When you’re in Wichita’s Dunbar District for Melanin Festival Labor Day weekend, make sure to check out two new murals installed this summer.
One is on the west side of the historic Dunbar Theater, the other is on the east side of the once booming commercial strip on the Northeast corner of 9th and Cleveland.
Both murals were painted as part of the Horizontes Poject, a grant-funded, community engagement art project that aims to connect two underrepresented neighborhoods in north Wichita, the predominantly Latino NorthEnd and historically African-American Northeast neighborhoods,
During the summer artists connected with the project painted 11 mural, the other nine are in the NorthEnd.
Coming this fall is a painting on one of the large grain elevators that separate the two communities.
“What once was a dividing line between neighborhoods, can become a catalyst for community pride and deepened connections,” states the horizonetes-project.com website.
The $100,000 grant from the Knight Foundation is designed to satisfy three goals:
Attract and keep talented people,
Expand economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections, and Spur connection and community involvement.
The Mural on the Dunbar Theater was designed by local artist Priscella Brown and features three legendary entertainers whose films could have been shown at the Dunbar: Moms Mabley, Richard Pryor and Hattie McDaniel.
The second mural features a lion and lioness strolling proudly through the neighborhood and speaks to the pride and royal lineage of people from the community.
Horizontes Exhibit on Display at Ulrich Sept. 7 – Dec. 9
An off-site iteration of the Horizontes project, the “artist-driven” community engagement art project that aims to connect two underrepresented neighborhoods in North Wichita, will be on display at Wichita State University’s Ulrich Theater. Organized by Horizontes Project Director Armando Minjarez, the exhibition features the work of Wichita-based artists Alexis Rivierre, Bernardo Trevizo, Jr, and Janice Thacker, together with New Orleans-based artist Ana Hernandez.
Collectively, the artwork will reference the multilayered histories of the two areas, illustrating ways in which people mark and experience residential communities. The art, composed of a variety of media, include mapping, personal narrative, architecture and portraiture, to identify how the practices of redlining, urban planning and gentrification have targeted racialized neighborhoods in Wichita and beyond. At the same time, the exhibition reveals and is a tribute to the resilience of character that exists in these neighborhoods in the face of ongoing systemic discrimination.