This week our Independence Avenue CID Mural series is focused on a mural completed by local artists in 2021 to bring attention to the dangers of peripheral artery disease or PAD. The completed mural is on the east-facing wall of the Sharif Store at 2607 Independence Blvd.

Artists Carmen Moreno, Jason Wilcox, Isaac Tapia and Rodrigo Alvarez began working on the mural in late March of 2021 as spring made its first slow appearance in Kansas City.

The project was a collaboration between medical researchers at Saint Luke’s Mid- America Heart Institute, Yale University, University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC),  Mattie Rhodes Center, Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Paseo Gateway neighborhood.

The group worked on the project for over a year, through the course of the pandemic.  Medical researchers and artists are sharing an important message about vascular health with Northeast Kansas City residents through art. The mural was done as part of the Show Me PAD project in order to raise awareness about peripheral artery disease (PAD) and how to recognize and address it.

This vascular disease causes pain in the legs while walking. The condition affects 8.5 million Americans over the age of 40, and people living in center city neighborhoods are especially at risk for late diagnosis.

“PAD can cause pain while walking, and if left untreated, can progress to a stage where individuals are dealing with non-healing wounds and amputations. PAD is also associated with a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke,” said project lead Dr. Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., FAHA, of Yale University’s Vascular Medicine Outcomes (VAMOS) program, formerly of Saint Luke’s and UMKC.

 Artist Jason Wilcox was encouraged to raise awareness for PAD in this way.

 “It affects a lot of people who don’t even know it, so I guess if you put the message out there it will alert people so they can do more research about it and know what they’re dealing with,” Wilcox said.

The mural was unveiled on Sat., April 10, 2021.