Hillsboro gets painted

Graphic artists from Brickmob work on a mural in downtown Hillsboro. The mural was a project that a group from last year’s senior class at Hillsboro High School came up with in their government class.

“There’s just something about bringing your art to the world that’s fun. And you’re allowed to do it. I get to paint all over a wall. You’re not getting in trouble for it like when you were younger but get paid to do it,” said Chris Garcia while painting a new mural on the wall of the old Quick Flick Video store in Hillsboro.

Garcia, who owns Brickmob with his wife Nicky Rocho, spent several days last week painting the mural. He traveled each day from Wichita where the company is located.

According to their website, Brickmob stands proudly as an urban art and apparel brand with meaning. Brickmob hand creates epic murals and urban threads using eco-friendly techniques and locally owned supplies whenever possible. Their crew partakes in a multitude of events, festivals and public art projects to help the community thrive and bolster civic unity.

The company received its first commission in 2016 but has been in business since 2014.

“We’ve got over 60 murals all over Kansas. We’ve also got some in Texas and Oklahoma,” said Garcia.

Garcia said the Hillsboro community has been very interested in the process of the mural painting.

“We do a lot of murals and this town has been so happy and so receptive. It’s been really good. It’s been a lot of positive energy for us,” said Garcia.

Brickmob got involved after students in last year’s senior government class reached out to them about the project. The City of Hillsboro helped with the logistics and now the mural is a reality.

“Kansas is doing a really cool initiative right now for smaller towns to help build up their heart. They’re giving grants up to a certain amount, so we helped point them (Hillsboro) in the right direction so they could get the grant money and get it done,” said Garcia.

According to City Administrator Matt Stiles, the mural is completely funded through the Community Foundation and Hillsboro Convention & Visitors Bureau along with the grant funds. And permission for the mural was granted by Erik Torres who owns the building.

“We’re excited to have this uniquely Hillsboro mural in the downtown area. The spot is ideal and should help draw attention to the area. Any time you do a public art project there is always a concern about how it will be received, but this mural has gotten a great response. It’s exciting to see another of the Senior government class projects get completed. The group of young women responsible for the project can be proud of what’s been completed. Hopefully it will inspire more great ideas to improve the community,” said Stiles.

The mural, located at Grand and Main Street across from Dale’s Supermarket is 11 feet high and 25 feet long. It is made up of nine different colors and the images represent items of importance to Hillsboro such as Dales sausage, landmarks around town, the Tabor Bluejay and Hillsboro Trojan and more.

Joe Worley, who lives in Emporia, came up with the design after visiting with two close Hillsboro friends, Dustin Suffield and Nikki VanWart to understand more about Hillsboro.

“We have a crew of artists and we all contributed our designs. I did something a little bit different with mine. I’m like ‘they’re probably not gonna pick this one’, because I did more of a condensed color pallet—kind of complimentary of the oranges and yellows and the blues. But they chose it,” said Worley.

The artists hope to have the mural done by the end of this week. They are open to answering any questions passersby have and are very friendly and enjoy visiting with everyone so be sure to stop by and check out the mural while they are working on it.

They are also willing to help other towns who might be interested in getting their own mural.

“I would be glad to help anyone with the grant process if they are interested in a mural,” said Garcia.

For more information, you can visit their website at https://www.brickmobbrickup.com/ or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

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