Washburn Tech Adds Mural To Main Building

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Topeka artist Laura Engelhardt, of Ebb & Flow Arts, is nearly finished with the painting of a new mural on the Washburn Tech campus.

The school started the project as a way to beautify the main building on campus by transforming the traditional look of a school, into a more accommodating, interactive and high-tech institute of technology.

Clark Coco, the new Dean at Washburn Tech, said he believes that revitalizing and updating the atmosphere of Washburn Tech is an important step in helping students and others realize the bright future that can be reached with a technical certificate or degree.

The mural project started with completion of a single tree in the Little Learners Center area near the Child Care program. From there, an entire wall of lockers was removed and several Washburn Tech departments combined to prepare the area for a full mural to be created.

The mural itself is a panorama of an imagined Kansas landscape. It starts in a forested area, moves out across flint hills and plains, with a lonely Kansas highway cutting through. Wind turbines and stripper wells follow a fence line into the distance. It leads to more "tamed" farmland - complete with an old-fashioned windmill - that segues into suburban sprawl and a fantasy cityscape with high rises and towers, walls of windows reflecting sky. The city then morphs into a more futuristic style, with domed pleasure gardens looming at the edge of space.

The finished mural will encompass over 100' in length and even extends across the hallway ceiling, stretching between the Child Care and Surgical Technology programs. Finishing touches will be put on before the end of the year.

Artist Laura Engelhardt in front of the mural she painted at Washburn Tech, Topeka