by: Jessie Cartwright
After months of planning, a rain-out, and a rescheduled date with high temps, the first Prairie Village Art Walk was held on June 18 with a small group that took the heat in stride. Mayor Mikkelson, Arts Council Chair Bonnie Limbird, and volunteers, families, and members of the community gathered in the shade at The Homesteaders at 5:30 pm. It was clear from the atmosphere of excitement that social interaction ensuing after months of isolation was welcomed. Following introductions, conversation, handshakes, and photos, our short journey began.
We walked to Fluid Form and demonstrated how to use the QR Code on the placard (at the base of the sculpture) to download Otocast and locate the Prairie Village Art Walk. We then listened to the artist, Jacob Burmood, describe Fluid Form. A few participants were engaged in answering the placard question “If this sculpture was music, what would it sound like?” Some diverse analogies were Beach Boys Good Vibrations, Mozart, or Scott Joplin’s ragtime! For me, it was Jean-Pierre Rampal and Claude Bolling’s Suite for Jazz and Piano.
By 6:00 pm we reached our final destination, Fifties Freedom In The Village, where we were joined by a larger community group including sculptor E. Spencer Schubert and donor Brad Johnson. Also present were artists Richard Lumpkin (Prairie Boy), and Phil and Holly of Syke Style (Connections at Corinth). Members of BikeWalkKC set up an information tent to educate the public about “redefining our streets as a place for people to build a culture of active living.” Deputy City Administrator Jamie Robichaud and Assistant City Administrator Meghan Buum organized the dedication space with a microphone, tent, and bottled water. Mayor Mikkelson provided acknowledgements before the formal dedication and ribbon cutting. By 6:30, we dispersed for air conditioning.
While our summer is in full swing, I have discovered the best time to take the Art Walk challenge is around 7:00 a.m., when the traffic is light and the air is still cool. Water is essential, but a good cup of coffee or treat reward can be found at the Village or Corinth shops. The placards with artist information will be removed August 1st, though you can still download the free Otocast app and search for the Prairie Village Art Walk at any time. The Otocast tour is a unique feature of the Prairie Village Art Walk that can be used any time of the year with artist recordings, artwork information, and site links to artists or the Prairie Village Arts Council.