Do you like murals? Do you want to know more about the artists who created them?
I started curating a map of local murals in 2016 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 in a future release. Until then: yellow = interior murals, red = exterior murals, purple = the Franklin Urban Plein Air Project and blue = murals coming soon.
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 (#streetsac and #sacstreetart are the most popular) and canvassed other online sources to find more. I’ve seen nearly every mural on the map in person. In keeping with the ephemeral nature of street art, some murals have disappeared since I started. I’m happy to say, we’re adding more than we’re losing.
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 info on a little more than 100 murals that I intend to see in person. The goal is to create a comprehensive map of the four-county region. 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.
- No. 5 — March 31, 2017: There are now 504 mapped murals, updated in preparation for my workshop at the 2017 JACC state convention. Instagram links included for 74 percent of murals.
- No. 6 — May 12, 2017: There are now 607 mapped murals, with many updates coming from Friday visits to the suburbs. Instagram links included for 77 percent of murals.
- No. 7 — July 23, 2017: There are now 686 mapped murals: 566 outside, 108 inside and 12 future works. Instagram links included for 80 percent of murals. I will continue daily updates with the location of each Wide Open Walls mural as they are announced. ArtStreet murals remain mapped, even though many of the interior works are gone and the building will be torn down soon.