Take a quick glance at the mural in the former Salvation Army thrift store parking lot in downtown Newton, and you’ll notice  painted in a mural a group of people gathered around a table, perhaps sharing a meal. However, if you look closer, you’ll see a variety of community symbols have been worked into the painting, such as the Blue Sky water tower, the Old Mill, Sand Creek and a railroad.


Take a quick glance at the mural in the former Salvation Army thrift store parking lot in downtown Newton, and you’ll notice  painted in a mural a group of people gathered around a table, perhaps sharing a meal. However, if you look closer, you’ll see a variety of community symbols have been worked into the painting, such as the Blue Sky water tower, the Old Mill, Sand Creek and a railroad.
Barb Burns, the city of Newton’s community advancement coordinator, said the mural’s layers of meaning blend together to capture a portrait of the community — a portrait that can mean different things to different people. This month marks the mural’s first anniversary, and Burns believes the painting has become an important part of the community’s present and future.
“Public art, we do it for the next generation too,” she said. “It’s a legacy we leave. It’s part of quality of life. ... We can make our world more beautiful.”
Now, a year later, artist Dave Loewenstein will be returning to Newton, along with two videographers, to talk about a possible documentary project featuring the mural. Similar murals in Tonkawa, Okla., and Joplin, Mo., also will be featured.
As part of a matching funds program,
Newton’s goal is to raise about $10,000 for the project, and so far more than half that amount has been raised.
If you would like to learn more about the documentary project, or how you can contribute, there will be a presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mojo’s at Bethel College in North Newton.