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Building Murals

The Cottin’s building is fortunate to showcase two murals created by local artists.

photo by Dave Loewenstein

Tiempo De La Tierra
Dave Loewenstein, 2021

“Tiempo de la Tierra,” roughly Earth Time in English, portrays the planet and the precarious position we humans have put her in.

On the large east facing wall of Cottin’s Hardware Store, an image of the earth dips down from above with North America at the center. For many, it will look upside down with north at the bottom and south at the top. Viewing the planet from this uncharacteristic angle presents the possibility of reorienting ourselves to the place we all live without the assumptions and regional discriminations that come hard wired into nearly all modern images of earth. Under and around la Tierra, and bearing its magnitude, are native and ancient plants that transform into constellations and galaxies as they move outward from the center. On the adjoining south facing wall, a giant cosmic hourglass marks the diminishing time for threatened species on our planet. At the top, we see animals that still have a presence but are endangered (including an aloof Homo Sapien), while at the bottom are ones that have already become extinct, including some that were lost due to human interference.   – Dave Loewenstein

The Cottin Family is very excited to bring Dave Loewenstein’s “Tiempo de la Tierra” mural to the Lawrence community. For a long time they have been wanting to create another meaningful work of art for their building that would compliment Ardys Ramberg’s “In Good Standing Amidst the Powers That Be” mural that came to life back in 2001. From concept to completion Dave enlisted the considerable talents of Ardys and Missy McCoy, creating a true power trio of creativity that not only is apparent in the finished wok, but also made for an incredibly joyful experience throughout the project.

Read more at Dave Loewenstein’s website.


In Good Standing Amidst The Powers That Be
Ardys Ramberg, 2002

During the Spring of 2002 Ardys Ramberg and muralist Missy McCoy joined forces to create a powerful image of Lawrence Kansas’ beloved elm tree “Amidst the Powers of That Be” upon the exterior wall of Cottin’s Hardware and Rental

For those unfamiliar with the plight of Lawrence’s beautiful Elm Tree, here is a brief synopsis…

The Elm graced the streets behind the Lawrence, Kansas downtown business district for upwards of 200 years.  Through friendly shelter and undaunting beauty, the elm tree served Lawrence inhabitants and weary travelers with selfless devotion.  As Lawrence grew, as with all towns, the call of the mighty dollar rang stronger then nature itself.   Soon the land surrounding the tree was paved and developed to suit the needs of a corporate owned book store.  As construction took its toll, the tree began to wane and developers jumped at the opportunity to expand their territory.  The tree was sited for demolition much to the neighborhood’s dismay.  Lawrence’s tree lovers united and staked their claim with such force that the life of the tree was temporarily spared.  Through the trauma of urban development, the placement of pavement over its roots and the threat of destruction, Lawrence’s Elm Tree held strong.  It was its service to the community that afforded the elm’s survival for so many years and it was the community’s commitment to the elm that warranted its survival for the last three years of its life.

When time came for the tree to be cut down a final attempt was made to save it.  Protestors gathered and a woman named Sihka climbed up the tree to live for a week. Eventually, Sihka was relieved by Aeon and a host of supporters on the ground.  After two weeks of waiting, Hunter Harris, an employee of Harris construction, one of the property owners, issue a notice to vacate.  Still Aeon remained in the elm and vowed to stay until the threat of demolition had pass.  The protesters were trying to preserve the tree as a symbol of opposition to big business and commercialization in Lawrence.  The property owners worded the notice to vacate as pleasantly as possible and entered the situation with the spirit of cooperation. The notice indicated the green space where the tree stood would exist in the southeast corner of the future development in the form of a “pocket park.”  Aeon eventually vacated the tree with the help of local firefighters and the tree was removed on March 29, 2003.

We hope to hold strong within the forces of nature and man as urban sprawl and the power of the mighty dollar furl their collective  influence over our community.  We can only hope that, like the tree, our service to the community will be as coveted and that we will be afforded the privilege to remain In Good Standing Amidst the Powers That Be.