Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Guide to Louisville's Street Murals (Part 1)

   

Louisville, KY has a very robust and thriving street art mural scene that deserves some exploration and that's exactly what I did over the course of three days in March and April.  I set out to find as many street murals I could in the city that I've called home for 15 years.  Some murals I knew about ahead of time but many  were found by pure accident.  As I explored the various  neighborhoods that make up the city, I quickly learned the Derby City has more murals than I realized - it's just a matter of finding them.  Here are some of my favorites from three distinct parts of town:


EAST MARKET DISTRICT/NuLu



The Falls City mural is located at 415 E. Market Street on the western side of the building that houses Falls City Lofts.  It was created by Bryan Todd.



This whimsical flower mural is located on the western side of the building that houses Red Tree Furniture at 703 E. Market Street across the street from Garage Bar, a funky restaurant and bar that is housed in - you guessed it - a former auto service garage! (Pardon the dark light pole shadow in the middle of the mural.)



Less than a block south of the flower mural is this futuristic You're Important to the Future mural located on the southern side of the Via Studios building at 223 South Clay Street.



Coincidentally, this pixelated holding hands mural is located on the same building as the previous mural, but this one is on the northern side of the building.  I had no idea about this mural, I just stumbled upon it while walking back to my car.



This chicken king mural is appropriately located at 736 E. Market Street, where Royal's Hot Chicken is located.  If you've never tried Nashville-style Hot Chicken, this is a great place to try it.



W. MAIN STREET - PORTLAND 



This Shine Bright mural is located at 903 W. Main Street in the building currently occupied by Rouck Plumbing.  It is on the eastern side of the building, almost directly underneath an I-64 ramp.



I found this freedom mural while walking in the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon.  The race course went right by the building at 1204 W. Main Street.  This mural was created by The Art Cartel (who also created the chicken king mural above).




About three blocks west, at the corner of W. Main Street and 15th Street (1531 W. Main) is this pretty water mural that is appropriate named The Waterfall. Unfortunately, the mural is behind a barbed wire chainlink fence on an industrial warehouse type building. When I arrived to take the picture, there was an ugly freight trailer parked right in front of it.  

Update - The Waterfall was created by C. L. Chappell in 2015 and was sponsored by The Portland Investment Initiative, the Los Angeles based non-profit Beautify Earth, and by the rock band My Morning Jacket whose members hail from Louisville.  The Waterfall was also featured on the cover of band's 2015 album of the same name.




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One block north of the waterfall mural, on the northwest corner of the intersection of 15th Street and Rowan Street is the Whatever You Are, Be a Good One mural.  This was another accidental street mural that I found and I have absolutely no idea what is housed in the building.


BARDSTOWN ROAD & THE HIGHLANDS



This Lincoln mural is located underneath the Waterson Expressway on Bardstown Road.  It is a rather long mural, as it curves from the retaining wall on the north side underneath the expressway.  It is best viewed when traveling south on Bardstown Road.  This picture is only a portion of the mural.





This Spirit of the Highlands mural is located at 1529 Bardstown Road on the southeast side of Old Town Wine and Spirits building.  On the opposite side of the building is another mural that spans the entire length of the structure and depicts scenes from the early twentieth century.  For some reason, it reminded me of The Great Gatsby.  




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Located on the Lucia Avenue side of The Wine Market building, located at 1200  Bardstown Road, is the Weird, Independent, & Proud mural.




About block northwest of The Wine Shop, is this lotus mural by artist C.L. Chappell at 1126 Bardstown Road.  Depending on the direction you are walking/driving, it is extremely easy to miss.  Just remember that it is across the street from Akikos Karaoke Club.





At 1064 Bardstown Road, is HopCat, a funky brew pub that offers eclectic pub fare and a massive beer list. On the Grinstead Drive side of the building is this abstract mural in earthy, southwestern hues.




This last mural is one of my favorites, but it isn't easily seen from the street or sidewalk as it is located behind a locked gate at 1034 Bardstown Road, behind the Holy Grale gastropub.  I don't know if it has an official name or not, but I like to refer to it as the "Thuggish Pugs" mural. (Sorry about the unsightly trashcans, but I had to take what I could get in terms of a picture.)


Have you ever been to Louisville and seen any of these murals?  Do you have a favorite?

And, as the title implies, there is a Part 2 to this guide which can be found here.

A very special thanks to my friend, Jason, who helped me locate several of these murals!  (You win!)


Linking up with:

Blog All About It Challenge
April Prompt - Art




Local Tourist












18 comments:

  1. Yay, thanks for linking up with Local Tourist. I've been to Louisville before - as I live in KY - but I don't think I've really paid attention to any of the murals. I'm loving some of these though like the "whatever you are, be a good one" and "you're important to the future". How motivating!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. these are really fun - I should go downtown and about for the clever murals that are actually there - thanks for sharing.

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  3. Those are amazing. Love the "future" one especially. Great post!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, the Future one was really great and looking at the pin striping-like detail up close was cool.

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  4. WOW! Those murals are fantastic! I wonder how long it took to do each one. A far cry from my stick people ;-)

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    1. I read an article about one of the murals I found (which will be included in part 2) and it said that the mural took 2 years. Now, I don't know what that means - is it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week or a little here and a little there? Either way, it has to take a long time, just based on the size of the murals alone. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. This is such a cool post! I love murals.

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  6. I love street murals! If I'm ever back in Louisville I'll reference this. Thanks for linking up with the local tourist link up!

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    1. I actually found enough murals to have a Part 2 (I'm working on it currently). It's a fun linkup!

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  7. Some good ones. My favorites are the chicken king and the waterfall.

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    1. Thank you!

      Yeah, the Chicken King is pretty cool. I would like to go back and try to get a better picture of the waterfall, preferably when the big ugly box trailer isn't parked right in front of it and earlier in the day so I'm not shooting into the sun like I was in the picture on this post.

      My favorite (that I've found so far) is coming up in the Part 2 post that I'm working on now. I'm trying to lump them together by neighborhoods.

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  8. Street art and murals are fun as long as they stay clean. ;)

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    1. Clean. Hmm... Meaning free from graffiti or rated G or PG? My fear with these murals, which took hours upon hours, is that someone will come along and graffiti them, which would be an awful shame. As for the G or PG ratings, so far all the ones I've found have been.

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  9. I love this, what a great idea. I never get to spend enough time in Louisville to see murals like this. I want to see the pug one in person!

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    1. Thank you! Many of these murals, from what I've discovered, are relatively new, like 1-2 years old. If you go to see the pug mural, be sure to stop in at The Holy Grale for some food and/or drink. It's a cool experience.

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  10. I also wrote a post about Louisville's street art but sadly only found about 6 of these pieces! You found many more awesome ones I'll have to check out next time I visit my mom! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
    (www.caliglobetrotter.com)

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    1. Depending on when you did your post, many of these might not have existed yet. Many of the ones I found looked really fresh in terms of the paint and many had dates of 2017 on them. I found so many that I have enough for another post (part 2). I read an interesting newspaper article that said Louisville had one of the highest graffiti incidence rates in the country. I think many of these murals are popping up to help combat it.

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