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Celebrating Wichita's 150th Birthday

Posted by: Angie Prather on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Those attending the Chamber's Sunrise Scrambler last week were the first Wichitans to see a presentation about the Keeper 150 public art project to commemorate Wichita's sesquicentennial. As a member of Together Wichita, the Chamber and other local partners donated 13 new Keepers on Parade sculptures to be placed in parks and other venues across the city. Keepers on Parade is a public art project featuring 10-foot tall fiberglass replicas of the famous Blackbear Bosin Keeper of the Plains sculpture that are painted by local artists.

During the Scrambler, Mark Chamberlin (representing Together Wichita partner Armstrong Chamberlin), gave a brief overview of the projects the group has funded to enhance the community over the years. Together Wichita coordinator Tessa Brungardt provided details about the involvement of W/Young Pros, a Chamber affiliate, in the search for local artists to participate in the project. Area artist Delilah Reed provided insight into the inspiration for the Keeper she painted that will be placed at the Pracht Wetlands Park.

Chris Frank of KPTS provided a brief clip from his documentary about the artists who brought the Keepers to life for this special occasion. Viewers still have three opportunities to watch the documentary on KPTS Channel 8:

--July 23rd at 8 p.m.
--July 30th at 9 p.m.
--August 6th at 7 p.m.​

A digital tour of the Keeper 150 project is available on the free izi.TRAVEL app. The tour currently shows a map of the the Wichita parks and venues where the Keepers will be installed in the coming months as well as the renderings submitted by each artist for the 13 Keepers. The tour can also be viewed on your desktop by following this link. Installation photos, bios of the artists and other information will be added to the tour as the project nears completion.

Maddie Nevins (pictured right) is the General Manager for Kent Audio Visual. Nevins attended the Scrambler and shared that her favorite painted Keeper sculpture is located at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Nevins said, "July’s Virtual Scrambler was such a treat. It was not only great to see how art is bringing different sections of the community together, but it was so cool to see how technology is educating and informing the masses about the art installations in our city. The unique “150 items” is something that will sure set this round of Keepers apart."

The Together Wichita Keeper 150 donation to the community is valued at more than $60,000 for the purchase of the 13 sculptures, stipends for the artists and payment for the documentary. 

​Our thanks to our Sunrise Scrambler Presenting Sponsor Credit Union of America.and our Showcase Biz Sponsor Davis-Moore.

Please join us for our next monthly Sunrise Scrambler on August 19.

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