This week, artists unveiled iconic artwork that pays homage to Kansas parks as part of a new public art initiative to honor the beauty and unique stories of local parks and trails.
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) Poster Project showcases the picturesque landscapes of Johnson County parks and facilities through the popular style reminiscent of 1930s Work Progress Administration (WPA) Posters.
With an intentional focus on local Kansas City talent, the initiative aims to cultivate a deeper connection between art and nature. Artists Daniel Bartle, Tad Carpenter, Michael Perry, and Luke Wittman were chosen to craft the inaugural artwork to highlight parks across the region.
“We hope these designs leave our community inspired to go and explore these and all of the beautiful park spaces that make up JCPRD,” said Susan Mong, Superintendent of Culture at JCPRD.
“Each poster highlights a beautiful element of each park. I really love the process each artist went through to develop their vision and determine what feature, perspective, or unique element they wanted to focus on. The artists spent time with park staff and a lot of time in their assigned park before finalizing their design.”
The project features the following artists and parks:
Daniel Bartle: Capturing the Essence of Cedar Niles Park
Daniel Bartle brings Cedar Niles Park to life, and pays homage to the park’s diverse landscape, encompassing enchanting trees, rugged biking trails, and the serene creek.
Tad Carpenter: A Majestic Tribute to Big Bull Creek Park
Tad Carpenter celebrates Big Bull Creek Park in his poster featuring the park’s towering silos, rolling landscapes, and the symbol of Kansas, the meadowlark.
Luke Wittman: Weaving Stories at Lexington Lake Park
Luke Wittman’s poster for Lexington Lake Park is a narrative in itself. From the pioneers’ stonewalls to the tranquil boat on the water, Wittman’s art tells a tale of history and leisure.
Michael Perry: Shawnee Mission Park’s Golden Hours
Michael Perry’s poster for Shawnee Mission Park is infused with the warm glow of sunset. Silhouettes of two figures gazing at the horizon evoke a sense of nostalgia and beckon visitors to relish their own special moments within the park’s embrace.
Inspiring New Adventures: How to Support the Project
The art is currently on display and available for sale at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center with proceeds benefiting the JCPRD Public Art Program.
The designs can also be purchased as notecards, postcards, and posters alongside the entire Kansas Parks and Greenspaces collection.
The JCPRD Poster Project will continue in 2024. Interested artists can look forward to a new call for artists with an invitation to contribute their unique visions to the evolving collection.
To learn more about the project, visit jcprd.com.
Photos courtesy of Johnson County Park and Recreation District