Initiated by Whittier Middle School students in teacher Lela Himmerich’s class in 2011, this community-based project was a true collaborative effort. Over late 2012 and early 2013 the three visiting artists, Dave Loewenstein, Ashley Laird, and Nate Buchholz, met with more than one hundred neighborhood residents and area student groups to do research, develop the images and paint the mural. In May 2013, the completed design was unanimously approved by the Sioux Falls City Council. The project was coordinated by the Sioux Falls Arts Council and was supported by an “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Mural was dedicated July 31, 2013.
The Whittier Neighborhood Design Team describes the mural as: Our mural welcomes people to Whittier, a working-class neighborhood that embraces its heritage, celebrates its dynamic cultural and ethnic diversity, and looks forward to addressing and overcoming challenges to a prosperous and peaceful future. Our mural recognizes this as the past and present home to Native Americans from many tribes, as well as the place where settlers have come from across the globe. Our mural sings with a chorus of many languages and radiates with the colors of many cultures. And, our mural shows the neighborhood working together to care for its natural beauty, the education of its young people, and the welfare of its most vulnerable residents. Our mural is beautiful, engaging, and is the product of many dedicated hands and minds.
Find out more about the mural at Sioux Falls Mural Project!