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Sunflower seeks 'artists' to help with public project

Installation will cover ugly hole in historic Peabody theater’s facade

Staff writer

Peabody’s Sunflower Theatre is a work in progress, but supporters are betting a public arts project will give renovation efforts at the centuries-old building a colorful boost.

Organizers are seeking creatives who want to put their own stamp on a Peabody landmark by designing and painting sunflowers.

The 12 x 12 inch works will be coated with polyurethane and assembled into a larger piece that will resemble a quilt. The Sunflower Committee will supply the block and materials.

Like many inventive ideas, the enterprise was spurred by a calamity, project organizer Ann Channel Leppke said.

“We took plywood off the building to see what was underneath, and we found some damage,” she said. “And then, of course, we found a big old hole.”

Sunflower committee members kicked around ideas for an installation that would cover the ugly front and discussed bringing in an artist.

“I got to thinking. ‘This needs to be a local contribution,’ ” Leppke said. “…And I just thought, Kansas and sunflowers and quilts. We could put those ideas together. I know we have a lot of local art talent.”

She reached out to Taylor McQueary, art teacher for the Peabody-Burns school district, who agreed to put her students to work on the project.

“So we have everybody from about fifth-grade to about 12th grade who is in an art class,” she said.

Several local artists have already picked up materials and are working on their blocks, but they could still use more help, she said.

An adult paint night is set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at 1827 60th St. Those interested may call Leppke at (620) 983-2196.

Participants are asked to turn in quilt blocks by Oct. 28 so they can be shellacked and installed in time for an unveiling during Peabody’s Oct. 31 trunk or treat.

The committee will sell homemade chili and cinnamon rolls for $5 from 5 to 7 p.m. Halloween outside Pop’s Diner. Money raised will benefit Sunflower Theatre, Inc.

Last modified Oct. 21, 2020

 

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