MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — What does the inventor of the super-soaker have in common with Jerry Garcia, Radio Raheem and Mr. Peanut?
You can see them all on murals in downtown Mobile.
The number of murals has been quickly expanding over the last few years as public art has become encouraged in downtown. There are now close to 20 murals.
“The murals increase the quality of life for residents and visitors,” said Lucy Gafford, Director of the Mobile Arts Council. “They add color and vibrancy to a rough, urban, landscape.”
There are 19 murals to see downtown.
The newest mural depicts Harriet Tubman at Lawrence and Dauphin Streets. It shows the abolitionist leading slaves to freedom.
“It’s beautifully executed,” said Gafford. ”Part of the goal of murals and public art is to tell a story to get across what you want your community to see and learn from.”
The most visited mural is Souls of Mobile at Jackson and Dauphin Streets. This Van Gogh-inspired scene features dozens of individuals set along a busy Dauphin Street backdrop.
“This one gets a lot of photo opportunities,” said Gafford. “It’s actual individuals, almost all from the Mobile area, with a few other figures the artist was especially fond of.”
The largest mural is E.O. Wilson, located on the west wall of the Athelstan Club. The mural pays homage to Mobile native E.O. Wilson, a renowned scientist and naturalist.
“I was kind of blown away by his connection to Mobile and his achievements,” said artist Andy Scott who painted the mural last year. “I think it’s a really nice clean design. You don’t see a lot of murals around here of that scale.”
The oldest large-scale mural is the Delta Bike Project. Painted in 2014 by a team of artists, it depicts a panorama of a busy day in Mobile.
“There’s a lot to see here,” said Gafford. “You’ve got a lot of creatures found in our Delta and important to our ecosystem, as well as some iconic Downtown businesses.”
The mural now has a mossy patina due to nearby oak trees. Don’t forget to look for the Crichton Leprechaun! Click here to see a map of downtown murals and other pieces of public art.