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July 31, 2017


Flickinger, Cowley alums assist with mural


Flickinger, Cowley alums assist with muralThanks to a grant from the V.J. Wilkins and Legacy Foundations as well as the Warrender Trust, Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kammy Downs was able to form a collaboration with the Arkansas City Area Arts Council to conduct a SEEDS artist mentoring program. As part of the program, Downs and Cowley College Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Mark Flickinger joined three other artists in painting a mural in the space just north of the Burford Theatre in Arkansas City.

Flickinger and Downs were joined on the mural by Cowley alums Maribel Ramirez and Rikki Johnson. Julie Sutton also helped with the mural which has one eye to the past and one eye to the future.

Ramirez graduated from Cowley College in 2011 and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2015. She currently serves as a paint studio manager in Bonne Terre, MO and assists with an Arts and Crafts Club at an area school.

Johnson graduated from Cowley College in 2017 and will have her work on display at the Final Friday Art Show in Wichita in September.
Flickinger served as a mentor to Sutton, while Ramirez was a mentor to Johnson on the project.

Flickinger enjoyed working with the group and said the Arkansas River became the central theme of the mural.

“I have not seen a collaborative mural that looks this unified,” Flickinger said.

Downs said special thanks goes to the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store in Arkansas City for providing a discount on paint and expressed continued appreciation to the granting foundations: VJ Wilkins, Legacy and Warrender Trust. She also credited Flickinger with making each individual feel important in their role with the project.

“Mark is such a good teacher. He has the skill and talent to where he could have come in and done this mural on his own, but he allowed us all to have a voice in this,” Downs said.

The presentation of the mural will take place in conjunction with an art exhibit to be held at a yet to be determined date in September.


artists in painting a mural