How this artistic pole at Lenexa City Hall could ‘inspire peace’ in 2021

Lenexa is calling on artists to participate in a community art project to inspire peace. After being decorated, the peace poles will be on display at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park this summer. Local artist Judy Tuckness, a member of the Lenexa Arts Council, decorated this peace pole, on display at Lenexa City Hall, to kick off the project. All skill levels are welcome, including artists outside of Lenexa.

After a tumultuous year marked by a global pandemic, civil unrest and social upheaval, artists are crafting messages of peace through a new community art project in Lenexa.

The city is launching the Peace Pole Community Art Project Exhibit this month and is calling on artists to design a “peace pole” to inspire hope this year.

The city has partnered with local rotary clubs and the Lenexa Arts Council to launch the project.

Susanne Neely, recreation supervisor, said the project first came about when the Lenexa Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Western Johnson County approached the city with interest in erecting a peace pole somewhere in the city as part of the clubs’ mission.

Now, the project has evolved into an effort to spark more community engagement.

“The timing is wonderful because I think people are looking for things to inspire peace,” Neely said. “This is just one more way where people can come together and share their own messages of peace and original art, and bring a smile to other people in the community.”

Artists interested in participating in the project can submit ideas until Feb. 8.

Any level of artistic skill is welcome to participate, and both solo and group projects are accepted.

Neely said they’re also encouraging children, students, civic groups and families to participate. Artists outside of Lenexa are also welcome.

“If you’re an experienced artist or you just have a great idea, we’re welcoming all the different experience levels,” Neely added.

For some inspiration, a peace pole by Judy Tuckness, a local artist and member of the Lenexa Arts Council, is on display currently at Lenexa City Hall.

A jury committee will invite accepted participants to decorate their peace poles.

Once completed, the exhibit will be on display this summer at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, which is located on West 87th Street Parkway between Lackman and Pflumm Roads.

The display will run from May 1 to Oct. 31.