Start a Public Art Program with Murals

Murals are an excellent way to tell a story about an event, building or person in the community.

Survey potential blank walls to determine whether they are municipal, or business owned.

Local government may be able to lead the way if they own the walls. Successful locations are those visible from traffic lights where drivers and passengers are waylaid. The Greater Pittsburgh Art Council offers information on their website “Mural Making 101.” This site covers many aspects of creating a community mural: from choosing a location to paint and artist considerations, budgeting, and preservation.

If the owner of a wall is not committed to a long-term mural, paint it on panels that can be temporarily fastened to the wall and potentially moved to another location later.

Be sure to develop the design criteria for your murals (must be significant to the community, no advertising, showcases a historic event, etc.) Request local mural artists to submit designs and find sponsors to off-set the cost of the materials. Below is a weblink to an excellent reference on how to properly prepare a wall and seal a mural to ensure longevity.

Reward pedestrians as they approach a mural by placing a plaque with a description of the artwork, artist(s) credit and the date completed. Provide a map of each mural online on your community’s municipal and/or your visitors bureau websites. If possible, provide a walking guide to visit each mural. Expand your reach and engage them even more with a QR code at each mural that can be read by a smart phone. making-101