Take a walking tour to discover downtown Dayton’s best murals

Bright, bold and whimsical murals add color to the downtown palette

Public art keeps popping up all over Dayton. The city has become a canvas for dozens of colorful murals in the past few years.

Tiffany Clark of the Mural Machine is one of the artists responsible for the creations seen around the city. Currently, she is working on a mural of cats on the side of Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District and is getting ready to start another that celebrates the historic neighborhood just a few blocks away.

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The Mural Machine will be installing the new mural, located on a wall behind the Smokin' Bar-B-Que building, 200 E. Fifth St., during Art in the City, which kicks off Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. and runs through Aug. 16.

“We really feel beautifying downtown with more color and murals is beneficial to everyone,” she said. “I often hear from people who say, ‘the murals look like people care about the community.’”



Sunday, July 28, is an opportunity to add your own artistic talent to a mural. The Mural Machine and Miracle Clubhouse are hosting a community paint day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the "Love You" mural on Keowee Street between First and Third streets in Dayton.

Last year, Clark designed the mural on the west side of the street as a tribute to people who have died by suicide. This year the project moves to the east side and will be dedicated to individuals who have survived suicide attempts.

“The more you support public art downtown, the more you’re going to get it,” Clark said. “So, help us beautify your city.”


The murals have become so prolific, along with sculptures and other pieces of art, the Downtown Dayton Partnership is putting together a self-guided public art map that can be downloaded using the Avenza app beginning Aug. 2.

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More information and instructions for downloading can be found here.


This is a look at some of the artworks created in the past year by talented Miami Valley artists.

>> A look back at our favorite downtown murals last year

So, put your walking shoes on or jump on a bike and take a tour of our community art.


You can make your feline friend immortal. The Mural Machine is painting a wall full of cats on the side of Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District. The mural is a fundraiser for local groups dedicated to animal welfare. Nearly 100 cat portraits were sold.


A new mural in downtown Dayton celebrates the city’s welcoming and inclusive spirit. The public art piece was designed by Dayton artist Amy Deal and inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “The Dove.” It is located on the north wall of the Stage Door, 44 N. Jefferson St., and is made up of overlapping doves painted in shades of orange, yellow, mossy green and purple. Together, they subtly form the shape of a heart.


A tribute to Dayton funk has been painted along the Stone Street railroad wall. The "Land of Funk" is a 21-panel mural featuring seven Dayton funk band: The Ohio Players; Faze-O; Heatwave; Zapp & Roger; Lakeside; Sun and Slave. The project was spearheaded by Dayton-based artist Morris Howard and Brittini Long, Montgomery County Juvenile Court's Reclaiming Futures Community Engagement coordinator.


A breakfast-themed mural has been created on Butter Café, 1106 Brown St. near the University of Dayton. A 6-foot stack of pancakes, spilled coffee, a fork holding a cherry, giant cupcakes, and blooming daisies have been painted on the building.

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Astronaut Charles Bassett II, a Dayton native and former U.S. Air Force pilot, is the subject of a new mural on the side of the All Tune and Lube building at 400 E. Third Street. Bassett died with fellow NASA astronaut Elliot See Jr. on Feb. 28, 1966, when the T-38 jet they were aboard struck the building housing their space capsule in St. Louis, Mo. The design includes a rendering of Bassett in his spacesuit and stats about Ohio’s space history.

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Jes McMillan, the founder of the nonprofit Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton, along with a crew of help, painted a mural on the train overpass near the intersection of Keowee and First streets last year. The whimsical mural features flying birds and the words: “East Dayton Arts District.”

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There is a celebration of music on the side of Dayton’s transportation garage on Jefferson Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. A silhouette of a singing woman, her hair made of musical notes, is surrounded by blocks of color. The mural is right across from the Levitt Pavilion.

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The Love You mural is a tribute to people who have died by suicide. The retaining wall, spanning the west side of Keowee Street between First and Third streets, is covered with images and words of remembrance.

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