Art students make a Goessel mural a bit more colorful


Goessel art students Aiden Winblad, Evan Hiebert, Andrew Defreese, Raney Schroeder and Shianne Defreese work their magic Friday morning on the town mural. Not pictured is Shanna Klassen, who helped on Thursday. Her father, Kevin, was one of the students who did touch-up work in the late 1980s, according to Brian Stucky, mural instigator and longtime art teacher at Goessel High.


Raney Schroeder

A half dozen art students at Goessel High School started their summer vacation with a community service project last week: repainting the mural on the side of Keith?s Food store in downtown Goessel.

Andrew Defreese, Shianne Defreese, Evan Hiebert, Shanna Klassen, Raney Schroeder and Aiden Winblad gave up their Thursday and Friday morning for the project.

They were supervised by art teacher Brian Stucky, who was instrumental in the development of the colorful mural 30 years ago.

?When I first came to town in the fall of 1979, I looked around the downtown area and noticed how drab it seemed,? Stucky said. ?What could liven it up? Why, a mural, of course.?

At that time, the building was owned by the Crossroads Cooperative, and the board approved the design, which features a stylized rainbow and rising sun with the phrase ?Goessel: Small Town, Big Heart.?

?The design is a collaboration of student designs in 1979,? Stucky said. ?That fall, 21 students painted it.?

It has received restoration attention several times since.

?In the late ?80s, three students did some touch-up,? Stucky said. ?In 1995, before the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the naming of the Goessel Post Office and the arrival of 25 German descendants of Captain Goessel, the mural was completely repainted.?

Now, on the 30th anniversary of the original project, store owner Keith Banman asked to have the mural repainted again, he added.

The mural and the phrase have served the city of Goessel in a variety of ways over the years.

?The rainbow/sunrise design has been used in brochures, letterhead, Web sites, and has been a favorite backdrop for photos of visitors from out of state and other countries visiting Goessel,? Stucky said.

The mural received a listing in the 2006 book, ?Kansas Murals: A Traveler?s Guide? by Lora Jost, Dave Loewenstein, and Saralyn Reece Hardy.

The slogan, meanwhile, has appeared on the side of city vehicles.

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