The Douglas Design District will receive a bit of a face-lift next year after two local artists design four outdoor murals.
The murals, which are being funded by a $7,764 Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce, will be created by artists Josh Tripoli and Tom Murillo.
Murillo describes most of his work as mixed media and said he’s put a lot of emphasis on stencil street art in the past.
“The sky is the limit,” Murillo said. “Now I use anything really that I can get my hands on: sculpture, drawing, paintings and collages. Sometimes I combine all of them.”
Murillo said he and Tripoli have worked together in the past, and Tripoli is very good at abstract painting.
“He will work more with color and brush strokes,” Murillo said.
They’ve been toying around with the idea of each mural representing an element: fire, wind, water and earth.
“But that’s just us brainstorming,” Murillo said.
It’s the first time he’s done a project this big, he said.
“I’m really honored,” he said. “I’ve very gracious for the opportunity. Both Josh and I are very excited.”
The murals will be auctioned after being on display for at least a year, and proceeds will go toward other art projects in the district.
The project has two goals: to provide an outlet for local artists and to get visitors into the district, said Susan Downey, Douglas Design District president.
“We’re excited to see what they come up with,” Downey said.
They hope the initial project will generate additional funds for future art installations and that it can become a yearly project, she said.
The district, which stretches about 3 miles along Douglas from Old Town to Oliver, was started in 2007. It has more than 300 locally owned businesses, according to its website.
It has not yet been decided which buildings will house the murals, Downey said.
The grant is one of five to art organizations across the state totaling $32,606, according to the Department of Commerce.