Arts & Culture

Wichita’s newest mural is a plea to end gun violence

Tulsa artists Daniel Gulick, left, and Anthony Carrera created this mural outside The Workroom at First and Cleveland as part of a nationwide campaign sponsored by TOMS Shoes.
Tulsa artists Daniel Gulick, left, and Anthony Carrera created this mural outside The Workroom at First and Cleveland as part of a nationwide campaign sponsored by TOMS Shoes. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita’s newest outdoor artwork is part of a nationwide campaign to end gun violence.

Tulsa artists Daniel Gulick and Anthony Carrera spent about two hours Wednesday transforming a wall outside The Workroom, a store at First and Cleveland, with a mural sponsored by TOMS Shoes.

The mural, which features a hand forming the peace sign, fluffy clouds, a wheat field and the slogan “End gun violence together,” is one of several the artists plan to paint throughout the Midwest.

Toms announced the campaign on Twitter last month, directing customers to the company’s website, where they can enter information and send postcards to elected representatives, urging them to pass universal background check legislation.

As part of the campaign, Gulick and Carrera are traveling through the region, painting murals to raise awareness. So far they have painted outdoor spaces in Tulsa, Wichita Falls, Texas, and Stillwater, Okla., and next plan to travel to Joplin, Mo.

“Every mural is different,” said Gulick, who works as a tattoo artist in Tulsa.

“The campaign is not against people having guns,” he said. “This whole thing is for better universal background checks. . . . They just don’t want the wrong people to have guns.”

Janelle King, who owns The Workroom and advocates for public art in the Douglas Design District, said she quickly offered the north-side wall of her store as a canvas when a friend told her about the campaign.

“It was just kind of a no-brainer for me — art, powerful messaging, being proactive, taking action, making change,” King said. “We’re all about that.”

She said she also supports universal background checks for gun buyers — a measure that well over 80 percent of Americans favor, according to recent polls.

“I love that this is, ‘End gun violence together,’” King said. “People are already in agreement. Let’s just get it done, and let’s make this a safer place.”

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