An artist rendering of the mural planned for the walls of the Seward County Administration Building sits in the halls of the facility. County officials are seeking donations to the project, and $6,100 of the $29,500 has been raised so far. To make a donation, call county administrator Mary Bloomer at 626-3300 or mail contributions to 515 N. Washington, Ste. 204, Liberal, KS 67901. Courtesy photo
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Former Liberal resident Stan Herd is well known across Kansas for using western themes and skies in his paintings, and officials with Seward County are looking to bring some of Herd’s artwork to the walls of the county’s administration building.
To date, the county has received donations of $6,100 of the needed $29,500 to have a mural painted on the inside east and north walls facing the entrance of the administration building.
“The scenes will be painted on canvas and mounted on the walls in sections,” county administrator Mary Bloomer said. “Original estimate of the mural was $36,000 and reduced to $29,500 with a partnership if the county staff helps to hang the murals.”
The first of 10 donations received so far came from John Mallon, who gave $1,000 to the project. Mallon issued a challenge to all businesses to match, or make a contribution, to the mural fund.
“In the spirit of competition, we issue Mr. Mallon’s challenge and ask that you consider a contribution to the mural project,” Bloomer said.
The first to accept the challenge was Al Shank Insurance to match the donation with $1,000.
“We are inviting all families in our community to participate in the fundraising efforts to collect the funds necessary to fund the mural project,” Bloomer said. “We are advised by Hay Rice & Associates that ‘your donation may be tax deductible. Please check with your tax advisor.’”
Other donations have ranged from as little as $50 to as much as $1,100. The mural itself will depict scenes from Seward County’s rich agricultural background to its future with wind generation.
“An artist rendering is in the commission chambers for the community to view,” Bloomer said. “The board of commissioners approves the project so long as tax dollars are not used.”
The dimensions of the painting will be nearly 14 feet wide and almost 18 feet tall on the east wall, with the north wall portion measuring about 20 feet long and 8 feet tall.
Those that would like to make a donation for the project should contact Bloomer at 626-3300 or mail a donation to 515 N. Washington, Ste. 204, Liberal, KS 67901.
“All donors will be acknowledged at the entry of the building in the ‘giving tree,’” Bloomer said. “The mural project will not begin until all donations have been received.”