As we try to negotiate our way along Topeka streets littered with cavernous potholes and gaping cracks are we looking at this carnage from the wrong perspective? Instead of cursing the brutal winter and the resulting crevices and crags, we should be celebrating the opportunity it has given our newest artists in residence.
Take a look at this section of 8th Street right in front of Grace Cathedral. The street crews wielding tar pots as if they were paint brushes have created masterful pieces of art. Call it pop or abstract art, I’m no expert, but there is something mesmerizing about the intricate lines I look at every time I ride my bike east from home. Let’s cordon off a few sections, cut them out, and put them on display. We’d get new pavement on the streets and an art show sure to be renowned for its stark realism. Why I can even envision downtown Topeka revived as a budding art colony hailed for our city’s unique artistic wonders.
Remember, Topeka has a history of strange artists. In 1971, Djakarta Jim, an orangutan at the Topeka Zoo, won first place in a Kansas art show with an abstract painting by the gifted ape. If Djakarta Jim can stroke his way to honor, so can our dedicated street workers. Next time you see a repaired stretch of road, enjoy that street as a canvas and support the arts.