Diggin’ the Artz

SAND CREEK festival, inc. PRESENTS

A Live Creation & art in the park


Saturday, July 9

9:00 am to Completion – Live Painting Composition

9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Newton Mural & Arts Project Tent


Every year the Sand Creek Summer Daze Festival commissions a local artist to create a 4’x8′ mural that holds true to the spirit of the Newton community, the surrounding area or the festival theme.  Anyone can watch the artwork being created on the largest easel in Newton and guess, as the artist paints their composition, what the design might be. Previous years’ murals will be on display to enjoy as well.

The 2022 Sand Creek Summer Daze Mural Artist will be Johnny Freedom. Freedom is well-known in Wichita for the incorporation of the Wichita Flag into art work. A native Wichitan, Freedom attended Peterson Elementary, Wilbur Jr. High and Northwest High School. He’s always been Wichita’s biggest fan, but it wasn’t until 2015 that he began painting Wichita flags.

“I made my first flag out of pallet wood around two years ago and then made several more as people began to notice and appreciate them. My friend, Jennifer Wright, is a bit of a junker and she began to give me old doors and windows to paint the flag on.” Freedom said. “After that, I just started looking for things people were trashing to turn into Wichita-based art. We are a throw-away society and I want to bring attention to that through my creations. I enjoy taking trash and repurposing it. I love the challenge of transforming things from their original purpose or design into something completely different.”

Freedom has been drawing since he was a kid, but it wasn’t until he started painting the Wichita flag that he committed himself to making art. According to Freedom, his art has been totally born from his “love for Wichita and obsession for our beautiful flag. Honestly, it’s my desire to make the flag the centerpiece of our city that motivates me. In 10 years I don’t care if anyone knows who Johnny Freedom is, but I want them to recognize our flag and I want them to love the city it represents.”

Johnny will be incorporating elements of Newton’s history, our Sesquicentennial, and the Sand Creek Sumer Daze Festival into this years mural. He says it will take on a 3D form and help celebrate the best of Newton in 2022!

Johnny Freedom

Event Sponsors:

UNION State Bank

This year the SCSD Festival collection of past murals will be on display in local businesses before the festival. You can see, first hand, the instant artwork that was created live during the festival the last two years. The schedule is as follows: June 6 – July 4 .

June 6 – June 13         TBA

June 13 – June 20       TBA

June 20 – June 27       TBA

June 27 – July 4           TBA


2021’s mural artist was Anastacia Drake!  Anastacia is a Kansas City based artist, who discovered art as a small child in a difficult environment. She used her art to process her situation, and then began implementing her passion for nature into her paintings. In her twenties, she won her first artist residency in Hungary and began traveling the world exhibiting and selling her work. She had the opportunity to work with many influential artists and developed her own painting style. Her style further evolved to her signature heavy textured paintings after having the opportunity of working with visually impaired children.

Anastacia’s mural is a representation of casual farm life in her cow series. It represents the peaceful, easy going summer days on the farm with its local resident bovines.

Mark D Pendergrass

2019’s mural artist was Mark D. Pendergrass. He is a professional artist who has been painting for over thirty-seven years. He is co-creator of the popular “Music Machine” and “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” albums of the 1980’s. Mark has designed over twenty album covers since 1975, and has been awarded four Album Cover of the Year awards by the CBA. He has illustrated numerous books, designed logos, and produced works for just about every field of art. As an accomplished songwriter, Mark has written numerous songs for various recording artists, and has earned two Gold and Platinum albums, four Dove Awards and five Grammy Nominations.

His 2019 Sand Creek Summer Daze Mural is a post card from the late 1800’s. It was based on research Mark completed about Newton during that time period. The mural shows off Newton’s place in the era of cattle drives and cowboys, native buffalo and sunflowers, and the impact of the railroad on Newton.

2019 Mural
Brady Scott

2018’s artist was Brady Scott. Brady has created several well-known public art murals in Hutchinson, including the Hutchinson Women’s Center Lobby and the Boys and Girls Club Shadduck Park Playground. He has painted murals for the Kansas City Masterpiece Mural Festival, Tulsa Habit Mural Festival, Wichita’s Avenue Art Days & The Plaza Walls Mural Expo in Oklahoma City.

His 2018 mural represents the native Kansas Meadowlark which calls Sand Creek home.

2019 Mural

Newton Mural & Arts Project & Sand Creek Summer Daze Festival Collaboration

The Newton Mural and Arts Project is teaming with the SCSD Festival to promote their mission of murals and outdoor art in Newton. The Newton Murals and Arts Project exists to develop and install murals and other outdoor art for the purpose of adding beauty and interest in Newton’s downtown business district and other locations in the city. It has established the Newton Murals and Arts Project Fund at the Central Kansas Community Foundation. The fund is a component fund of the foundation and contributions to it are tax deductible.

Newton Mural & Arts Project