U.S. Murals – Two

Some large U.S. cities are plagued by ugly graffiti while a few others sponsor public programs for talented muralists to convert their streets into a public art gallery. As you can see from the photos below, these colorful wall murals are exquisite.

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Toucan Balancing  Guinness Pints Mural at Brian Boru Irish Pub in Portland, Maine - Encircle Photos

1 Toucan Balancing Guinness Pints Mural at Brian Boru Irish Pub in Portland, Maine

On a red brick wall outside of the Brian Boru Irish pub in Portland is this flying toucan. The Guinness mascot is balancing two glasses of dry stout on his long, colorful bill. Inside the pub is a welcoming atmosphere. True to its heritage, the tavern has expertly drawn plenty of pints for its appreciative patrons since opening in 1993.

57 Center St, Portland, ME 04101
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Annapolis Landmarks Mural in Annapolis, Maryland - Encircle Photos

2 Annapolis Landmarks Mural in Annapolis, Maryland

This wall mural of landmarks in Annapolis, Maryland, is located along “Ego Alley,” a nickname given to the city dock area because of the expensive yachts seen floating around the Chesapeake Bay. The quaint town of 39,000 hosts numerous 18th century homes and buildings, plus is the state capital and home to the U.S. Navy Academy. It also caters to lots of summer tourists from nearby Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

1 Dock St, Annapolis, MD 21401
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Boston Red Sox Logo in Boston, Massachusetts - Encircle Photos

3 Boston Red Sox Logo in Boston, Massachusetts

In 1871, a baseball team was formed in Boston called the Red Stockings. They later moved to Milwaukee and finally became the Atlanta Braves. In their place, a new team was formed in 1901. They began to wear a single red sox emblem on their jerseys in 1908 and became the Boston Red Sox in 1908. A second sock was added to their emblem in 1931.

24 Yawkey Way Ext, Boston, MA 02215
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Humpback Whale Mural on Broderick Tower by Wyland in Detroit, Michigan - Encircle Photos

4 Humpback Whale Mural on Broderick Tower by Wyland in Detroit, Michigan

In 1997, Wyland painted this “Whale Tower.” The artwork measures 65 feet wide by 180 feet tall on the David Broderick Tower in Detroit, Michigan. The mural was unfortunately covered by an advertisement during the 2006 World Series. However, it is again visible to Detroit’s theater patrons and sports fans.

10 Witherell St, Detroit, MI 48226
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Maggie Simpson Mural and Empty Brandy Bottle in Detroit, Michigan - Encircle Photos

5 Maggie Simpson Mural and Empty Brandy Bottle in Detroit, Michigan

The Farwell Building in downtown Detroit was built in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Despite its historic value, the structure has remained vacant since 1984. As a result, the decaying property became a canvas for graffiti. An example is this image of Maggie Simpson with a red pacifier in her mouth and a can of spray paint in her hand. Beneath her other hand is a real empty bottle of brandy.

1249 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226
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Three Strutting Men Mural on Serman’s Clothing Building in Detroit, Michigan - Encircle Photos

6 Three Strutting Men Mural on Serman’s Clothing Building in Detroit, Michigan

These three strutting, well-dressed men are part of six adorning the side of Sherman’s Clothing building. Since 1917, this retailer has been dressing the men and boys of Detroit, Michigan. Sadly, Steven Ross, the founder’s grandson, announced the store’s closing in June of 2013. This marked the end of the 96 year-old family business.

1236 Randolph Street, Detroit, MI 48226
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Babe the Blue Ox Mural in Akeley, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

7 Babe the Blue Ox Mural in Akeley, Minnesota

Babe the Blue Ox was the constant companion of Paul Bunyan. This mural graces the side of a former grocery store. Across Broadway Street West are a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and a museum/visitor center of the same name. At the start of the 20th century, Akeley had a population of about 3,500. Most were lumberjacks or people who worked in a local sawmill. Today the town has less than 500 residents. Other images and statues of Paul and Babe can be found in neighboring towns such as Bemidji and Brainerd, Minnesota.

Graceson Ave N & Broadway St E Akeley, MN 56433
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Marilyn Monroe Divas Mural in Annandale, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

8 Marilyn Monroe Divas Mural in Annandale, Minnesota

The word diva once meant an idolized, successful female performer with lots of talent and Marilyn Monroe was an iconic example. Norma Jeane’s classic smile and flowing blond hair have been immortalized in films, photos and art. This tribute, painted by muralist Chantal Boon, seems a fitting logo for Diva’s Hair and Body Care Professionals in the small town of Annandale, Minnesota.

52 Oak Ave N, Annandale, MN 55302
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Sinclair Lewis Mural on Palmer House in Sauk Centre, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

9 Sinclair Lewis Mural on Palmer House in Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Native-born Sinclair Lewis was persona non grata by Sauk Centre residents after “Main Street” was published in 1920. His legacy is now deeply associated with this town of less than 4,400 people. The author’s profile is appropriately located at the intersection of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main Street. Roger Reinardy painted the tribute on the Palmer House, a hotel built in 1901. Sinclair Lewis worked here for two summers as a youth. A similar setting was called Minniemashie House in the “Main Street” novel.

500 Sinclair Lewis Ave, Sauk Centre, MN 56378
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Smile and Sad Masks of Greek Comedy and Tragedy Mural in St. Cloud, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

10 Smile and Sad Masks of Greek Comedy and Tragedy Mural in St. Cloud, Minnesota

Some of the outdoor theaters in Greece accommodated an audience of 10,000 or more. When you sit at the top of these ancient ruins, you are amazed to hear a whisper from center stage. Now envision the actors from 550 to 220 BC wearing masks during their performances. The smiling and sad masks representing comedy and tragedy evolved from this period into the symbol for theater. This wall mural of the twin Greek masks is in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

10th Ave S & 1st St S, St. Cloud, MN 56301
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1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam Mural in Stillwater, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

11 1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam Mural in Stillwater, Minnesota

In the 19th century, the St. Croix River Valley was filled with forests of white pine. At maturity, these trees grow 80 to 100 feet and are ideal for lumber. In 1837, the United States signed the Treaty of St. Peters with the Ojibwe permitting a very large tract of land to be timbered. This sparked a logging boom from 1839 until 1914. At its peak, thousands of lumberjacks from over 150 camps harvested trees in the winter and stacked their cuts on the banks of the St. Croix. As the ice melted in the spring, the logs were floated downstream towards sawmills steered by “river pigs.” Massive log jams were typical. Sometimes this river congestion extended 15 or more miles upstream. In 2007, Raduenz McErly captured this common springtime event in the mural titled, “1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam.”

04 Main Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082
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Virginia and Truckee Railroad Engine #22 Mural in Carson City, Nevada - Encircle Photos

12 Virginia and Truckee Railroad Engine #22 Mural in Carson City, Nevada

This train engine # 22 mural is on the side of Heidi’s Diner in Carson City, Nevada. The artwork commemorates the 80 year history of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Starting in 1868, this rail system connected cities, towns, mines and milling operations between Reno and Carson City. Engine #22, also called the Inyo, was built in 1875 and retired in 1926. The locomotive went on to have an exciting Hollywood career in 20 Paramount Pictures movies plus was featured in “The Wild Wild West” TV show during the 1960s. It is now on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

1020 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701
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Pigeon Mural in Portsmouth, New Hampshire - Encircle Photos

13 Pigeon Mural in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth is a small seaport of about 21,000 people along the Piscataqua River in New Hampshire. During colonial America, from 1603 until 1807, the town maintained a major harbor to the Atlantic Ocean. This mural of a pigeon with dripping streaks of paint is located near the Market Square and North Church.

Daniel St & Pleasant St, Portsmouth, NH 03801
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Black Raven Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico - Encircle Photos

14 Black Raven Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The black raven, like this mural in Albuquerque, is often believed to be a bad omen or predictor of pending death. Their evil reputation has been reinforced in classic literature by Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens and Stephen King. The raven is also mentioned in about a dozen Bible passages. Despite these various portrayals, the raven has one of the largest brains among birds and is capable of advanced problem solving.

118 Rte 66, Albuquerque, NM 87102
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Frutos De La Expresion Mural by Claire Bain in Albuquerque, New Mexico - Encircle Photos

15 Frutos De La Expresion Mural by Claire Bain in Albuquerque, New Mexico

In downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, is this mural called “Frutos De La Expresion.” The art was designed by Claire Bain in 2000. It commemorates three amendments to the U.S. Constitution: the first for freedom of speech, the fifteenth for freedom to vote regardless of race or color and the nineteen allowing women to vote. The mural was sponsored by Working Classrooms, Inc. This is an arts and educational program for young artists.

212 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
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Historic Monuments Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico - Encircle Photos

16 Historic Monuments Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico, has embraced murals in programs such as “Street Arts” which is sponsored by 516 Arts. The vivid results show across the downtown buildings. Once barren walls are now canvases for local artists. This is the center detail of a very long mural. The painting seems to be protesting the raising of Albuquerque’s historic landmarks.

109 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
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Mother Road Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico - Encircle Photos

17 Mother Road Mural in Albuquerque, New Mexico

This colorful mural called “Mother Road” was designed by Joe Stephenson and sponsored by Working Classroom. The vivid art is a tribute to Route 66 connecting Chicago with Los Angeles. The iconic road cut through Albuquerque on Fourth Street starting in the mid-20s and switched to Central Avenue in 1937. Among the vehicles driving down “The Main Street of America” is a 1960 Roman Red Corvette convertible. The classic originally sold for less than $4,000. Today, the collectors’ item fetches up to $75,000. Apparently, nostalgia does not come cheap.

212 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
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Drink Pepsi Cola for Delicious Health Wall Advertisement in Durham, North Carolina - Encircle Photos

18 Drink Pepsi Cola for Delicious Health Wall Advertisement in Durham, North Carolina

On the side of The Cookery building in North Carolina is this faded advertisement for Pepsi Cola. When the product started in a North Carolina drug store in 1892, it was called, “Brad’s Drink.” Its current name is derived from pepsin – a digestive enzyme – and kola nuts. This slogan “Delicious Health” started in 1909 when a car racing pioneer became the first celebrity endorser. The advertising phrase was used for another twenty years.

1101 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
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Pauli Murray Roots and Soul Mural in Durham, North Carolina - Encircle Photos

19 Pauli Murray Roots and Soul Mural in Durham, North Carolina

Pauli Murray “Roots and Soul” mural is located on Chapel Hill Street in Durham, North Carolina. The vivid painting pays tribute to the American civil rights activist. She was also a lawyer, a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, the first black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest and posthumously named a saint. The mural is part of the Pauli Murray Project at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

1101 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
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Children’s Characters Mural in Akron, Ohio - Encircle Photos

20 Children’s Characters Mural in Akron, Ohio

On South Main Street in Akron next to the former Stew Pot Kitchen is a fenced in playground at the base of a parking lot. The backdrop is a mural featuring colorful mythical characters.

23 S Main St #301, Akron, OH 44308
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Colorful Abstract Figures Mural Called Stage Left in Lock 3 Park in Akron, Ohio - Encircle Photos

21 Colorful Abstract Figures Mural Called Stage Left in Lock 3 Park in Akron, Ohio

On the wall of the Civic Theater facing the Lock 3 Park in Akron is this abstract mural called, “Stage Left.” It was created in 2009 by teenagers as part of the Lock 3 Summer Arts Experience. During this program, motivated students are mentored in art while receiving a summer paycheck. Steve Csejtey, an art teacher from Firestone High School, led the project.

192 S Main St Akron, OH 44308
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Canal at Vine Street Circa 1900 Mural by Blankenship from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

22 Canal at Vine Street Circa 1900 Mural by Blankenship from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Barlow Motors buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio, were built in 1915-1917. They featured a unique drive-in elevator that lifted cars to the second floor for service. Behind it was a canal house. This mural is from a 1900 photo of the Miami-Erie Canal. The project manager was Michael Blankenship from ArtWorks. ArtWorks’ mission is, “inspires the creative community to transform our everyday environments through employment, apprenticeships, education, community partnerships and civic engagement.”

1100 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH
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Cincinnati’s Table Mural by Scott Donaldson from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

23 Cincinnati’s Table Mural by Scott Donaldson from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

Above the front door of the Jean-Robert’s Table restaurant is a flying pig. On the side of the building is this mural called, “Cincinnati’s Table.” The artwork is a fluid combination of trees, food, wine, snails and, of course, flying pigs, all on a white tablecloth. Scott Donaldson from ArtWorks was the artist. The ArtWorks motto is, “Our city is a gallery.” After creating over 300 public works, they have definitely made Cincinnati a very beautiful outdoor gallery.

713 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Cincinnatus Trompe l’oeil Mural by Evergreen Painting Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

24 Cincinnatus Trompe l’oeil Mural by Evergreen Painting Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnatus was a Roman dictator around 450 BC. The leader’s legacy was being a civil humanitarian. The name of Cincinnati honors him. This downtown mural is called, “Cincinnatus Trompe l’oeil.” The painter was Richard Hass, a master of three-dimensional art. He worked at Evergreen Painting Studios in New York City. What is exciting is this architectural arts firm has restored many of the gorgeous buildings I have photographed including several state capitols, court houses, churches and theaters. I salute their exceptional talent.

2 Elkins Alley, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

25 Cobbler’s Apprentice Plays Ball Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

Frank Duveneck was an accomplished realism portrait painter in the late 19th century. Although born in Covington, Kentucky, his talents were unappreciated across the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Then he became heralded in Europe. One of his most famous paintings is, “The Cobbler’s Apprentice.” The art was created in Germany and now hangs in the local Taft Museum of Art. This mural is a playful rendition of the master’s work. The boy is now holding a baseball bat in recognition of the Cincinnati Reds who play nearby. The lead artist for this mural was Tim Parsley from ArtWorks.

100 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Fresh Harvest Mural by Jonathan Queen from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

26 Fresh Harvest Mural by Jonathan Queen from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

On the side of the Kroger grocery headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, is this delicious looking mural of vegetables and fruits called, “Fresh Harvest.” Jonathan Queen was the lead artist. It is another inspirational wall mural by ArtWorks. This organization provides apprenticeships to a wide ethnic mix of youth from 67 schools and 75 neighborhoods.

35 W Central Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Homecoming Bluebirds Mural by Jenny Upstick from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

27 Homecoming Bluebirds Mural by Jenny Upstick from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

Charley Harper was a Cincinnati painter. He specialized in highly stylized, minimalist prints of wildlife. This mural is a tribute to his lithograph called, “Homecoming (Bluebirds).” Jenny Ustick led the 12 person artist team during the ArtWorks Summer Program. This sponsorship hires and mentors aspiring artists 21 and under. It is their largest wall mural to date at 4,700 square feet. Since 1996, ArtWorks has worked with over 2,500 young people and 500 professional artists.

103e E Court St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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John A. Ruthven Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

28 John A. Ruthven Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

John A. Ruthven is an accomplished and acclaimed Cincinnati artist of wildlife. He has been compared to Audubon. This mural is from his 2013 painting called, “Passenger Pigeons.” It commemorates Martha, the last passenger pigeon that died 100 years ago in the local zoo. The mural’s lead artist is Tim Parsley from ArtWorks.

11e E 8th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

29 Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

Jim Tarbell was a Vice-Mayor when he received the title of “Mr. Cincinnati.” The restaurant owner launched his political career in a top hat and tails, as portrayed in this four-story mural on Central Parkway in Cincinnati, Ohio. The project manager was Tim Parsley and the teaching artist was Jarrett Jamison. They are both from ArtWorks.

1109 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Golden Muse Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

30 Golden Muse Mural by Tim Parsley from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati had their 80th anniversary in 2012. To celebrate, the museum reproduced 80 works from their collection across the city during their “Art for All” program. One of them is this mural by lead artist Tim Parsley from ArtWorks called, “The Golden Muse.” In my opinion, its artistic quality is far superior to the Picasso painting of the same name. However, that famous piece sold in 2013 for $45 million, so what do I know? This mural is located across from Washington Park in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

32 W 13th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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The Singing Mural by Jenny Ustick from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

31 The Singing Mural by Jenny Ustick from ArtWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio

“The Singing Mural” consists of 18 faces including Elton John, Johann Sebastian Bach, Grover from Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, plus plenty of Cincinnati’s legends. The sponsors were the Cincinnati Opera and public television channel WCET. The lead artist was Jenny Ustick from ArtWorks. It adorns the Town Center Garage on Central Parkway.

1223 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Young Girl with Umbrella Mural by Higher Level Art in Cincinnati, Ohio - Encircle Photos

32 Young Girl with Umbrella Mural by Higher Level Art in Cincinnati, Ohio

This beautiful young girl holding an umbrella is a detail of a 30’ x 100’ mural created by Higher Level Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. They “specialize in murals, signs and exclusive creative illustrations.” This mural was on the side of the Know Theater. It is a non-profit theater company in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Apparently, this wall is a frequent canvas for the joint creativity of both companies.

1120 Jackson St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Life is Sharing the Same Park Bench Mural by John Morrell in Cleveland, Ohio - Encircle Photos

33 Life is Sharing the Same Park Bench Mural by John Morrell in Cleveland, Ohio

This mural in Cleveland is called, “Life is Sharing the Same Park Bench.” The outdoor art was commissioned by the first black mayor in the U.S., Carl Strokes. This symbol of brotherhood was painted by John Francis Morrell. He was a prolific wall mural artist from Rochester, New York. He died in 2010. This image is also the logo for the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups, Inc.

1507 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114
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Alley Mural near North Pearl Street in Columbus, Ohio - Encircle Photos

34 Alley Mural near North Pearl Street in Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, is decorated with many wonderful wall murals, including whimsical ones based on “American Gothic” and “Mona Lisa.” Then you also find uncelebrated ones like this decoration of an alley on North Pearl Street next to the El Arepazo Latin Grill.

44 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
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Dedication Mural on Mount Carmel Nursing School by Eric Grohe in Columbus, Ohio - Encircle Photos

35 Dedication Mural on Mount Carmel Nursing School by Eric Grohe in Columbus, Ohio

Eric Grohe is a consummate mural artist from Seattle, Washington. His work is vivid, grand and almost three dimensional. He has created over a dozen masterpieces in Ohio, including this one in Columbus called, “Dedication.” It was sponsored by the Mount Carmel Health System. The 50 foot tall and 58 foot wide mural is on the side of the Mount Carmel Nursing School. The inscription on top reads, “Honoring every soul with loving service.”

W Town St. & S Davis Ave, Columbus, OH 43222
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Neighborhood Scene Mural by Mark Thomas in Columbus, Ohio - Encircle Photos

36 Neighborhood Scene Mural by Mark Thomas in Columbus, Ohio

This mural is called, “Neighborhood Scene.” It was painted by Mark Thomas. The sponsor was Lindsay Gallery. They specialize in “Outsider Art” and are a member of the Short North Galleries. Look for it on Vine Street and North High Street.

Vine St & North High St, Columbus, OH 43222
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Hector and Andromache Mural by De Chirico in Dayton, Ohio - Encircle Photos

37 Hector and Andromache Mural by De Chirico in Dayton, Ohio

Near the intersection of Sears Street and East Third in Dayton are a series of wall murals. They pay tribute to classical artists. This one is called, “Hector and Andromache.” The original was painted by Gioegio de Chirico during his metaphysical period from 1909 to 1919. He was a Greek surrealist and cubist painter. The image represents a doomed husband and wife relationship. The masterpiece hangs in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome.

601 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402
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Jimi Hendrix Mural on Omega Music Store in Dayton, Ohio - Encircle Photos

38 Jimi Hendrix Mural on Omega Music Store in Dayton, Ohio

In 1966, Jimi Hendrix was discovered by the girlfriend of Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. She helped to launch his short yet impactful career as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was also promoted by Paul McCartney. By the time he played at Woodstock in 1969, he was one the highest paid rock musicians. About a year later, he died at the age of 27 from an overdose of sleeping pills. This wall mural on the side of the Omega Music Store in Dayton, Ohio, is similar to the Stockholm 67 CD album cover.

318 E 5th St, Dayton, OH 45402
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The Kiss Mural by Gustav Klimt in Dayton, Ohio - Encircle Photos

39 The Kiss Mural by Gustav Klimt in Dayton, Ohio

Gustav Klimt was a controversial Australian painter whose work focused on the female form. During the turn of the 20th century, his art was considered to be erotic if not pornographic. However, during what’s called his golden phase, he produced masterpieces like this one from 1907-1908 called, “The Kiss.” It is reproduced as a wall mural in Dayton, Ohio. The original is displayed in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna.

601 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402
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