Russell’s Public Library has two new murals. The first one is located on the front northeast corner of the library. The mural is approximately 6’ x 43’. It is painted to look like a 3D bookshelf with bookends interspersed among the books. The spines of the books represent books written by Kansas authors, biographies of well known Kansans, and popular books from over the years. Suggestions from local teachers, librarians, and the community were used.
The second mural is located on the west side of the library. The ROAR committee wanted to have a children’s mural painted and what better place than the library! This 3D mural is approximately 11’ X 27’ and depicts a colossal elephant, Hathi, from Rudyard Kipling’s THE JUNGLE BOOK forcing his way through the library brick wall.
Harry Potter, Curious George, Cat in the Hat soared out of the hole joined by other well known classic and more current characters from children’s books. This mural is located on the children’s side of the library.
Dennis Schiel of Hays, Kansas was commissioned by ROAR to paint the two murals.
Located at 2nd St. and Copeland St. (VFW Building)
In honor of its 50th anniversary, Russell Original Art Review (ROAR) committee commissioned Dennis Schiel of Hays to create a 20’ x60’ mural. This mural, honoring America’s military veterans, was painted on the east exterior side of the Russell Veterans of Foreign Wars 6240 post home.
The mural was painted in earth tones, with the exception of the American flag, bald eagle, poppies, VFW logo, and a Purple Heart medal. The mural depicts a timeline of U. S. military history, as well as U. S. military symbols. It is the hope of the committee to have lights and a kiosk in place before the dedication of the mural on October 13, 2018.
Eighth Street Mural
Located at 8th St. and Main St.
The mission of Russell’s Original Art Review, better known as ROAR, is to promote the visual arts throughout the State of Kansas. That is why the committee undertook the project of replacing the mural located at 8th and Main Street. Many citizens and members of local organizations expressed the need to repair or replace the mural. As concerned citizens, members of ROAR undertook this significant project to enhance the downtown area. ROAR felt that the beauty of Russell was, and is, an important component of economic development that is key to the wellbeing of the Russell Area.
The committee replaced the mural with one that consisted of scenes from Russell’s historical past and was derived from consultation with the Russell Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Museum in Topeka. The scenes were used to make an historic collage of Russell dating from 1871 to the present. It was constructed on Mega board and sealed for lasting preservation. The scenes were affixed to the building in the location of the existing mural.
ROAR chose artist Rick Rupp, of Victoria, Kansas, to do the historical project. It was the hope of ROAR that the mural would archive the history of Russell and recognize the legacy of past leaders, thus inspiring leaders of the future. The project was started in May 2010 and completed in May of 2011.
Ninth Street Mural
Located at 9th St. and Main St.
In the summer of 2010, the ROAR committee asked G. J. Long if he would come up with a design to replace the mural on Ninth and Main Street using the subject matter from the Prairiesta theme, “Windmills to Wind Power”. With that in mind, G. J. designed a drawing that would cover 300 feet long by 15 feet high surface. He captured the historical events by incorporating the oil field, farming, and most recently, at the time of inception, renewable energy. The basic concept for the mural was a stylized representation of a Russell County landscape horizon.
The mural was started in the summer of 2010 and completed May of 2011.
American Legion Murals
Russell Original Art Review has added three new murals to the Russell community.
The first mural is located on the south side of the American Legion building located in downtown Russell. The colossal-sized mural is approximately 22’ x 64’. The mural depicts images and scenes from World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Iran, and Afghanistan Wars. All the various military branches are represented and recognized by period uniforms. Time related artillery equipment and modes of transportation can be identified in numerous scenes.
The second mural is located on the north side of the American Legion building.
What better way to honor former and future American Legion Baseball players from our hometown and throughout the country than with images of young American athletic baseball players. The mural is approximately 20' x 30'. The baseball attire depicts 80's uniforms worn by Russell Legion ball players. This mural brings back fond memories and will hopefully inspire our youth of today to get out and "Play Ball."
In addition to the two murals located on the American Legion building a third mural was painted on the west side of the Russell City building. This mural is approximately 8’ wide by 12’ high and consists of Russell County Firefighters memorabilia. It is dedicated to all firefighters of Russell County and those who serve.
“Forever Stamp” Mural
The “Forever Stamp” mural was commissioned by ROAR as a tribute to Derril Castor. The mural artist was Buck Arnhold of Olathe, Kansas. The mural contains a 1954 Chevrolet wheat truck, which Derril had owned and had restored. Derril Castor was a long-time Russell High School art teacher. He was instrumental in starting the R. O. A. R. annual show. He worked tirelessly on all the projects and was always available to share his expertise in the Arts. Derril will be dearly missed in all our preparations for the yearly show but will “Forever” be remembered.