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Kizer, Northwest Neighborhood Alliance join City’s mural projects

June 24, 2020

Local artists submitted proposals Tuesday for the upcoming project that will involve creating four murals across Owensboro. | Photo by Ngan Ho

Local artist Aaron Kizer and the Northwest Neighborhood Alliance are collaborating to lead the creation of a mural dedicated to African-American history at Kendall-Perkins Park as part of the City’s four mural projects.

Rafe Buckner — chairperson of Northwest Neighborhood Alliance — and Owensboro Art Guild officials made the announcement to a group of attendees on the back patio of the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront during a Tuesday meeting, which was held specifically to talk about proposals for the project.

The more than 600-foot wall that divides Kendall-Perkins Park and an adjacent neighborhood is one of the City’s four mural locations. Buckner said there’s segregational history in why that wall was built.

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“We had actually planned to do this back in 2015,” he said. “It didn’t quite get off the ground. Now is the time.”

The plan was revived when the City recently acquired a $60,000 grant specifically to fund the City’s mural endeavors. The three other murals will be painted downtown — on the parking garage facing Allen Street, the Riverwalk Razor building facing the parking lot, and a wall at the Blue Bridge.

Lelan Hancock, assistant city manager, solicited help from the Art Guild to locate artists to complete three of the murals, which must be completed by the end of 2020.

Buckner said the project at Kendall-Perkins Park will begin with a 100-foot section of the wall.

“I’m assuming that (the City) is going to help us get started, and then we’ll do other things to fundraise and other grants we’ll be applying for to finish the wall,” he said.

Kendall-Perkins Park’s mural will take longer than a year to complete, with Kizar overseeing some of the fundraising efforts and vision for the mural, Buckner said.

“We plan to incorporate the folks in the neighborhood, some of the schools,” Buckner said. “We’ve never done it before. It’s a huge project.”

June 24, 2020

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