NEKC Chamber commissions murals along the Avenue

James Sterling Meid works on a mural located on the west wall of Mayfair Cleaners (Independence and Chestnut) on the afternoon of Friday, August 31. Photo by Michael Bushnell

By Junta Resuma
Special to the Northeast News

Independence Avenue is getting a new splash of color.

The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring five new murals that are being painted by local artists from Kansas City. The artists will be sharing wall space at local businesses in the Northeast area.

Former Rubin’s Music store located on 2633 Independence Ave will have two murals on their East wall, which will be painted by Isaac E. Tapia Montano and Hector Casanova. Casanova is an instructor at the Art Institute in Kansas City, and both live in the Northeast area.

Mayfair Dry Cleaner, also located on Independence Ave., will have a mural on their Southeast wall. Meredith Lucius and James Sterling Meid will both share a wall and plan to showcase the neighborhood through their eyes and brushes.

The five murals will be painted as a wider collaboration, and the monarch butterfly will be used as a symbol through each piece. The monarch butterfly travels from Mexico to Canada and symbolizes peace, changes, joy and color.

Rebecca Koop of the NEKC Chamber believes that these murals stand for more than just the history of the Northeast area.

“It’s another way of telling a story. The murals are telling a story of immigrants and telling the struggle of how it was for them when they first came to America,” Koop said. “Northeast has a history of immigrants coming and building their families here, and our hope is that these murals make them feel more at home.”

The mural project is already underway, with each new installation expected to take roughly a week to complete. The Chamber’s plan for the near future is to create mural tours that highlight the changes occurring in the Northeast area, one building at a time.

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