Public Art Guide: NOTO Arts District

The arts scene is thriving in the NOTO Arts District with more than 3,000 people visiting during the ARTSConnect First Friday Artwalk each month. The district is home to art galleries, shops and restaurants, and many are open Thursday-Saturday year-round. NOTO is a place to see and be seen and is the colorful heartbeat of North Topeka. More information can be found at notoshopping.com. 

 

ragaZagar, Isaiah Zagar + community volunteers, 2015 (905 N Kansas - alley)

This mural is entitled ragaZagar which is the artist’s name backward and forward. It pays tribute to extensive use of mirror in his murals. Ceramic floor tile, mirror, ceramic art objects, concrete constructions, and typewriters found in sediment left in the building’s basement by the 1951 Topeka flood, were used. The mural contains many symbols of Kansas including sunflowers and buffalo.

Wizard of Oz, Isaiah Zagar, community volunteers, 2015 (901 N Kansas - Alley)

Zagar admires the work of S.P. Dinsmore, creator of the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kans. He had never visited Kansas, but friends told him he should check out the Wizard of Oz. After completing ragaZagar, he visited the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kans.  He returned with his head full of the Oz imagery that is depicted in the mural. 

Wall of Healing, Rev. January Kiefer + community volunteers, 2014-2016 (1029 N Kansas)

This building mural speaks of healing, compassion, and forgiveness. The mural’s messages are timeless and speak to putting aside differences and remembering that everyone is part of the same family—the human family. The artist, a former Methodist minister said the “tree of life” on the south side of the mural set the theme for the entire project.