Wichita welcomes record-breaking mural


Photo courtesy of KMUW.org

The mural stands on the east side of the elevator in Wichita. The use of the obsolete grain elevator shows how useless, dilapidated buildings can be turned into beautiful works of art.

Wichita welcomes a new mural coming to the North end area. The new mural covers the Beachner Grain Elevator, which can be seen from I-135. It depicts the cultural backgrounds of the surrounding neighborhoods.

The mural is part of a larger project directed by Armando Minjarez, called Horizontes. This project aims to paint murals all over Wichita. In order to improve the quality of the Wichita area.

“I think that increasing the arts in our community in general helps to promote a cleaner city, more tourism, and more people moving to the city with the whole beautification of Wichita that has been going on,” art teacher Ryan Swayne said. “The more art we add, the more attractive of a city we are to industries as well.”

This mural in particular is more special than the other planned murals. The mural itself breaks the Guinness World Record for the largest mural painted by one artist. Measuring at around 50,000 square feet, it is about 12,000 square feet  larger than the previous record. For such a size, the project was estimated to take a few months to complete.

“Sometimes painting on a relatively larger scale makes it easier to add details, but this painting is huge at approximately 50,000 feet and would take a lot of work and time,” art teacher Audra Shelite said.

Photo courtesy of KUMW.org
Curator of project Horizontes, Armando Minjarez stands in front of the Beachner Gain Elevator. He is working with many different artists to put murals all over Wichita.

Horizontes is being directed by Armando Minjarez, and a Colombian street artist who goes by GLeo is painting the mural. As a whole, project Horizontes had collected funding from several collaborators and donors including Fidelity Bank, Humanities Kansas, and the Knight Foundation. In total, Minjarez raised $15,000 in crowdfunding, and the project received a $100,000 grant from the Knight Cities Challenge. The Knight Cities Challenge is a program that awards money to initiative projects that works toward the betterment of their community.

Originally, Armando Minjarez did not plan on breaking any records; however, after figuring out the design, the team realized they were quite ahead of the current record. Using the obsolete grain silo was a key part of the project as they aimed to make existing parts of the city more pleasing to look at.

“I think it’s nice, I mean, taking an eyesore and turning it into something pleasant to look at is always a good thing to do,” Savanna Nichols (10) said.

Along with this new mural, many more are to come to Wichita and promote a more admirable city.