Alley Art: Volunteers wanted for ‘paint-by-numbers’ mural

Community members are invited to participate in an outdoor “paint-by-numbers” event that will transform the driveway between Forest Avenue and Lakin Avenue into a colorful street mural. Volunteers can register for one of five 90-minute shifts for this Saturday, September 10:

• 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Preparation and initiation

• 9.30am-11am – Priming

• 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.; 2-3.30 p.m.; and 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. – Painting by numbers

The registration form also has an option if you would like to receive a text message at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday if the painting is not complete and additional volunteers are needed.

To find the online entry form, go to the Barton Arts Movement website,, and click on “hype”. Volunteers are asked to register by Thursday, September 8.

The ‘Art Alley’ street mural is a project of the Barton Art Movement in partnership with local group Great Bend Alive and has been endorsed by Great Bend City Council. It will be painted directly on the pavement using specialized paint.

Sara Hayden, president of Great Bend Development Inc., noted that Great Bend Alive is a nonprofit that works to improve the downtown area and help recruit young professionals and young families to the area.

“This project will allow members of the public to engage in a paint-by-numbers style format, assisting with surface preparation and priming, followed by the painting itself,” Hayden said. “We are so proud to partner with the Barton Arts Movement on this volunteer day, and we can’t wait to see the community come together behind this new project to bring Art Alley to life!”

The design was developed by local artist Melanie Ryan, who is credited with spearheading the implementation of the new mural. On Friday, Ryan was in the alley behind Dry Lake Brewing painting some straights.

“Right now I’m just getting a nice perimeter so everyone can stay between the lines,” she said. The next step will be to add a coat of primer. “Then I’ll put the template and put the numbers in each section.”

Ryan said the painters will work on the numbers so no one steps on the paint. “It’s a bit like laying tiles.”

Who can help

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and able-bodied, meaning they can squat, kneel, lift at least 25 pounds, and withstand hot temperatures without risk of injury. Anyone interested in participating can register using the online form before September 8th. More details will be provided in a text or email reminder a day or two before the volunteer work day.


The new street mural is part of a larger scale effort to revitalize and energize downtown Great Bend. Great Bend Alive also sponsors Final Fridays on Forest, with live music, food, drink and games on Forest Avenue in the block in front of the Grand Bend Grandstand. Art Alley is on the south side of the block.

Donations are still being accepted by Great Bend Alive to help fund approximately $4,500 needed for paint and supplies for Art Alley. Artist Melanie Ryan has donated her time to this project and receives no professional fees.

“We are so grateful to Melanie for generously volunteering her time and talents to help make this project a reality,” Hayden said. “This colorful new mural will be such a welcoming and vibrant addition to all of the other exciting changes in downtown Great Bend.”

Learn more about Great Bend Alive or donate to help fund Art Alley by visiting

About Bernice D. Brewer

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