Merriam offers imaginative and inspirational art around every corner. Merriam City Council first established a five-year placemaking initiative in 2014. This public art program was designed to enhance public spaces around Merriam. Years later, Merriam is now home to many beautiful sculptures that visitors and residents can enjoy.
Public Art Master Plan
Merriam City Councilmembers believe it's important to continue supporting the arts in our City and reestablished a five-year budget for public art in 2023. The Public Art Committee reformed to help determine what and where new works of art should go. Committee members are made up of community members and two City Councilmembers. The committee decided creating a Public Art Master Plan would help the city move forward with a public art program in a thoughtful and deliberate way. The planning process began in August 2023 and is scheduled to conclude in February 2024.
Public feedback is incredibly important to creating a master plan. A survey was available Oct. 4–27. The survey helped collect thoughts, feelings, and habits regarding current and future public art in Merriam. Participating in creating the master plan is for everyone - not only people who have a relationship to the arts. We hope that anyone who lives, works, and visits Merriam can give feedback.
Public Art Master Plan Open House
Come see progress on creating the master plan and share your thoughts!
Wednesday, December 13
Merriam Community Center
Public Art in Merriam
Artist: Blessing Hancock
Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater Street
The newest of Merriam's public art pieces, Bask is located in the courtyard of the Merriam Community Center. Using the sun and pools as inspiration, the artist created this series as it relates to the surrounding environment and community activities. The sculptures incorporate words collected from Merriam residents describing their community. The sculpture comes alive with color-changing lighting at night.
Downtown Merriam Mural
Artist: Michael Young
Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater Street
This mural by Michael Young shows a replica of downtown Merriam, circa 1940. The stylized image was painted from a photo taken by Dr. Fawks who had family ties to Merriam for over 50 years. The mural was commissioned by the Merriam Community Center Foundation and funded by a grant from the Kansas City 150th Anniversary Legacy Fund.
Artist: Michael Walsh
Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater St.
This piece was inspired by Flags 4 Freedom. It was commissioned by former Merriam City Councilmember Nancy Hupp in memory of her husband, Ron.
Artist: Joshua Weiner
Waterfall Park, 5191 Merriam Drive
This sculpture features a nine-foot tall caterpillar standing next to a 12-foot cairn (stack of river boulders) with a butterfly perched on top. This fun art piece was created to playfully explore placemaking and identity and is located at Merriam's beautiful Waterfall Park.
Artist: Kwan Wu
Merriam Historic Plaza, 6304 E. Frontage Road
This bronze sculpture and water fountain was dedicated in 2006 at the Merriam Historic Plaza & Visitors Bureau. The mother bear with her cubs celebrate one of the most popular features of historic Merriam Park, a 40-acre amusement park greeting thousands of visitors daily in the late 1800s.
Planting the Seeds
Artist: Christopher Weed
Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Drive
This stunning sculpture was inspired by nature. Each sphere's brilliant mirror finish with organic variations suggests a large, sprouting seed. The piece transforms the viewer to another realm – muting the outside distractions while providing an opportunity of reflection.
"Seasons of Historic Merriam" Mural
Artist: Charles Goslin
Merriam City Hall, 9001 W. 62nd Street
This mural hangs in the Community Training Room at Merriam City Hall. It depicts people and events that shaped the early community of Campbelltown/Merriam. Native American tribes settled in the Turkey Creek basin when territories and reservations were established by the federal government. Covered wagons traveled the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails through the area.
David Gee Campbell and former slave Cornelius Jackson are depicted with a bushel of apples. Campbell planted orchards through the area. On October 17, 1862, Quantrill sacked Shawnee Town in retaliation of atrocities by General Lane. Shortly after, Mr. Campbell constructed a home just west of Johnson Driec and Merriam Drive. It burned in 1881, one year after Campbell's untimely death in a railroad accident. It ws reconstructed on the same native stone foundation and still stands today. Merriam Park and the surrounding residential plats matured in the late 19th century. By 1907 the new Rosedale-Hocker Trolley line advertised service "just 35 minutes from Union Station by electric railroad." Service lasted until 1934.
Artist: Dan Maginn, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design
Northwest corner of Johnson & Merriam Drives
This sculpture features an 8x8 limestone and steel tower with a large wind chime inside. The wind chime sounds counterpoint the busy intersection with a sense of calm. The work celebrates the timeless presence of wind on the site, tying into the memory of the original settlers of the region, the Kanza Tribe, which were known as the “People of the South Wind.” The artist team worked closely with UMKC composer Paul Rudy on the sound component of the piece. Once the tower was in place, the team performed an analysis of the resonance of the chamber, which allowed Paul to suggest the five exact notes that would resonate the most, and provide the richest sound experience.