As part of Baldwin City’s sesquicentennial celebration, the Lumberyard Arts Center, Baldwin City Library and the City of Baldwin City partnered to produce a free community arts class funded by the Douglas County Community Foundation. Working with a lead artist, class participants will design and create five historically-themed benches. The lead artists included Becky Weaver, Christina Malicke, Kathy Bourgeois, Lisa Slavin and Meg Cundiff.

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, our first mural bench was revealed by Team Becky Weaver with Vickie Weaver, Luke Weaver, Bronté Bailey-Batman and Sommer Brecheisen and Sunny Allen. The theme is “Lucy’s Legacy” and you can red more about the theme here. On Friday, September 19, 2020 two additional benches were unveiled. One of these benches salutes Baker University with Team Christina Malicke and members Becki Dick, Sheena Parsons and Ruthie Rodden. The other bench celebrates the evolution of the Lumberyard Arts Center with Team Kathy Bourgeois and members Sandy Cardens, Roma Earles, Mindy Pendreigh and Sharron Spence.

The final two mural benches were revealed as part of the final “Live on High – Third Fridays Baldwin City,” October 16, 2020. This post features the bench entitled ” Evolving Pathways” created by lead artist Lisa Slavin with team members Ilene Kimsey, Donna Gratts, Sharon Vesecky, and The Perez family Frank, Cynthia, Annette, Isabel, and Gabriel. The final bench, “Maple Leaf Festival” was created by lead artist, Meg Cundiff with Barbara Pressgrove, Julie Constantinescu, Olivia Callahan, Melanie Callahan, Jillian Markway and Ella Conover.

Team Lisa Slavin with Ilene Kimsey, Donna Grattaron Vesecky, and The Perez family Frank, Cynthia, Annette, Isabel, and Gabriel

Evolving Pathways

The Signal Oak tree is our focal point branching and rooting pathways depicting historical stories, people, and places that make have made Baldwin City unique in the past 150 years.

The large water source, Palymrya Well, was a draw for the native Americans that settled this area and was a key reason that the Santa Fe trail passed through here. That same water was harnessed to power the Baldwin well. You will see Green Aldridge and his Zion Church in the mural as well. In 1907 Baker Professor, W.C. Baur was putting in electric bulbs in the science lab. He was asked by the mayor’s wife to electrify the sewing machines of her quilter’s group. This later turned into Baldwin City getting electricity throughout the town.  We have always been a leader in energy, we now have a solar panel field that harnesses energy into electricity.

The farming community took advantage of area’s fertile soil. The railroad has been important for transporting goods and people from place to place throughout the years. Stories about the underground railroad that was in our area are illustrated. A group of dedicated sewists have created face masks for the community, by the end of 2020 they will have made over 10,000 masks. We wanted to highlight that in our mural.


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