PITTSBURG — Soon, residents of Pittsburg, Girard and Franklin will begin to see pops of color on their buildings and sidewalks.

Monday, SEK Art Fest announced the grant recipients for murals, as well as the object of the year — benches.

SEK Art Fest Board Member Jenna Spencer said the benches will be displayed at the Memorial Auditorium this summer and will be made of fiberglass. She said call-outs for the bench decorating artists will be announced at the beginning of the new year.

Spencer said between the nine murals the SEK Art Fest is funding $13,000 for the projects, which in total cost $26,000.

“We met halfway with businesses and patrons to get them paid for,” she said.
The murals range from crosswalks to historical pieces on the side of buildings.

Once the weather warms up, Pittsburg State University students will begin to paint Pittsburg elementary school crosswalks with colors and geometric shapes. This will count as one mural.

PSU Interim Chair of the Department of Art James Oliver said PSU students have measured the crosswalks and created scaled versions of the murals— a good learning experience for the students he said.

“We are very excited about being funded,” he said. “We look forward to doing the murals.”

Oliver said the murals could benefit the elementary students, not only to bring artwork in view, but also safety. People may be more likely to stop at the crosswalks, he said.

There will be a total of two murals on the crosswalks at each of the schools, except one which has just one crosswalk at Meadowlark Elementary School.

The art students plan to reach out to other organizations at the university and at local schools which would like to help make the murals possible.

One of the historical murals will be at the Miners Hall Museum, and will highlight the history of mining and another mural in Girard will tell the history of an older building Bender on 7, which used to be Sundowner, and before that a filling station.

Outside the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce will be a “Welcome to Pittsburg” mural and Signet Coffee Roasters will have a coffee themed mural on their building.

Spencer said there are plans in the future to create an art map to help share the murals and other pieces of art in the area.

The murals and the artists:

Three outside walls on a business in Girard, by Jenna Spencer; two Murals inside the Memorial Auditorium by Jenna Spencer; one mural outside Signet Coffee Roaster by Sandra Kirby, one mural outside Jostens by Aaron Skapik and Robby Raio, one mural inside St. Mary - Colgan SMC Student Center by Matthew Polak, one mural inside the Miners Hall Museum by Antonio Martinez; six crosswalk murals at Lakeside, Meadowlark, Westside, George Nettels Elementary Schools by PSU Art Students; and one mural outside the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce by Jenna Spencer.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.