The Project

Community-based public art is a familiar and well documented field. Like community-based theater, community-based public art seeks to develop meaningful and high quality works through a collaborative process driven by local people often with the guidance and technical assistance of professional artists.

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), in partnership with the former Kansas Arts Commission and the Oklahoma Arts Council, supported the launch of the Mid-America Mural Project with two interrelated projects, one in Newton, Kansas and the other in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Completed in 2010, these projects provided residents direct hands-on experience in the research, design, and execution of major public artworks for their communities. Joplin, Missouri was the site of the Mural Project in the summer 2011, not long after a a devastating tornado ripped through the city. In 2012, the project visited Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and in 2013, the project's initial six-state tour inished with murals in Waco, Texas and Hastings, Nebraska.
For each project, artists chosen to be mural assistants worked with Loewenstein from the earliest stages of the projects through to their completion, and are introduced to all of the skills used to shape successful community murals. Loewenstein of Lawrence, KS is a prize-winning muralist, writer and printmaker. His community-based murals may be found across the U.S. as well as in Northern Ireland.
In conjunction with the Mural Project, Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward (mural assistants from the first project site in Tonkawa, OK) have undertaken the production of a feature length documentary emphasizing the community inclusive process used by Loewenstein. Loewenstein will also regularly post updates, photos, and video to a blog dedicated to the mural projects so that students and others can follow each mural's progress.