Alumna beautifies Dodge City through service learning

Dodge City recently lost some graffiti and gained beautiful artwork thanks to Jennifer Nolan, a 2006 Master of Fine Arts graduate from Fort Hays State University and assistant professor of art at Dodge City Community College.

With the help of the DCCC Department of Art, art club, and Phi Theta Kappa, Nolan was able to design and paint two concrete retaining walls that were previously targets for graffiti.  The walls are now covered in a colorful flower scene.

"Dodge City has a graffiti problem and I really want to instill community service into the students," said Nolan. "It was a challenge, but we were able to do something to help."

The site was chosen with the help of Dodge City Community Recycling Environmental Waste, or CREW. They also donated the brushes, t-shirts and provided lunch. Paint was donated by the local Sherwin Williams store.

"We really got an opportunity to interact with the community," Nolan said. "Everyone really approved, people were honking and waving all day."

Although the project took place during finals week, that didn’t stop students from helping.

"We have a great group of students," she said. "No matter what's going on they always find the time to help out."

According to Nolan, the 30 student helpers weren’t the only people painting: Area residents plied their hand with the brush as well.

"Kids always want to help, so gave them brushes," she said.

When it comes to beautification, this isn’t Nolan's first rodeo.

"Last year we did a mural on an old silo across from the grade school that gangs used to recruit kids through graffiti," she said. "This was the second project, and we plan to do it every year."

For more pictures of the project, visit the DCCC Art Club's page on Facebook.

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