The Artist Enshrining a Town’s People in Murals

The Artist Enshrining a Town’s People in Murals


(inspirational music) – We are creating the world’s largest acrylic mural by a single artist. But I knew that I didn’t
want to have just a mural. It had to be a project
that really dove deeper into the needs in the
community, and what a perfect opportunity to do it in these
massive grain elevators. My name is Armando Minjarez. And I’m the project director
and curator for Horizontes. (soft guitar music) I immigrated to the United States in 2001. I am an artist, but I’ve also
been a community organizer working on mostly immigrant rights. So, the work that I do now really combines my work as a community organizer and bringing that into creative expression and kind of mixing those two. Horizontes, it’s a large-scale community engagement art project. There’s another one that was painted as part of the project, too. This is painted by
Heather, and these are all women from the north
end, and these are all her (speaking foreign language). The women from her family that grew up in the neighborhood. The project really focuses
on bringing solidarity between the primarily Latino neighborhood and the historically
African-American neighborhoods. With these murals, one
of my personal goals is to have people of
color depicted in the most magnificent way that we could. (inspirational music) The people that are depicted in the mural are people that used to
live in the neighborhood, or they currently live
in the neighborhood. We went and dig through
the historical archives and pulled photographs
from the people that helped build the tracks that we’re surrounded by. Those were Mexican laborers
that came 100 years ago. Thanks to the internet, I’ve found Gleo. She had painted some
giant towers in Brazil, so I knew that she had the skill and the ability to paint large-scale. And she flew down from
Colombia into Kansas, and she’s been here
working on the project. – [Armando] What I hope that
this means to the community is that we feel proud
of where we come from, that we take ownership
of our neighborhoods, of our communities, and
continue to expand this work. All of us hold different identities. We’re people of color, we’re immigrants, we’re queer people, women. Here we are painting the
world’s largest mural, not because we want to hold the record, but because it’s our
stories that need to be told and to remind ourselves
that we need to continue to work together.

42 thoughts on “The Artist Enshrining a Town’s People in Murals

  1. My town has a grain elevator mural painted by Fred Lenz, but it's not as long as this one.

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1774/42081021060_0f1839bff4_b.jpg

  2. I just moved out of Wichita recently and I am so elated this is happening out there. I always felt like Wichita is missing color and always wished for graffiti to become more popular. I was born at Denver and was used to seeing graffiti everywhere. This is amazing, makes me more happy for the city I grew up at.

  3. Arkcity for the win lol i went to see this with my aunt and next to it is hills of dirt and flipped matress frames its something beautiful in a area of darkness and trash and a creek/river/drycreek and its beutiful did a mention grafitti everywhere there also a pedigree plant for pet food next to it and trains also they left like bougillen buckets of paint eveywhere

  4. This is so cool! I’m from Wichita and even helped paint the mural at 0:44 with my middle school! Love seeing this for the city!

  5. I spent a huge part of my childhood in Kansas. I have watched the small towns of Kansas die and lose their charm. I was scared of what was lost but…what the immigrants from Central and south America has created has changed the landscape. What was lost was never found but what came out of the rubble was a rebirth of new life and so much beauty. Bright colors have replaced the drab landscape and the new fusion foods are a culinary delight. One restaurant had the best salsa and country fried chicken I ever had.

  6. Sick of all this graffiti, and I'm sick of glorifying it. We need better architecture. And graffiti walls that glorify immigration… Western culture is sick.

  7. I would have thought that this was great until it turned into some liberal agenda. Make some art, have people of color, but don’t shove it down our throats.

  8. Yeah, mexican immigrants so are great blah blah blah… The mural is more play-outed, unoriginal garbage just on a larger scale. What this propaganda doesn't address is that murder and violent crime rates have hit record highs in 2018 and continue to climb, especially in infested areas.

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