Not another old-timey mural! ??

“When you get a mural, that’s it for your town. It’s going to die.” 

I heard that a long time ago, but I don’t know how that got started. Maybe if your town has been struggling, someone will want to turn things around, and at some point someone is going to suggest painting a mural. And the mural will always be a historical scene. 

But I still like murals. Just not historical murals. Please, no more historical murals. 

Here’s why I’m down on historical murals. We have enough. When I visit small towns, I’ve noticed that if it has a mural, almost without exception they show old-time scenes in traditional old-timey styles. 

Is that all we are? History? 

It’s like the poster I saw in the Cincinnati Airport: “Experience Ohio’s Small Town Past.” Because, you know, small towns are all stuck in the past.  

Or how Deb’s small town got compared to a time capsule. Now not only are we stuck in the past, we’re sealed in for another 50 years! 

Which brings me to my question: 

Who’s showing our small town present? Or, dare we think it, our rural future? 

  • Cosmos, Minnesota, pop. 473, has a modern-style mural on the side of a hair salon. (bottom right in this photo – It’s a little faded, so it’s been up for some time which I think is cool.)
  • Pullman, Washington, pop. 33,000, has a bright and funky mural downtown and lots more challenging art around town. (see it here)

Can you even imagine doing a future-themed mural in your town? What would your community’s future look like in art? 

Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – Deb and I are talking more about arts for the past, present and future in our first flipped webinar. It’s a $20 investment, and you can check it out here