Youngstown artist repaints colony of fire hydrants at YSU

Bob Barko painting a fire hydrant. Aug. 27, 2015
Bob Barko repaints a penguin fire hydrant on the YSU campus. Aug. 27, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A colony of penguins on the Youngstown State University campus is looking better. They’re actually fire hydrants dressed in black, white and red, and Youngstown artist and YSU graduate Bob Barko is repainting them.

Barko first painted the hydrants around the campus back in 1993 when he was a senior. It was a way to show penguin pride.

And back when Barko was younger, his paint brush extended beyond campus. He says, “They (the hydrants) stretched from the north side of Wick Park all the way down to Wood Street on the south side of campus. And then they went from Belmont Avenue all the way to Smokey Hollow on the east side”

He last gave the hydrants a touch up back in 2002. Barko hopes to repaint all 84 of them by the end of September.

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