“Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. Other terms for this type of art include “independent public art”, “post-graffiti”, and “neo-graffiti”, and is closely related with guerrilla art..” (Wikipedia)
However, more and more organizations are sanctioning street art or public art to beautify and inform the public about a city’s history, heritage, or culture. Recently (2020), Ira V. Gates painted this mural of General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. A Pensacola, Florida native, the first African-American to rise to the rank of 4-Star General in the U.S. Military. He was a Tuskegee Airman and a veteran pilot of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The mural shows the General on a pedestal next to the F-4 Phantom he flew during his service during the Vietnam war. This mural can be seen on 12th Ave on the Hamilton Watts American Legion Post 193 building. The mural is a depiction of the memorial that will be built at the foot of the 3-mile bridge linking Pensacola, across Escambia Bay, to the city of Gulf Breeze. Recently, the General’s F-4 was brought to Pensacola to be restored to its original glory at the National Naval Aviation Museum located at Sherman Field, NAS Pensacola. The bridge is scheduled for completion sometime in late 2022 or early 2023 and will be dedicated and named the General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. Bridge.
Another prime example of private organizations to inform the public is the 501(c) New Braunfels Historic Outdoor art Museum. The museum has provided much of the funding for the paintings in the downtown area such as the Lindheimer mural found on Sequin Ave one block from the city’s main plaza. This mural is part of the downtown’s area walking tour of the six murals found in the vicinity.
Then you have the owners of private businesses who want to inform the public about social issues close to their heart. One such business was the Juice Bar in Pensacola (no longer in business, mural deleted, victim of the Covid 19 Pandemic) where the owner wanted to inform the public about the national suicide telephone hotline. He did this by having a mural of Andrew Bourdain (committed suicide in 2018) international food critic, painted next to the national suicide telephone hotline.
And, then there is the graffiti bridge or train trestle in Pensacola, Florida. After years of trying to prevent graffiti artist from “decorating” the bridge, the City just gave up and said “ok” by turning a blind eye. The bridge on 17th Street is now becoming an important visual to the culture and ambiance of the area. Driving under the bridge on different days, the painting/graffiti seen one day will probably not be there the next day.
Of course any surface can be used as a canvas for public art. A utility box (mini mural) in Roswell, NM provided a four-sided canvas for the art shown there.
Or an old fashion parking meter such as those found in Pensacola provided another unique surface to highlight some of the area’s history.
This site is mainly dedicated to the street/public muralist work found in the U.S., but also to those I may find during travel overseas. There will probably be photos of murals posted from trips long ago before I decided to catalogue where they were found. Some of these images may come from earlier travels along Route 66 or along Route US 89. I have a tendency to stop, pull over and photograph from my car.
With the above being said, don’t be surprised to find other travel excursion, such as the Natchez Trace, on this site. I stop often to learn the history of the area and will also write about that trip. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question. I sincerely hope you enjoy these virtual excursions, listed under the “World of Street & Public Art” tab (this link opens the blog pages. The down arrow at this link opens the individual city mural pages) above as much as I enjoy writing about them.
6 thoughts on “Exploring Street & Public Art”
Daniel your website is so interesting. It is amazing how visual art seats itself into our everyday lives. It is all around us all the time. I look forward to seeing how your documentation of your travels grow.
Thank you for you comment Pat. Stay tuned, I have more to write and images to share. 👍🏼
Dan, your work is a fascinating compilation of art appreciation. Your eye for finding art in nature & everywhere is a gift. Thank you for sharing your work! 🙏
Thank you Frances for your Comment. I have other murals I need to post in due time. If you wish, you can sign up to receive email updates when I post new information via my blog posts.
Check in cities along rivers, like the Mississippi and Ohio where sea walls try to keep the river out of the city. The inside walls are a mural in themselves, and you can see it in Paducah KY and Cape Girardeau MO.
Thank you Jim for the heads up on murals in the Ky and MO area. Next time I travel through that area I will ty to stop by and view them