay Market. Through an immersive and magical experience, a news release said, BLINK will define the city as an innovative, inclusive and creative future city.

“I took art classes all through elementary school and high school. Avery Applegate was my art teacher at Hillsboro, so she really got me excited about art from a young age,” said Storer, who studied interior design as an undergraduate at Miami University and earned a master’s degree in graphic design from Ohio University.

These days she works for BHDP Architects, an interdisciplinary architectural firm in Cincinnati that does corporate, retail and higher education design.

“I’m an environmental graphic designer, so we tell brand stories within the spaces we design,” Storer said. “We submitted a couple of different designs on behalf of our firm, but the one that was selected is our storybook concept, and that was for in front of the public library downtown, so we started by taking a tour of the city at night with our designers and looked at a few of the locations that had been designated by the BLINK team.

“I was inspired by the library. I thought it would be a magical experience where you step inside a storybook, so the library seemed like the appropriate place for that. Our installation is this a larger-than-life storybook that has shapes and silhouettes and things coming out of it, and characters that will be walking around.”

The display Storer helped design is titled “Storybook,” and will be set up at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County at the corner of Eighth and Walnut streets.

“It is about rediscovering the magic of books and their ability to transport you to a different place,” the news release said. “Two tree-lined paths will lead you to an open book featuring an illuminated diorama of white layers and light. Simple white silhouetted shapes will help you step inside a storybook as characters emerge from the pages.”

Storer said she was involved with pretty much all the arts at HHS – band, choir and theater productions.

“So I would say all those things definitely influenced me to pursue a career in the arts,” Storer said. “I think it’s really important to get that inspiration when you’re in school in fine arts.

“We’ve had a team of people from BHDP that have helped with construction and building and execution for this installation. This is kind of a new experience for all of us. We haven’t done anything quite like this before, but it’s been a cool design challenge for everyone on our team to figure out structurally how to make it work and achieve the lighting affects. It’s definitely been a team effort making this happen.”

Storer said she will be part of the display.

“We do have a group of us who are going to be dressed in these glowing costumes as storybook characters, and we will also be in the light parade Thursday night,” she said.

For more information about the event, visit

Shown is an artist’s rendering of an upcoming exhibit at BLINK Cincinnati, an art and light festival that will be held in downtown Cincinnati Oct. 12-15 is an artist’s rendering of an upcoming exhibit at BLINK Cincinnati, an art and light festival that will be held in downtown Cincinnati Oct. 12-15 Courtesy photo

Storer Courtesy photo
HHS grad helped design BLINK exhibit

By David Wright

and Jeff Gilliland

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