Art

Merriam offers imaginative and inspirational art around every corner. Thanks to a five-year placemaking initiative designed to enhance public spaces in downtown Merriam, we're now home to many new beautiful sculptures that visitors and residents can enjoy, plus a host of other pieces and collections across the city. Plan a self-guided tour one day to see Merriam's artful offerings.

Name  Artist  Location Description
Hmmm... Joshua Weiner 5191 Merriam Drive This sculpture features a nine-foot tall caterpillar standing next to a 12-foot cairn (stack of river boulders) with a butterfly perched on top. This fun art piece was created to playfully explore place-making and identity and is located at Merriam's beautiful Waterfall Park.
Trinity Dierk Van Keppel 9100 W. 74th Street Suspended in the main hospital atrium, this massive sculpture features glass fixtures that were cast and blown by Rock Cottage Glass Works, the studio of local Merriam artist, Dierk Van Keppel.
Still Time Dan Maginn, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design Johnson & Merriam Drives This sculpture features an 8x8 limestone and steel tower with a large wind chime inside. The wind chime sounds counterpoint the busy intersection with a sense of calm. The work celebrates the timeless presence of wind on the site, tying into the memory of the original settlers of the region, the Kanza Tribe, which were known as the “People of the South Wind.” The artist team worked closely with UMKC composer Paul Rudy on the sound component of the piece. Once the tower was in place, the team performed an analysis of the resonance of the chamber, which allowed Paul to suggest the five exact notes that would resonate the most, and provide the richest sound experience.
Motherhood Kwan Wu 6304 E. Frontage Road This bronze sculpture and water fountain was dedicated in 2006 at the Merriam Historic Plaza & Visitors Bureau. The mother bear with her cubs celebrate one of the most popular features of historic Merriam Park, a 40-acre amusement park greeting thousands of visitors daily in the late 1800s.
Historic Merriam Mural Charles Goslin

9001 W. 62nd Street

This mural hangs in the Community Training Room at Merriam City Hall. It depicts much of Merriam's history including Merriam Park, David Gee Campbell, the Quaker Mission, American Indians, a covered wagon and trolley car, the first permanent school building and many other homes and businesses from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Planting the Seeds Christopher Weed 5740 Merriam Drive This stunning sculpture was inspired by nature. Each sphere's brilliant mirror finish with organic variations suggests a large, sprouting seed. The piece transforms the viewer to another realm--muting the outside distractions while providing an opportunity of reflection. 
Downtown Merriam Mural Michael Young 6040 Slater Street This mural by Michael Young shows a replica of downtown Merriam, circa 1940. The stylized image was painted from a photo taken by Dr. Fawks who had family ties to Merriam for over 50 years.
 Bask Blessing Hancock 6040 Slater Street The newest of Merriam's public art pieces, Bask is located in the courtyard of the Merriam Community Center. Using the sun and pools as inspiration, the artist created this series as it relates to the surrounding environment and community activities. The sculptures incorporate words collected from Merriam residents describing their community, and come alive with color-changing lighting at night.
Tim Murphy Art Gallery Rotating Exhibits 6040 Slater Street Featuring monthly exhibits by local and regional artists, and the host to the annual Heartland Artist and High School Visual Arts Exhibitions, this gallery is located inside the Merriam Community Center. Free to the public, many art pieces are also available for purchase. View the 2021 gallery schedule.