Even the cavemen wanted to spruce up the walls of their dwelling occasionally, and modern man is no different.

    For years, local artist Norma Clare has been sprucing up lots of walls with her imaginative and colorful art.


Even the cavemen wanted to spruce up the walls of their dwelling occasionally, and modern man is no different.
    For years, local artist Norma Clare has been sprucing up lots of walls with her imaginative and colorful art.
    When she was involved with the Downtown Merchants Association several years ago, she filled vacant second-story windows in downtown buildings with scenes from Dodge City's early days. Many of those scenes can still be seen along Second Avenue and Front Street.
    One of her latest decorative projects started in 2006 when Clare and her close friend Alle Craig, another local artist, were sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce to create window paintings for Dodge City Days.
    Since then, although Craig has moved away, Clare makes the rounds of businesses every year, offering to create something just for their front window.
    "Some of our window paintings from 2006 still exist and if the weather or the vandals don't get them, they'll still be around for awhile," Clare said Friday morning in an interview with the Globe.
    For the 2009 "Ruckus" windows, Clare recruited Vicki Tague to help, and the two of them completed 14 new window paintings downtown, at the mall, at the hospital and as far west as Daylight Donuts.
    The project started July 13 and was finished eight days later.
    "We try to get started by 7 a.m. and get out of the way by the time the stores open," Clare said.
    Clare currently has work for sale in the Arts and Humanities gallery in Garden City and in the gallery at the Carnegie Center for the Arts.
    Clare's personal take on Dodge City Days springs from her interest in the town's history.
    "I hope Dodge City will be prouder of its history — we need more things in town that showcase that. I'm just happy to help celebrate our history in any way I can," Clare said.
    So when you're downtown for the parade or the crafts show or the high noon gunfight, take a moment to look around and enjoy the cowboys, bull riders and can-can girls on the windows around town.
   
Reach Don Steele at (620) 408-9910 or e-mail him at don.steele@dodgeglobe.com.