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Rise above with BAM
New murals invite community participation
Located on the side of the Independent Township Library, 108 Main St., Claflin, Emma Wasson shares the positive message to “Rise Above” with her social media followers.
A bundle of balloons lift Jace and Emmett Mawhirter on Main St. in Hoisington. Painted by Mindy Allen, the balloon designs represent symbols of community pride and tradition while encouraging those who pass to lift each other up during good and bad times. The mural is located at Mitchell’s Wood Furniture, 115 N Main St., Hoisington.

Barton County is now home to a series of murals created with the purpose of interaction. Featured near main roadways in Claflin, Ellinwood and Hoisington, the murals share a common theme and message, inviting all who pass by to “Rise Above.”

They also make awesome photo backgrounds.

Early in 2021, the Barton Arts Movement received a $5,000 grant from Central Kansas Partnership and Rise

Above Central Kansas for a public art installation on the topic of “resiliency.”

“The positive message in these murals acknowledges the real challenges of everyday life, while still encouraging those who pass by to hope, dream, support each other, and persevere,” said Andrea Bauer, cochair of the Barton Arts Movement.

“Our BAM action team explored numerous canvases and artistic concepts for these funds,” said Bauer, “but ultimately it was decided that several interactive installations across the county were the best way to connect the community with this positive and encouraging message.”

Regional artist Mindy Allen, owner of Mindy’s Murals in Junction City, designed and installed the murals in late October.

Despite fluctuating temperatures and Kansas wind, each mural took roughly two to three days to complete.

“We are grateful for Mindy’s talent and the work of the gracious volunteers and building owners that made this happen before winter set in,” said Bauer. “We might be headed into some cold months, but BAM is using the time to firm up our process and prepare for the next outdoor art installation season. Stay tuned!”

The goal of Barton Arts Movement (BAM) is to create community pride through public art. BAM is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven organization operating under the umbrella of the Golden Belt Community Foundation. Join the movement as a donor, volunteer, or submit an idea at

In collaboration with community volunteers, artist Mindy Allen created a larger-than-life pair of eagle wings that share the Rise Above message. Heather Nicolette, BAM supporter from Ellinwood, is seen here in front of the mural located at Jensen & Associates, 16 N Main St, Ellinwood.