Thursday, July 19, 2018


On my quest to find free and inexpensive things to do while the youngsters were visiting,

we ventured downtown.  If this is your first visit, or you haven't been here in awhile, I have three young people visiting from CA (a state in the U.S.) who I took care of last year after their mother died of breast cancer and before their aunt could arrive to take over their care.

I thought we might try to find more of the Keeper of the Plains replicas that had been painted by local artists and donated to the city.  They had already seen the Keeper at the river, but had not seen any of the statues. 

It's hard to tell what they look like with all the background distractions in the Pop-Up Urban Park in downtown Wichita.

Apparently I failed to get a view of the back of this one.


Again, a front view, but no back view.


This one was called Day Trip and it appears I remembered to get a decent photo of the back.

Here are the backs of the other two, although they don't show a great deal.

If you want to see a photo of the real Keeper and more of these replicas, please see this post I wrote in June, 2017.   Below are the ones I found on the internet after I wrote the post in 2017.

This one shows the night sky and glows in the dark.

This one contains about a gazillion bottle caps.  Personally, I liked seeing them in this environment, because there are so many distractions in the Pop-Up Urban Park.

While downtown, we checked out a few of the bronze statues

the city placed on this street.

Apparently, I got distracted, because we saw a LOT of these statues and sculptures that I didn't get photos of.  Somehow spending time with young inquisitive minds is about the only thing that keeps me from taking photos.

On our way to lunch, one of the few days we ate out or didn't pack a lunch or snacks, I decided to find a mural my foodie friend Sally told me was going to be painted over soon.

The story goes that the artist who painted the mural had died and the building's owner wants to cover it up, since it can no longer be repainted or touched up as needed. 

However, the son of the artist wanted it to remain and was trying to get a petition to keep it there.  It must have been a genuine beauty when it was first painted.

I kept fighting the sign that was in the way of taking a good photo, but the youngsters were just happy to see it.   It's amazing what art can do to a conversation as they explained how big the celebration was/is in CA.

On the way to the restaurant, I noticed that Jack's Drive-In was finally open again.  It has been an institution in Wichita for years.  Here you are looking west toward the river and the Minisa Bridge.

Some of you may remember this postcard of the large print I bought Sally at Christmas.  This is looking east over the bridge and you can see Jack's in the back right.

The restaurant was sold several years ago and the new owner spent a ton bringing this hamburger "joint" back to its former glory.

Thanks for heading downtown and around town with three young people who surprisingly didn't get bored with me today.

22 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

well your downtown is certainly bright and colourful! Hope the youngsters enjoyed their lunch.

Valerie-Jael said...

Those statues are lovely, very atmospheric. Glad you had a fun trip with your visitors. The mural looks great, too. Enjoy your day, Valerie

Sami said...

Loved the colourful statues Elizabeth, I'm sure your young visitors would have loved them too.
The mural is fabulous too, what a pity it's being painted over,I wanted to save it to my Mural page on Pinterest but I can't, with some blogs I can with other's I can't, don't know where the problem is.
The bronze statue of the boy pushing his car is so cute, loved it!
Thanks for spotting the Tom Cruise/Hanks mistake, I've fixed it. Hope you're feeling better :)

froebelsternchen said...

Loved to see this colorful statues Elizabeth and the mural is exciting as well! Hopefully they can save it!This bronze statue is so cute ! Thank you for all the fabulous pictures of your area! Seems you had a fun time with the youngsters!
I hope you feel better meanwhile!
Hugs, Susi

CJ Kennedy said...

The Keeper of the Plains statues are awesome. Loved the Day Trip especially the black bears at the base of the statue. The bronze duck reminds me of the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the Boston Public Garden. Hopefully, the mural will be able to be saved.

craftytrog said...

Those statues are amazing Elizabeth! It looks like an interesting and colourful day out with your young friends.
Alison xxx

My name is Erika. said...

I think it is cool when cities have those type of statues and it was neat to see the Keeper of the Flame in so many renditions. The kids must have loved finding them. When my daughter was around 8 we took her to DC and they had done pandas that way. We had fun searching for them in our walks around the city. It is great to see what different artists chose to do. And nice to see they actually kept Jack's as it was instead of tearing it down, and too bad about the mural. It looks faded but the picture is still fairly crisp and clear. Thanks for the little road trip fun today. Hugs-Erika

Gibby Frogett said...

Great photos Elizabeth - those statues are really awesome.
Shame about the mural - what a dilemma - will it go or will it stay I wonder.
Hope you are feeling better today.
Gill xx

kathyinozarks said...

These art pieces are really awesome!! thank you for sharing more photos with us-it must have been allot of fun seeing them with the young ones.

Meggymay said...

The Keeper of the Plains statues looked awesome. It looks a fun day out with the kids, I think seeing their response to these must have been a joy.
Yvonne xx

Sharon Madson said...

Elizabeth. Great post. I really should get out of my craft room more! I hadn’t seen all of these keepers replicas!

Rita said...

I actually prefer the first two with all the rainbow colors and the brown one will little color. I like the statures of the boy and the duck, too. :)

Nancy said...

What an enjoyable outing for you all. The Keepers add a lot to the outdoor space, but you're right, it's easier to appreciate them in a more closed environment. I love the bottle cap one!

Let's Art Journal said...

I so enjoyed travelling downtown with you! The keeper of the plains replicas are amazing, I was mesmerised by all the different designs and details 😁. The bronze statues are wonderful too! Thanks so much for sharing, I can see why your young visitors had fun! Hope you are feeling better and wishing you a Happy Friday and Weekend dear Elizabeth! J 😊 x

Divers and Sundry said...

Wow! I love your downtown! They've done a lot, haven't they, to make it attractive and welcoming. What a wonderful place to bring a visitor :)

pearshapedcrafting said...

I do remember the time you showed these on your blog and they are just as fascinating now there are more! It is amazing how many different ways they can be decorated! I'm not surprised those youngsters weren't bored - what great things to show them! Chrisx

Tom said...

...all of this is fabulous, the colors are great. That restaurant is a flash from the past. 😀

Corrine at said...

Love love street art shows like this. Thanks for sharing. xox

Jim said...

Love it when a city does this with artwork.

Sami said...

Thanks for reposting this for Monday Murals Elizabeth, the art and the mural are great!

Jeanie said...

I love all the Keeper statues and it's hard to pick a favorite, although I might go for the first one. It must have been fun for the kids to hunt them all down! And finding the drive-in open again had to be a big plus. It looks like you had a wonderful time with them!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

I had never heard of the "Keeper of the Plains." These are fabulous, Elizabeth. No wonder the youngsters weren't bore. They must miss Wichita ... and you.