WAMEGO, Kan. (KSNT)– A local teen is teaming up with a national restaurant chain, using her artistic talents to promote her home town.
Abbi Clark just graduated from Rock Creek High School and has been working in Wamego at Paramour Coffee. In April, while brewing up a cup of joe, she was approached by someone who worked for Sonic, asking her to paint a mural on an empty wall. Challenging her to bring something to the community that represents the company and Wamego
“One of the people who work at Sonic found out the manager was looking for a local artist to do a mural or some kind of art on the wall,” Clark said. “It’s under-utilized. It’s just a huge, long cement wall. A week or two later, he got back to me and then a few months after that, paperwork and designing and everything like that later.
Clark didn’t get started on the mural until two months later on June 22, as she drafted up her design.
“Wizard of Oz is the most obvious choice for that because of the town’s already clear involvement in the movies,” Clark said. “And books and shows, and just the whole universe of Wizard of Oz.”
“We got to thinking, ‘well, that’d be kind of a cool, little thing’. Make us a destination kind of place,” said Bethany Murray, the general manager of the Wamego Sonic. “So we reached out to her, got the ball rolling… Wizard of Oz and Wamego. They go hand in hand.”
Clark’s final decision for the mural was having all of the main characters on the wall with a few iconic Sonic food and drink items.
“Instead of making Toto a tater tot, and someone a corn dog, I chose to have them holding the Sonic food,” Abbi said. “We have the lion, he’s holding fries and a corn dog with ketchup. They stopped by the Sonic in Emerald City. Our bad witch on the top right, flying out on her broom. She probably wasn’t invited to go with the rest of the characters, but she still had to get her corn dog because that’s the best food.”
Clark wants her story to be an example of businesses, both big and small, supporting those in the communities they serve.
“I want to bring art to more small communities, even big communities,” Clark said. “There are tons of artists looking for opportunities, and I want to let businesses know there are people that can come out and fill up their wall with something that’s going to bring more business to them.”
Clark hasn’t named the mural just yet, so for now, she’s just calling it the Sonic Mural.
Clark is a woman of many talents, heading to college at Butler Community College to play soccer.