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Wichita Murals (History, Locations, & Stories Behind Them)

Murals in Wichita KS

Key Takeaways:

  • Each mural in Wichita is a vibrant chapter of the city's history, showcasing its achievements, challenges, and the spirit of its people. These artworks are not just for decoration; they're a deep dive into what makes Wichita truly unique.
  • From the Art Deco movement of the 1920s to the Chicano Mural Movement advocating social justice, Wichita's murals mirror the city's growth, innovation, and the diverse voices of its residents. They're a testament to Wichita's evolving identity and commitment to inclusivity.
  • Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Wichita's murals inspire pride and a sense of belonging. They encourage viewers to dream big, embrace resilience, and appreciate the beauty of starting anew. Each mural, whether it's "Bee Yourself" or "Strength Through the Spirit of Growth," invites us to connect with the community and the stories that shape our city.

Did you know that every mural in Wichita has its own epic story? It's like each one is a snapshot of the city's awesome history, its big wins, and even the tough times. These colorful masterpieces are all over town, just waiting for you to stop by and check them out. They're not just cool to look at; they're like secret messages from the past, showing us what makes Wichita so special.

It doesn't matter if you've lived here all your life or if you're just visiting—discovering Wichita's murals is like flipping through an amazing comic book where each page is painted on a giant wall. I'm super excited to help you see what I see in them. Together, we're going to uncover some incredible stories and maybe even see our city in a whole new light. Ready to start this adventure? Let's go find out what secrets and stories are waiting for us on the walls of Wichita!

Related Post >> Discovering The Art Scene in Wichita, Kansas

The History of Murals in Wichita, KS

In the 1920s and 1930s, Wichita embraced the Art Deco movement, with early murals like those in the Wichita Carnegie Library celebrating progress and Kansas' stories. Arthur Sinclair Covey's 'Spirit of Kansas' epitomizes this, capturing historical moments and defining the city's narrative.

By the mid-20th century, Wichita's aviation boom influenced murals to celebrate technological progress and the Midwest's work ethic, while also exploring community and social themes, making art accessible citywide.

The Chicano Mural Movement in the '70s and '80s introduced artworks advocating social justice and diversity, infusing Wichita with vibrant colors and empowering symbols.

Today, Wichita's murals, created through community collaboration, aim to rejuvenate areas and inspire pride, with themes of environmentalism and social equality mirroring the city's evolving identity.

Wichita's murals are more than art; they're a visual history, a call for inclusivity, and reflect the city's aspirations and challenges, adding cultural vibrancy and embodying the city's spirit, past, present, and future.

Iconic Murals and Their Stories

Gold Award Project Mural

The Pride Mural

Location: 122 N Madison Ave, behind Reverie Coffee Roasters (2202 E Douglas Ave) in Wichita, Kansas.

Artist: Lillian McLaughlin

Lillian's mural serves as a beacon of support and connection for LGBTQ+ teens to essential services and resources. It was painted by volunteers ranging in age from 5 to 85, demonstrating a community-wide effort to stand with LGBTQ+ youth.

The mural painting event took place on October 14, 2023, and turned into a celebration of community support for LGBTQ+ teens in need.

Dear Wichita, Take Care and Dream Big | 1520 E Douglas Ave, Wichita

Dear Wichita

Artist: Lindsey Kernodle and Friends

Sponsored by: Michael Andrusak

Check out this colorful mural in Wichita, that serves as a love note from the artist to everyone in the Wichita area.. It's all about care—taking care of ourselves, looking out for our neighbors, and making our city shine.

It nudges us to dream big, aiming for the stars for ourselves and our city. It's a splash of inspiration on the wall, reminding us to be our best in every way.

"We've Got the Joy" | 3407 E Douglas Ave, Wichita

We've Got The Joy

Artist: Elisabeth Owens

Sponsored by: Mollie Smith and John Throwbridge

The mural in question is a celebration of joy, painted in a kaleidoscope of colors and bold designs that aim to brighten the day of anyone who sees it. It's like a visual shout of happiness, drawing on the fun vibes of Pop Art, the spontaneous spirit of Abstract Expressionism, and a dash of international culture with its diverse patterns and motifs.

Created to add a spark of life to Wichita, Kansas, as part of a local initiative to spruce up the area with art, this mural isn't just a feast for the eyes—it's a heartwarming nod to the community, designed to foster a sense of togetherness and uplift everyone's spirits.

"Strength Through the Spirit of Growth" | 1003 E Douglas Ave, Wichita

Strength Through the Spirit

Artist: Richard James Cook

Sponsored by: Ngoc Van

It shows how people or a community become stronger when facing tough times, suggesting resilience. It also highlights the beauty of starting fresh and growing, symbolizing renewal.

The importance of sticking together and supporting each other to grow, emphasizing community. Lastly, it dives into the personal side of growing up and finding out who we are, pointing to personal development.

"Bee Yourself" | 2100 E Douglas, Wichita

Bee Yourself

Artist: Jeff Jakovac

Sponsored by: College Hill Pediatric Dentistry

This mural shouts out a big "Be You!" encouraging everyone to embrace what makes them unique. Think of it like bees buzzing around - they stand for teamwork, hard work, and life's sweet moments.

It's a nudge to find where you fit best, using your special skills. And with it hanging by a dentist for kids, it's a fun way to say, "Rock your smile and be proud of who you are!"

"Wichikitty" | 1520 E Douglas, Wichita

Wichikitty

Artist: Brickmob artist lastdeviant

Sponsored by: John and Kelly DeCesaro

This mural isn't just art; it's a symbol of city pride, with a playful twist that captures hearts. Right by Wichikitty's eye, the Zia symbol shines—a nod to home and heritage, echoing the Wichita flag.

Wichikitty stands as a testament to the community's love for art that brightens streets and spirits alike.

"Ope!" | 310 S. Laura, Wichita

Ope

Artist: Geli Chavez

Sponsored by: Stacy and Torrey Lattin

"Ope!" That's what you'll hear across the Midwest when someone's caught off guard or slips up on something small. And guess what? This mural captures that exact moment with a fun twist.

It's like a visual "ope!"—perfect for a quick smile or a light-hearted chuckle. Dive into this artwork and find the humor in everyday surprises.

"Stag Beetle" | 106 S Hydraulic, Wichita

Stag Beetle

Artist: Delilah Reed

Sponsored by: John Moeder of Moeder and Associates

Stag beetles are like the superheroes of the insect world, known for their incredible strength, unstoppable determination, and fierce perseverance. With their big, powerful jaws, they're the ultimate symbol of a fighting spirit.

In many cultures, these impressive bugs are seen as symbols of good luck or even sacred creatures. So, if you come across a stag beetle, think of it as a tiny, lucky charm with a lot of heart and courage!

"Prismatic Rabbits" | 1328 E Douglas, Wichita

Prismatic Rabbits

Artist: Autumn Noir

Sponsor: Kent Audio Visual

The "Prismatic Rabbits" mural, where childhood meets a kaleidoscope of color! This piece isn't just a feast for the eyes; it's a hop into a world of fun, magic, and whimsy. Rabbits are more than just cute.

Here, they're symbols of luck, growth, and prosperity, painted in vibrant, geometric patterns that make you think—maybe there's order in the madness, or perhaps it's just a fresh, abstract twist on our furry friends. It's not just art; it's a conversation starter, wrapped in the playful spirit of rabbits.

"Plains of Creativity" and "Kindness is Magic" | 1116 E Douglas, Wichita

Plains of Creativity and Kindness is Magic

Artists: "Plains of Creativity" by Carlos Palomino and Gabby Garlow; "Kindness is Magic" by Nicole Strain

Sponsored by: Ben Meyer for "Plains of Creativity" and Randy Eaton for "Kindness is Magic"

Plains of Creativity:

This mural is a vibrant celebration of creativity, bursting with colors, imaginative designs, and nods to Kansas, like sunflowers and open plains. Showcasing the power of community and shared vision in creating something truly inspiring.

Kindness is Magic:

This mural shouts out a powerful message: Kindness is magic! With its playful characters and bright splashes of color, it brings a smile to your face, reminding us all that joy comes from being kind. It's like a visual celebration of the good vibes we create when we're nice to each other.

Other Public Art To Check Out

"Love Anyway" | 134 S Laura, Wichita

Artist: Maggie Gilmore - Community Mural

Sponsor: Ian Worrell and Rodney Horton

"Personnage Oiseaux" | 1845 Fairmount St

Artist: Joan Miró

Artist at Large Tattoo Shop Mural | 1125 E Douglas

Artist: Chris Trenary

"Homies" | 134 S Laura

Artist: Aaron Jackson Bowman

Sponsored by: Legacy Bank

"Fly In For Fun" | 1824 E Douglas

Artist: Angie Evans

Sponsored by: Robert Harmon

"I See T" | 3700 E Douglas

Artist: Maggie and Ellie Newlin

Sponsored by: Steven Myers

"Native Son" | 1302 E Waterman

Artist: Josh Johnico

Sponsored by: Galaxy Audio

"Sheriff of Flavortown" | 3134 E Douglas

Artist: John Pirtle

Sponsored by: Daniel Marriotti

"Honeybees" | 3700 E Douglas

Artist: Heather Byers and Kevin Stanberry

Sponsored by: Bree and Jason Cox

Layers | 1820 E Douglas

Artist: Brickmob

Sponsored by: Alzheimer’s Association

Greetings from Wichita" | 3215 E. Douglas Ave

"The Vessel" | 121 S. Pattie St.

"You Are What You Create" | 156 N. Cleveland Ave.

"Moon Apples & Sun Apples" 2838 E. Douglas Ave (Eighth day books)

Check other murals with our interactive map.

Conclusion

Wichita's murals are more than art; they're the city's soul, narrating its history, diversity, and dreams. From the Art Deco era to modern calls for social justice, these vibrant canvases celebrate progress, resilience, and individuality. Each piece, from "Dream Big" to "Bee Yourself," tells a unique story of hope and community. As we explore Wichita, let's appreciate these murals as milestones of our collective journey, inspiring us and future generations. Remember, each mural isn't just a visual treat; it's a glimpse into the heart of Wichita.

FAQ's

What is the largest mural in the world painted by a single artist?

The world's largest mural painted by a single artist is "El Sueño Original," covering an impressive 50,000 square feet. Utilizing over 650 gallons of acrylic paint, this monumental artwork adorns the 17 bins on the east side of a grain elevator, showcasing the artist's vast vision on an enormous scale.

Where to check talented artist in Wichita, KS, and their work?

To discover talented artists in Wichita, KS, and their work, Avenue Art Days is a prime event. It transforms the city into a vibrant canvas, highlighting local artists through murals and public art installations.

Where to find most of the artworks in Wichita, KS?

The Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, KS, is a key location for experiencing a wide array of artworks. It offers both contemporary and historical exhibitions, making it a central hub for art lovers to explore the rich artistic landscape of Wichita.

What does Wichita boast in terms of attractions and amenities?

Wichita boasts a rich array of attractions and amenities, including vibrant cultural sites, lush parks, and a dynamic dining scene. The city is known for its welcoming community and diverse entertainment options.

What makes the north side of Wichita unique?

The north side of Wichita is unique for its blend of historical charm and modern development. It features a mix of residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and green spaces, making it a desirable area for families and young professionals.

What are some notable neighborhoods in Wichita?

Notable neighborhoods in Wichita include College Hill, known for its historic homes and vibrant community life; Delano District, famous for its eclectic shops and restaurants; and Riverside, celebrated for its parks and scenic views along the Arkansas River.

How can someone find the best location to live in Wichita?

Finding the best location to live in Wichita depends on personal preferences, such as proximity to work, schools, and amenities. Researching neighborhoods, visiting areas of interest, and consulting with local real estate experts can help identify the ideal location that meets individual or family needs.

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