As a Heartland Visioning Steering Committee member and Topeka native, Carol Bradbury is working to increase community pride in Topeka through her business, Bloomerang Studios. In its eighth year, Bloomerang continues to find new ways to bring art to those who need it most. In a recent project, Brewster Place invited Carol to create an intergenerational art experience resulting in a beautiful glass installation for Brewster’s new “Main Street.”
Carol Bradbury has a vision to build awareness of a community’s diversity while helping to shape its creative identity. In this way, Carol has become a leading community activist; helping to engage the unique voices of Topeka and revealing what is often hidden to others.
When David Beck, President & CEO of Brewster, approached Carol about creating a special artwork for the residents of Brewster Place, she was eager to engage their voices and honor the community leaders who reside in this retirement community.
“Brewster Place is really a micro-community of the broader Topeka community. It’s an ecosystem, where residents, family members and staff co-exist in an intimate way on a daily basis,” says Carol Bradbury. “If we’re going to improve the community pride of Topeka as a whole, these are the kinds of places that deserve a voice.”
The Main Street at Brewster Place renovations include a new and improved market, wellness center, beauty salon, chapel, bank, and a pavilion. Relying on research that shows color has the potential to increase well being and create a sense of community, Carol set to work developing an art piece for the pavilion that represented the vibrancy of the residents themselves.
She took the project a step further by inviting not only the residents to participate in the collaborative art experience, but also the volunteers, staff and family members – including children and grandchildren. Over 100 individuals participated in the “drop-in event,” discovering their inner child and reflecting their life experiences in the art itself.
“The glass installation and resulting artwork are simply transformative,” says David Beck, “The renovations by Architect One were quite innovative, but once the artwork was unveiled, we knew the project was complete. There’s a renewed energy now at Brewster. We love having visitors, so stop by for a tour or drop in for coffee or lunch at Main Street and see for yourself!”
Bloomerang continues to connect the entire city with color, and also debuted a new project at the Brookwood Shopping Center in June 2016. Previous projects include Westboro Mart, the NOTO Arts District street banners and the Remember Rosa Mobile Museum, created in partnership with Topeka Metro and Brown v. Board of Education.