Clay's Murals
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Clay's Murals

Art is the one thing that can add just a dash of personality to any unique community, and luckily Clay is filled to the brim with artwork and murals that make each and every destination just a little more special. From historical to quirky to just plain weird, Clay’s hidden art scene is an unsung treasure trove that we hope you’ll take the time to visit!

North Kansas City

1. The Floating Blocks, found just off 13th Avenue and Swift Street, were commissioned as a part of North Kansas City’s preparation for the Swift Mile Festival. The festival was held in 2016 and 2017 and focused on showcasing the creativity of local artists and makers; the festival featured various street vendors, a pint walk, and a bike share!
2. This Bird Mural is located along the side of the NTA FleetServe building on 1133 Swift Street and faces out towards a small parking lot. Like the Floating Blocks, this piece was commissioned for the Swift Mile Festival.
3. The NTA FleetServe Logo is found just off 14th Avenue on Swift Street. NTA has remained a family owned and operated business since it’s opening in 1961 and is North Kansas City’s go-to repair shop specializing in air conditioning and auto repair.
4. “This is Us” is an exciting addition to the art scene in North Kansas City. According to its artist, Spaceship Zulu; “[This] mural hopes to represent the past, present, and future of the area known today as North Kansas City.” The mural is found on the north wall of the Brewkery on 1443 Swift Street.

Back in 1849, North Kansas City was still just an unincorporated little town called Harlem. Though few even know this town existed, Harlem was a major starting point for many of the cowboys, trappers, and frontiersmen of the time. Harlem was one of the main riverboat ferry drop-offs for those heading once, and even managed to rival Westport in size and prominence.

In the early 1900s, industrialization transformed Harlem from a rough and tumble Wild West town to an urban center. Urbanization is represented by the mural’s depiction of the young woman from the 1900s.

The present is represented in the mural by modern design elements of the brushstrokes used; benday dots and the fade of color were used to indicate that North Kansas City has a thriving arts community.

To represent looking forward to the future, the words “North Kansas City” were painted in big, bold letters placed directly at the piece’s center, providing a glimpse of what lies on the horizon for the city.

5. The McCrummen Immigration Law Building mural was designed as part of a contest held at North Kansas City High School. The winning mural design was painted by Hispanic artist, Chico Sierra, who has worked on other murals around North Kansas City. The theme of this mural is immigration, it can be found on 2005 Swift St, Kansas City, MO 64116 facing Armour.

Excelsior Springs

6. The Lithia Water Mural, located within Carolyn Schutte Park on 100 West Broadway Avenue, commemorates Excelsior Springs’ beginnings. Along with depicting several historic locations in the town, one of the mural’s major features is a Mezzo-American head that stands among a rendering of the town’s beginning as a mecca for healing mineral waters.

This Mezzo-American head is an important piece of art as you will find its depiction featured elsewhere on one of the town’s top landmarks, the Hall of Waters. If you can’t spot it on your own, make sure to stop inside the Hall of Waters and ask one of the cultural representatives at the water bar where you can find it. This mural was commissioned by the Downtown Excelsior Partnership and was created by Jacob Duncan in 2016.

7. This chalk-drawn depiction of Excelsior Springs’ swinging Jazz Age on the side of Ventana Gourmet Grill is found across the street from the Carolyn Schutte Park on 100 South Marietta Street. The artwork was created by local artist, Jacob Duncan, in 2014.
8. The mural of Historic Broadway is found at the parking lot on 131 State Highway North, just across the street from Slightly Off Broadway! Take some time to admire this full-wall mural depicting Downtown Excelsior Springs as it was back in its mineral water heyday; don’t forget to post for a selfie in front of this old-timey horse-drawn buggy!

Kearney

9. The scene depicting the Foundation of Kearney is found on the side of a parking lot at 106 W Washington Street. Kearney was first founded in 1869 when the railroad built a line that ran through the area. Kearney is widely known as the birthplace of infamous outlaw Jesse James.
10. Take part in some Bulldog pride by taking a picture with the Kearney Bulldog found on 101 S Grove Street.
11. The Green Serpent is found on the same wall as the Kearney Bulldog on 101 S Grove Street.

Liberty

12. The Lewis and Clark mural is found on the Clay County Public Safety Building on 99 South Water Street. It was made to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the great expedition west. It also depicts the Corps of Discovery’s landing on the shores of the Missouri River.
13. Passing Pleasures, Tourist Treasures, found along the side of the Rooney Justice Center, depicts several of Clay County’s top tourist destinations. The Jesse James Birthplace, The Elms Hotel & Spa, Worlds of Fun, Smithville Lake, and Shoal Creek Living History Museum are all featured in this mural.
14. The Children’s Mural is a temporary mural is found right across the street from the Clay County Courthouse on 1 N Water Street. This mural was created by a William Jewell student, John Soukup.
15. The Liberty Mural is found directly next to the Children's Mural on 1 N Water St right across the street from the Courthouse. Created by artist Shawn Garland, a student attending William Jewell.
16. The Wings, found on the side of Hammerhand Coffee along 5 West Franklin Street, are a popular stop for selfies and photos. There are two sets of wings, a larger pair for adults a smaller kid-sized set. This artwork was created by Allison Mabe, a barista at Hammerhand Coffee.
17. The Faces of the Commonwealth is found along the side of the Rooney Justice Center on 51 South Water Street. This ceramic tile mural depicts past, present, and future generations of Clay County, dating all the way back to the immigrant from six different continents that first settled in the area.
18. Images of Clay County 1830-1890 depicts the early years of the county. This multi-panel mural can be found of the third floor of the Clay County Courthouse on 1 Courthouse Square. Several historic scenes in figures are depicted in the mural, including; Chief White Cloud from the Iowa Tribe; Dr. James Gray, a professor at the African American Garrison School; General Alexander Doniphan, who fought in the Mexican-American War; the Jesse James Birthplace and Frank and Jesse James. This mural is full of bits of local history, so make sure you spend some time admiring each panel!

For a map of each community...

Check the links below to find detailed maps of each community that will lead you through Clay's Mural Tour.

North Kansas City

Historic Downtown Liberty

Excelsior Springs

Kearney

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