Murals to be Unveiled Saturday in Wilson
Visitors to Wilson, the Czech Capital of Kansas, will soon be able to view two large murals honoring Czech immigrants and the railroad in rural Kansas.
The unveiling will take place in a dedication ceremony from 1 to 3 PM on Saturday, December 17 at the site of the Midland Railroad Hotel Barn.
The murals created by artist Ace Walker from Oklahoma were made possible because of a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce's Rural Mural Program that required a one-to-one match from the community.
Wilson, one of 14 cities to receive a grant, was awarded one of the largest amounts at $10,000.
The Wilson Tourism Hub and Kansas Czechs Inc. collaborated to successfully write the grant.
"By funding the creation of murals and public art in communities across Kansas, we want to celebrate the beauty of our state and highlight everything our small towns have to offer," Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said.
The large murals, which fill the south side of the Barn Event Center, depict Czech immigrants arriving at the train station, along with a nod to the history of the horse racing track located in Wilson at the turn of the century.
Speakers will include Honorary Consul to the Czech Republic Aaron Valesek and Mayor of Wilson Mike Peschka.
Kansas Czech Queen Hannah Andringa from Ellsworth also will be in attendance. An artist reception will follow inside the barn.
Andrew "Ace" Walker lives in Prague, Oklahoma with his wife Paige and their two children. A former Major League Baseball player with the Texas Rangers, Walker received a degree in graphic design from the University of Alabama and started Ace Walker Art. He specializes in commercial artwork, large murals and commissioned oil paintings.
(Courtesy information and photos.)