Back
July 31, 2019

Public Art Installation Elevates a Downtown Olathe Intersection

The City of Olathe, Kansas was ready to update the intersection at Cherry and Park Streets in Downtown Olathe. At first, they had plans to do a traditional asphalt mill and overlay, but they saw an opportunity to elevate this key intersection. 

For many years, the growing city has worked to drive business downtown. The goal is to create a positive, vibrant economy in this historic county seat. To support these efforts, they decided to integrate a rotating, public art installation into the project scope, choosing an approach that would make a big impact without significant costs. 

Landworks Studio worked closely with the city on the design of the intersection. The intersection pavement material was changed to concrete, instead of asphalt, to create a better canvas for the artists. We also designed the construction joints in the intersection, so they can be used as a “frame,” if an artist prefers. The crosswalks were improved with brick pavers to match nearby Santa Fe Street.  

New artwork will be added to the intersection every year, making the area a destination. Jay Shogo was the first artist selected for the project. In his work, he uses Sharpie markers, acrylics and spray paints to create his dynamic designs. The piece he installed here uses flowing lines that come together to form points of contact. The lines express space, time flow, history, life and connections within the community. 

Every year the city will issue a new call for artists. Then, the art advisory committee, of which Carisa is a member, will make a recommendation for selection. The committee considers an artist’s body of work and a design narrative prior to requesting a concept. If you or someone you know should be considered, keep an eye out for the official call early each year. Spring installations will take place annually during one of the first Fourth Friday events of the summer.