Thanks to a grant from the Central Kansas Partnership, the Barton Arts Movement was thrilled to hire Kansas artist Mindy Allen to complete a series of three colorful, inspiring, and interactive murals in late October 2021. The three murals are located in Hoisington, Ellinwood, and Claflin, Kansas - all themed around resilience and positive mental health.
"Each mural incorporates the words 'Rise Above' with an interactive play on those words so that people can take pictures with the outdoor art," says Rachel Mawhirter, co-chair for the Barton Arts Movement. "Our goal is that we will not only promote hope through the messaging, but that we can also bring more visitors to each community and give them a reason to stop for a photo."
Each art installation took a different spin on the message, with the subject matter varying from community to community, while still conveying a message of positivity around the central theme.
"We hope these murals serve as a reminder that we're all in this together," Mawhirter says. "Nothing is insurmountable if neighbors continue supporting neighbors and help to connect those who are struggling with the resources and encouragement they need to overcome adversity."
Hoisington's mural features a colorful set of balloons at 115 N. Main Street on the side of Mitchell's Wood Furniture and More next to a beautiful green space owned and maintained by First Kansas Bank.
Ellinwood's project features a set of eagle's wings at 16 N. Main Street on the side of Jensen Associates Inc. Insurance Agency.
Claflin's project features a unique interpretation on the Rise Above theme - some say it's butterfly wings - located on the side of the Independent Township Library at 108 Main Street.
All three murals were painted by Mindy's Murals out of Junction City.
Barton Arts Movement is a grassroots, volunteer movement to "Inspire Community Pride through Public Art." Launched earlier in 2021, the group will have implemented 5 outdoor murals in less than six months, with more plans in the works for digital collage installations happening this winter. Supporters are encouraged to follow the movement on social media to get the latest scoop on #BAM projects: www.facebook.com/bartonartsmovement. More can also be learned about past projects at www.bartonartsmovement.com.