Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Group of local artists proposes new design, location for street mural

This rendering shows the design of a new street mural that will be painted on a cul-de-sac on East 14th Street.

This rendering shows the design of a new street mural that will be painted on a cul-de-sac on East 14th Street.

March 17, 2017

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A group of local artists would like to bring lily pads and koi fish to a Lawrence cul-de-sac.

The aquatic scene will be part of a new street mural project expected to come before the City Commission for approval in coming weeks. Lawrence artist Katy Clagett is part of a group of local artists involved with the mural to be located in a cul-de-sac on East 14th Street, which is an entrance point for the Burroughs Creek Trail.

“It’s very visible from the trail, which is one of the benefits of it, we think,” Clagett said.

Originally, the street mural project was completed last year at the intersection of 10th and New Jersey streets, but issues with the paint and the intersection’s surface condition caused that mural to deteriorate quickly after it was painted. Clagett said the group has used that experience to inform the preparation for the new mural, including the surface itself.

“The condition of the asphalt is really excellent and it also has super low traffic,” Clagett said. “There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic, but there’s not that much vehicular traffic, so we think that that is going to allow the paint to adhere and stay better than the 10th and New Jersey mural.”

Apart from those characteristics, Clagett said the location was picked in conjunction with the Brook Creek and East Lawrence neighborhood associations. She said the project will also include a maintenance agreement with the city, and they expect to have to touch up the mural every couple of years.

The design of the mural was updated along with the new location, and in addition to the water scene, it includes railroad tracks and bridges as a way to incorporate themes related to the neighborhood and Burroughs Creek, Clagett said. The primary artists involved in the project include Clagett, Alicia Kelly, Jacob Brewer and Caitlin Fisher.

And similar to the last project, the community will be invited to help put the paint down. Clagett said the painting day event will be open to anyone, including kids.

“It’s open to the entire Lawrence community,” Clagett said. “It’ll be an all-day event with a block party following.”

The mural project has been reviewed by the Cultural Arts Commission and Transportation Commission, and will go before the City Commission in coming weeks for final approval. If approved, the group plans to hold the public painting party on June 3, which Clagett noted is National Trails Day.

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