To the editor:
Our visual environment, what stories and voices we see represented around us, speaks loudly for who we are and what we value. In Lawrence we aspire (I believe) to openness, diversity and the celebration of a rich and meaningful heritage.
Insuring that the “Pollinators” mural and the story it embodies continue to have a significant presence in our downtown says that we as a community recognize the importance of the great African-American artists depicted and how their legacy helps to define who we are as Kansans.
I am grateful to the Spencer Museum of Art and the more than 500 individuals I have heard from for their support and thoughtful suggestions. As a work of art made by and for the community, this mural is a shared cultural trust. Not unlike the way we protect and conserve important historical places and architecture, the “Pollinators” and the resonant stories within it are worthy of our care.
I also appreciate the willingness of the developer and architect to financially and logistically support the mural’s continued life in the heart of downtown. The Spencer Museum’s proposal, when carried out, will show that private developers, the university, the city and neighborhood residents can work together in significant ways that support the larger community.
As Lawrence moves forward embracing arts and culture as integral to community life, let’s keep this project in mind. It demonstrates beautifully how art can be woven into the fabric of our bustling downtown, helping to fully express what it means to be a Lawrencian and a Kansan.