A Guide for Making Impactful Murals for Kansas Neighborhoods and Rural Communities
Kansas is seeing an exciting increase in the creation of new murals and interest in the impact of large-scale public art projects for thriving communities across the state. Presented by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, in partnership with Community Development, the Office of Rural Prosperity, Kansas Main Street, and Kansas Tourism, Commerce is committed to helping communities through financial support, technical assistance, and process guidance as they imagine new projects through the Mural Making initiative. This resource guide is designed to put communities on a path for growth and prosperity through arts and culture and place-based community development.
In partnership with
Kansas Mural Making
Sunday, March 6 – Tuesday, March 8th Groover Labs – 334 St Francis Ave, Wichita, KS 67202
In March of 2022 Kansas artists and community members connected to strengthen and deepen the impact of large-scale public art projects on thriving communities across the state.
If you attended the event, please take a moment to share your thoughts.
Guiding questions and ideas to consider for inclusive and meaningful community engagement through mural-making and public art.
Purpose, Vision, and Impact
Why do you want to have public art in your community? Who is your primary audience (locals, tourists, children, etc)? What impact do you want this artwork to have for this population?
What is the purpose and vision of this artwork? Do you have a site determined? If so, what is the specific relevance of this site to the goals outlined above?
Do you have community partners to help develop the mural? It’s important to establish partners and their role in process early on.
Who owns mural and image rights? It’s recommended to have that conversation up front & ensure considerations are clear in the artists’ contract.
What is the artist’s preferred way of working in terms of community engagement? What capacity does the community have for being involved?
Will the community have input on the design but the artist will execute?
Will the artist create a master design and volunteers will assist with the painting?
Will the entire process be lead and executed by the artist?
What is responsibility of creating public art? Public Art inherently becomes a part of community identity. Who has a voice in deciding the imagery and how can this process be as inclusive as possible?
What is the theme of the mural? Does it speak to and reflect the audiences who will see it?
Any there design approvals needed from local officials, a design council, the building owner, etc? How many revisions is an artist expected to produce as part of the agreed upon fee? How much creative freedom does the artist have? Most artists are happy to work with communities and incorporate feedback, however “design by committee” can lead to a watered-down creative vision and a less impactful and meaningful artistic creation.
Fees and Budget: Discuss with the artists their fee rates. Budgets influenced as much by time and process considerations as well as mural size. Consider any special equipment or materials that may be necessary (scaffolding, lifts, shade, etc).
Insurance: some places require but some don’t, it might necessary for volunteers. The sponsoring organization should discuss this with the property owner to be sure liability is covered.
Workspace: Do you have or need a staging area, if so how accessible is it? Artists and painters will need a place to store materials and prepare paint. Above all, it’s necessary to prioritize safety of the artists and volunteers.
Who decides when the mural needs to be taken down or redone? Is there a minimum timeframe that the mural is to be in place? Is the artist contracted for any repair or maintenance or will the host organization be in charge of that? What if the mural is vandalized – who is responsible for repair?
If landscaping or groundwork will be conducted on the site, is it extensive enough to require an environmental impact review? More resources on this are available from the National Endowment of the Arts NHPA-NEPA Questionnaire
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