Kaw Valley Bank Mural

Kaw Valley Bank Mural

by John Bashor | Art Health Walk

Created in 1965

Location: Inside of Kaw Valley Bank

The 30 foot Mural is located inside of the Kaw Valley Bank at 1110 N. Kansas Ave. and was painted by John William Bashor in 1965. He painted the mural in his studio on a stretcher frame, from which it was then removed to be cemented onto a wooden panel for display in the bank. The mural covers 145 square feet and is painted on linen canvas.
The theme of the mural is based on early Topeka history from approximately 1859 to the 1900’s, and includes scenes from Papan’s Ferry, Old Garfield Park, Fire Station #1 in North Topeka, Citizens Bank and Kansas Pacific Railroad Station to name a few. There are also many well known Kansans painted in the mural to include Arthur Capper, John Brown and Oren Curtis. The mural is now listed in the Topeka Public Art Guide as one of the 20 public art destinations in Topeka.
A Note From the Artist
My first concern in executing this painting was aesthetic. That is, I wanted to create a rich visual experience which would be compatible with its environment. Next, the narrative aspect of the painting had to work in harmony with the formal order. The theme for the painting was to be the early history of North Topeka from Papan’s Ferry to the 1900’s.  The events and landmarks do not follow a chronological order, but are organized from the standpoint of their visual relationships. This type of organization results in a rather imaginative image almost dreamlike. Like our recall of childhood impressions, the painting becomes an overstatement of certain nostalgic aspects with many details neglected. Technically, this thirty-foot mural covers 145 square feet and is done on linen canvas. It was painted in the studio on a stretcher frame from whch it was removed to be cemented on a wooden panel in the bank. The medium used is acrylic latex which makes the painting technically a tempera.

About the Artist

John Bashor was born on March 11, 1926 in Newton, Kansas. Majoring in art, he received his B.A. from Washburn University in 1949  and his M.F.A. from the State University of Iowa in 1951.
In 1953 Mr. Bashor moved to Lindsborg, Kansas as Chairman of the Art Department at Bethany College and taught there for the next 13 years. He moved his family to Bozeman, Montana in 1966 to become the Director of the School of Art at Montana State University. He left teaching in 1986 to devote his time to painting and studio work in his Bridger Canyon Studio. John Bashor passed away on Dec.21, 2013.
Mr. Bashor’s numerous awards include the Mid-American Annual -First Purchase Award- Water Color, 1952; the Missouri Valley Annual- Morgan Prize- Pil, 1949, 1951; and the Kansas Free Fair- Sweepstakes, 1951. 
A few  of John Bashor’s main exhibitions include the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and the American Water Color Society in New York. His work also appears in the permanent collections of galleries to include Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri.
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