About Overland Park's Public Art Program
The City of Overland Park has a strong commitment to establishing and expanding a well-established Arts presence in the community. The Overland Park Public Art Master Plan includes 28 separate arts projects to be installed throughout the city for residents and guests to enjoy.
Some of the projects have already been completed, such as the Overland Park Convention Center’s Permanent Art Collection. This collection features more than 60 pieces of original art that echo the culture and values of the Midwest and the City of Overland Park (see slideshow at right).
The Friends of Overland Park Art dedicated the first piece of public art for the City of Overland Park in August 2001 at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. “Boy with Frog” is a whimsical bronze sculpture of a life-sized two year-old boy in overalls and bare feet. Other phases already completed include Art at the Center which features rotating exhibitions in the Convention Center’s permanent gallery located in the large corridor connecting the Center and the Sheraton Hotel (see slideshows at right). All art in the gallery is for sale and 25% of each sale assists the continuing operation of this not-for-profit-gallery.
One of the more visible components of the plan is the sculpture “Converge,” by artist Steve Richardson, located in the circle drive of the Convention Center (see photo bottom right). When each phase of the plan is completed, sculpture and art will be displayed throughout the city along major commercial corridors and in city parks.
In September of 2004, “Song for Tomorrow” by Kwan Wu was installed at the Historic Santa Fe Commons Park. The Arboretum Sculpture Exhibition, a new annual program which began in May 2005, expands the City's fine art programs by inviting artists to display their sculptures at the nationally recognized Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Fourteen sculptures are now in place at the Arboretum throughout the beautiful gardens (see slideshow at right).
A rendering of William Strang, founder of Overland Park was completed and installed in the summer of 2006 at 80th and Santa Fe Drive. Mr. Strang faces east and watches the sun rise each morning over the great community he founded.
Just down the street from Mr. Strang in the roundabout at Santa Fe Drive and Conser is "A Great Place to Land" two arching steel towers of birds in flight. This installation, by artist Gary Kahle of Arkansas City Kansas was also installed in 2006.
In 2007 the monumental piece, Shim Sham Shimmy by David Stromeyer of Austin Texas was installed at the intersection of 119th street and the Blue Valley Parkway. This This sculpture of arching blue circles of steel was named for a dance as are many of Mr. Stromeyer's works.
As you enjoy the public art, be sure to stop by the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on the campus of Johnson County Community College. The Nerman is the largest contemporary art museum in the four-state region. The campus also offers over 400 additional works of art.