Do you like murals? Do you want to know more about the artists who created them?
I spent most of 2016 curating a map of local murals with artist information, Google Street View images, Instagram links and video clips. I’ve documented some of the murals I’ve seen using my Instagram account.
The map, which displays best on a tablet, provides a serviceable experience on a phone. A legend will come with the next release. Until then: yellow = interior murals, red = exterior murals and blue = the Franklin Urban Plein Air Project.
The first draft of the map was published at the end of October after discovering WordPress.com’s lack of support for maps of this kind. Otherwise, it would be embedded right here. The response was great. Mike McPhate of The New York Times gave it a nice mention in The California Today newsletter and 7×7 followed with a brief post.
The mural map was inspired by four things: (1) the need to take on a less-demanding side project while my mom recovered from a broken ankle, (2) a brainstorm session with a local nonprofit hoping to connect with millennials, (3) the one-of-a-kind Art Hotel and (4) the inaugural Sacramento Mural Festival.
I started with the murals I knew, searched for mentions in local media, identified others using Street View, browsed related hashtags on Instagram and canvassed other online sources to find more. I’ve seen every mural on the map in person. In keeping with the ephemeral nature of street art, some murals have disappeared since I started.
I did not reach out to artists or art groups, in part, as an exercise in seeing what could be found publicly. I wanted to use the architecture of the Internet to build the foundation of this curation.
The data is managed in a Google Sheet and illustrated using Google Fusion Tables. I have details on about 240 more murals that I intend on seeing in person. The goal is to create a comprehensive map of the four-county region. Future updates will include murals in Auburn, Roseville, Woodland and other surrounding communities. As of now, the city of the Davis is the best suburban cluster. Make sure to zoom out.
- No. 1 — Oct. 25, 2016: Published the first draft of map with about 300 murals.
- No. 2 — Nov. 12, 2016: Updated the map to include details on nearly 350 murals, including many in downtown Davis.
- No. 3 — Jan. 7, 2017: The map now includes 420 murals. Instagram links included for 65 percent of the murals. Points adjusted for every exterior mural to better display exact locations, particularly for murals along alleys.
- No. 4 — Feb. 19, 2017: There are now nearly 500 mapped murals. Additions include works at Sacramento State and ArtStreet. Two locations (Improv Alley east of 16th Street and the parking garage east of 16th Street/south of Jazz Alley) have been expanded into numerous data points. Instagram links included for 71 percent of murals. Artist Instagram links now provided for artists without traditional websites. There have been about 10 lost public murals since the last update.