Once upon a time, I was the Marketing Director for my community. Of the many hats I wore at that job, one involved rallying volunteers to help paint quilt blocks which were hung on barns and a few landmark buildings around the community.
The above quilt block was painted at our local airport by people who attended an event there. It hangs on the side of a shelter house at the airport and it’s one of my favorites.
Another of my favorites is this one on an old barn at a local horse farm.
The lady who owned this farm is now deceased but I’ll never forget how her eyes lit up when I asked permission to use her barn. She was a kind lady and one of many nice people I got to work with on this project.
We did several of these quilt barns in a short period of time and there’s a special story behind every single one of them. It’s fun to look around my community and see tangible ways that my hard work made a difference.
There’s an amazing alley in Rapid City, South Dakota where graffiti artists can legally leave their mark.
It’s a brilliant method to tamping down on graffiti around the city and one of those most surreal places I’ve seen.
There were several pieces that caught my eye. Here’s just one.
Incidentally, I don’t recall reading about this in any brochures. We found it because we parked the car and walked around. When you visit a new place, get out and explore. You never know what you’ll find!
Rapid City, South Dakota is known as the City of Presidents. It’s a convenient place to stay if you’re visiting the region and is a nice place to spend your time. It’s a city that has a small town vibe.
The downtown area is vibrant with locally owned shops and restaurants, museums and things to do outdoors. Parking is free in their garage on holidays, Sundays and evenings so we never paid to park here.. You see plenty of law enforcement as well as security cameras making it seem safe enough. Abundant flowers, plentiful outdoor seating and a fun park are anchors here.
We did see a few homeless people and a particularly aggressive panhandler but you’ll unfortunately have that no matter where you go.
This is a very walkable downtown and motorists seem to respect the rights of pedestrians, a far cry from how motorists in Ohio seem to feel about them.
One thing that makes this city special is that each former US President and some Native American leaders have been immortalized with life sized statues throughout downtown. They were paid for by donors and each one is unique.
Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I’ll share more pictures from Rapid City. Meanwhile, have a look their tourism site if you’re interested in knowing more about visiting.
Public art in a small town always makes me smile. Even if I don’t understand the context, even if I don’t stop for a closer look, it means a lot to know that someone thought to create something that makes their town better.
Coming from a small town, I appreciate the volunteers and the ingenuity that it often takes to make something out of nothing. I’ve been that person and have seen countless others hard at work as well.
This mural can be seen along the National Road in Brazil, Indiana and it really adds something special to their downtown district.