Why I Loved Volunteering to Paint Douglas Street Murals
Every year during Avenue Art days, you see new murals painted on the sides of the buildings that run along the Douglas Design District. Instead of looking up for these murals, there's a new one painted on the street. Over the course of two days, April 13 and 20, the "Streetscape Project" was complete thanks to the help of more than 50 community volunteers.
The group of volunteers consisted of East High School students, Wichita State students and other people in our community. I choose to join in on the fun April 13, along with my brother who worked both days to help put the design down on the street!
The Process and Payoff
The day of work started at the first section of median closest to Douglas and Washington.
The crowds of volunteers were excited as they watched the huge stencils being rolled out, marking the designated colors and placement. The wind was trying to mess with us that day, but it definitely didn't stop us from getting the work done!
As the stencils were laid out, bricks were placed on top of it. One student was in charge of the master plan as everyone else helped mark each color. The beautiful colors chosen are alternating blue, red, green, purple and gold.
At first, it was a little slow getting into the flow but by the time we got to the longest section of the median to paint, we all came together and got the colors marked in no time! The longest section runs from the Spice Merchant to Abode.
All the volunteers also received a highlighter yellow shirt provided by the Hopping Gnome so drivers were more aware. The clever design of the shirt included their signature Gnome and the message "GNOMES AT WORK".
Yes, we did slow traffic down a bit, but it was awesome to hear the comments coming from the people walking and driving by. Lots of honks and cheers motivated us to keep going!
Definitely, a community coming together to make our town look a little bit more colorful.
The Finished Product
We painted four medians and section bump-outs along the side where new parking spaces were placed along Douglas.
The design for the mural was originally created by Bill Gardner of Gardner Design, who also created the logo for the Design District, on which the design of the streetscape was based. The plans for this mural were approved by the City of Wichita last December and they provided traffic control, paint and painters to help lay the design down on the street.
Everything else was left to the Douglas Design District, which included coordinating volunteers and supplies. Josh Tripoli was the designated the project manager for the streetscape.
On April 20, the project was complete. When you get a chance, drive through the Douglas Design District and check out the colorful streetscape!