Monday, April 17, 2017

A New Mural Begins with Visioning

Kevin Surbaugh

Recently a group of community residents met at the Lumberyard Art Center, in downtown Baldwin City, to discuss potential ideas for the new mural. This meeting referred to as the visioning meeting had the group making a list of what they wanted to see in what, they hope will be the first of several murals.
Leading the meeting was Lawrence Muralist/Artist David Loewenstein. During this initial meeting, he shared a slide show of murals from around the world and his growth into a muralist himself. Some of the images he showed included images of a few of the panels on the largest mural wall in Kansas, "The Great Mural Wall of Topeka," in Topeka, KS. That wall, which has been a multi-year project on a wall that is three blocks long. That project, like the program here in Baldwin City, has been, for the most part, led by Loewenstein.

This first mural, Loewenstein, will be accompanied by Nicholas Ward and three apprentices from Baldwin City High School, who will help paint the mural that the artist will draw on the wall. Essentially, they will be filling in the lines. A method the artist uses in many of the communities he travels to.  Those apprentices are:
Ella Conover
Alaina Schiffelbrin
Meagan Young

Some of the ideas the group thought would be good to see in the mural included:
Palmyra - people, history and ethnicity
Baker University
red (due to proximity to the Baldwin City Fire Station)
red shouldered hawk
dragon ---> Chinese immigration
railroad timeline from it's beginning to now to the future
Signal Oak
Women's bridge
purple/white (for the High School)
Santa Fe Trail
Black Jack
Vineland Airport runway was once Railroad right of way
Brick Roads and the Legend Indian Jack Brown
Dr. James Naismith

After this meeting the group narrowed to a team of volunteers interested in being on the design team. A team tasked with formulating an idea for the actual mural. An overall look at those ideas can be seen in the bottom two pictures, to the left. After the three design meetings, Loewenstein, his assistant Nick Ward and the apprentices will begin to work on the actual proposed mural design. Once that is done, the design team gets a chance to view the final product before painting begins. Finally, the artists will begin painting the end of April or first of May.

In addition to following our series of reports over the progress of the mural, you can follow the mural program on their Facebook page at

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