Lupoli has cornered the market on Wichita-themed murals, at least in the blocks of Douglas just east of Hillside.
The art collective, which includes local artists Josh Tripoli and Rebekah Lewis, this week finished another civic-pride mural in College Hill – this time, on the side of Reuben Saunders Gallery, 3215 E. Douglas.
This after their Avenue Art Days mural on College Hill Deli has already become a popular photo spot.
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“It’s just a happy coincidence that it worked out this way,” Tripoli said. “We’re really glad to be able to continue putting out work like this for the public to enjoy. That’s the only reason we do it – just to give people something that can make them smile and hopefully something they can learn from as well.”
This latest mural, “Greetings From Wichita,” is well-trodden territory for muralists across the country – similar murals adorn walls in Austin, San Diego, Chicago, Denver and other large cities. One muralist has created dozens of these murals across the country (www.greetingstour.com).
But Lupoli’s take on the postcard mural is unique.
Whereas most “Greetings From” murals feature cityscapes and landmarks inside of the letters, “Greetings From Wichita” is filled with local art history.
“This one really narrows down to specifically trying to teach about the art,” Lewis said. “There’s a lot here that people don’t know about, and I’m constantly shocked people don’t know about things like the troll (sculplture), even in the art community.”
The mural, which was commissioned by Reuben Saunders, features homages to 14 artists with Wichita ties:
▪ Tom Otterness’ “Dreamers Awake,” the sculpture in front of the Wichita Art Museum
▪ Birger Sandzen’s “Fall River” painting in the Wichita Art Museum
▪ Blackbear Bosin’s “Wichita, My Son” painting
▪ Edward Hopper’s “Sunlight on Brownstones” and “Conference at Night,” at the Wichita Art Museum
▪ Connie Ernatt’s troll sculpture by the Arkansas River, also known as the “Keeper of the Drains”
▪ Joan Miro’s “Personnages Oiseaux” mural on the Ulrich Museum of Art
▪ Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculpture in the Ruffin Building downtown
▪ Stuart Davis’ “Base Rocks” painting in the Wichita Art Museum
▪ Rebecca Hoyer’s Botanica-themed mural at Douglas and Oliver
▪ Francisco Botero’s “Man With Cane” sculpture in the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection
▪ Steve Murillo’s “Music’s Magic” mural on the front of Abode Venue, which in itself appropriates Picasso and Matisse
▪ Mary Cassatt’s “Mother and Child” painting in the Wichita Art Museum
▪ Josh Tripoli’s “Air” mural on the side of Douglas Photographic Imaging
The mural has already started to attract attention on social media, despite being officially finished for no more than a day.
Tripoli said Lupoli’s goal with the mural is two-fold: to give the general public a fun piece to view and to inspire people to learn about local art history. Reuben Saunders Gallery is creating a legend for the mural, to explain all the references, he said.
“Really, so many Wichitans probably have no idea we have this quality of work here,” he said. “I think that’s a big part of what artists should be doing, telling people with no knowledge of the art scene what an incredible scene we have here. Works like this are more incentive for people to go seek these things out.
“It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt.”
See the mural
The new mural, “Greetings From Wichita,” is on the west-facing wall of Reuben Saunders Gallery, 3215 E. Douglas. It’s available for anyone to take pictures with.