Public Art Projects

The Atchison Art Association believes that a diverse and flourishing cultural community contributes to the city's overall civic and economic vitality and the well-being of its people and neighborhoods. We present to you our multi-year plan that contributes to this process of building a progressive and vibrant community. A Vision of Our Culture includes six permanent public art exhibits that visually draw attention to the places and the ideas in our community where culture is introduced, developed and nurtured. Art, history, food, commence, people and language are the building blocks of local culture and individually each is the focus of this multi-year public art project. 

In Development Now 

Sculpture Courtyard


To honor our history, the courtyard will include:

  • the Deafy bronze sculpture

  • the relocation of the Amelia Earhart bronze 

  • the installation of the Reflections bronze sculpture

  • a proposed historical marker for George Johnson

  • the future commission and placement of bronze depiction of Seaman, the Newfoundland dog associated with Lewis and Clark


All of these sculptures represent aspects of Atchison’s history.  The collective beauty of these sculptures will create a new and distinctive space in our community where people can visit, gather, contemplate, and relax in an environment that is reflective of who we are and where we have come from. 

In Development Now 



The premise underlying Beautiful Benches is what you see, how you see it and the ability to see it through another’s perspective is an essential indicator of our culture.  The project asks community partners to identify itself through the use of artistic imagery, then tile a functional bench for placement in the community. Each bench will reflect a unique feeling, emotion, or cultural idea unique to Atchison.  


Partners will work with the Art Association to create benches that reflect who they are in our community. Anyone interested is invited to contact the Atchison Art Association, our goal is that diverse perspectives from the community are seen and represented.





The official historical marker remembering the lynching of George Johnson was unveiled along with the accompanying Reflections Sculpture,  Saturday, June 19, 2021


Dr. Joshua Wolf began researching Atchison history in response to a question of whether a lynching had ever occurred in the town. Wolf turned up evidence from period publications of the 1870 lynching of George Johnson, and his research has been accepted on a national level.


In an effort to address this history of racial violence that had been erased from local history, members of Atchison United and the Atchison Art Association were motivated to work with the Equal Justice Initiative to  memorialize George Johnson’s lynching as a means of addressing the racial violence that plagued Atchison and much of America and bring awareness to the fact that Atchison cannot progress as a community unless and until the past is confronted in a historically accurate and meaningful way.

The Reflections Sculpture

A unique, eight-foot-tall, hand fabricated, copper, brass, and bronze modern sculpture created by Kansas City artist David Breneman.

Reflections embodies the concepts of caring for each other, working together, and celebrating the roles, accomplishments, and hard work by one body: The Community

Atchison United
Atchison Art Association


Root to Rise Dedication


People are the heartbeat of every community and the most critical elemental component of our culture. How we treat and inspire each other as we move through the community is the life-blood of a healthy and robust culture.

Root to Rise is an 18' stainless steel kinetic art sculpture, by artist Jeff Kahn, celebrating people who fearlessly rise up from the community to help a neighbor, a stranger, or a community rise above what they thought was possible. It's about people who reminded us that our lives have less to do with ourselves, but about all the people who cross our path.



Tree of Knowledge


Located on the steps of the Atchison Library, The Tree of Knowledge draws attention to the power of language.  The mosaic, designed by local artist, Lorna Garrison, celebrates the library as a cornerstone of our culture and reminds the community that what you read, what you say, and how you think directly impacts your growth and the growth of every person you come into contact with.


Farmers Market Mosaic


The premise underlying this project is that food is one of the most elemental components of culture; what you eat, with whom you eat, and where you eat is an essential component of local identity. To bring this idea to life, a series of permanent mosaic panels were installed at the Atchison Farmer's Market on the south side of Main Street in Atchison, Kansas. Local artists created the designs using color as the dominant unifying principle. Non-profit organizations, public and private entities, and individuals actively collaborated in the financing, construction, and production. The mosaics beautify the market area and make it a more attractive destination for commerce, tourism, and local food education.

Through Education, Outreach, and Exhibition, our mission is to provide access to the arts and avenues for artistic expression in the Atchison community and throughout the region.