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50+ Volunteers Paint New Street Mural Called "Art Alley" in Downtown Great Bend

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

The Barton Arts Movement, in partnership with local nonprofit organization Great Bend Alive, hosted a Volunteer Work Day on Friday, September 9th to give volunteers the opportunity to actually paint a new mural! This colorful street mural was painted directly onto the pavement using specialized paint, located in the alley that connects Forest Avenue and Lakin Avenue behind Dry Lake Brewing in downtown Great Bend. Local artist Melanie Ryan developed the design, and spearheaded the implementation of the new mural.

"This project allowed members of the public to get involved in a paint-by-numbers style format, assisting with the prepping and priming of the surface, followed by the painting itself," says Sara Hayden, President of Great Bend Economic Development, Inc. and "We were so proud to partner with the Barton Arts Movement on this volunteer work day, and absolutely love how the new mural brings the whole area to life!"

More than 40 volunteers participated in the actual priming and painting, with over a dozen other volunteers assisting before and after with the preparation, planning, photographing, etc. The City of Great Bend assisted by permitting the alley to be blocked off for a period of time, and by providing traffic barriers to keep folks off the mural while it dried.

The new street mural is part of a larger scale effort to revitalize and energize the downtown Great Bend area. Great Bend Alive is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization working to improve the downtown area and help recruit young professionals and young families back to the area.

Artist Melanie Ryan generously donated her time for this project, and is not receiving any professional fees. "We are so grateful to Melanie for generously offering her time and talents to this project to make it a reality," Hayden says. "This colorful new street mural is such a welcoming and vibrant addition to all the other exciting changes in downtown Great Bend."

Learn more about Great Bend Alive, visit

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