mini keeper of the plains

10-foot tall fiberglass Keeper of the Plains statues will be placed around the city, such as this one located at a downtown pop-up park.

To celebrate Wichita’s 150th birthday, Together Wichita donated 13 new “Keepers on Parade” to be placed in parks and other venues across the city. “Keepers on Parade” is a public art project featuring 10-foot tall fiberglass replicas of the famous Blackbear Bosin “Keeper of the Plains” sculpture that is painted, adorned, and transformed by local artists.

Together Wichita funded the sculptures, artist stipends, and a documentary as a lasting gift to the Wichita community in celebration of the city’s 150th anniversary.

KPTS Channel 8 will air a multi-part documentary called “KEEPER 150,” which looks at all 13 mini-Keepers, every Thursday through Aug. 6. Dates and times are on July 23 at 8 p.m., July 30 at 9 p.m., and Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.

Ellamonique Baccus and Priscella Brown, two well-respected artists in Wichita’s community, are among the lineup to create new Keepers. Baccus, known for her work along 9th Street, including the “Cultivating the Seeds of Our Future” mural, will develop the Keeper for Fairmount Park. Brown’s recent work near 13th and Hillside includes a Black Lives Matter mural; she will design a Keeper for Minisa Park, just West of North High School.

“We put a call out to local artists to put their unique spin on the sculptures and received a fantastic response,” said Tessa Brungardt, project coordinator for Together Wichita. “We made final artist selections ... and then got to work on the logistics of delivering thirteen 10-foot tall sculptures. It’s been an inspiring community effort.”

Together Wichita is a group of local businesses that have teamed together to plan, fund, and organize projects that enhance the community and leave a lasting, physical impression for years to come. To see all of Together Wichita’s projects visit their website at www.togetherwichita.com or the organization’s Facebook page.

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