Almost every time you turn around, a new mural has popped up in the Dayton region. Big, bright, bold and beautiful embellishments seem to be taking over the Gem City.
Images of paddle boarders, bicyclists and turtles run alongside the Great Miami River across from RiverScape and bright yellow whimsical creatures tow a girl through the air in an empty lot at Third and Keowee streets.
Now, as the weather warms up, it’s a good time to lace up your walking shoes and take a tour of our city’s large-scale works of art.
Here’s a look at 10 murals — just a sampling of what can be found in the area — that are worth a look:
1. Green goddess. A green goddess has taken over a wall on Jackson Street on the side of the building that houses Toxic Brew, 431 E. Fifth St., in the Oregon District. The figure, surrounded by rolling locks of hair, is framed by a variety of shapes and colors. At certain times of the day, shadows from trees add to the creation.
2. Inventors tree house. The whimsical “Inventors Treehouse,” created by the Mural Machine, climbs up the side of a brick building that houses the Clash boutique and gallery, 521 E. Fifth St. Under a green shingled-roof, a red-haired girl keeps on eye on the neighborhood while a pair of squirrels balance on the existing utility lines.
3. Paint splash. Gobs of paint roll down the side of a building in multi-colors and fall into the parking lot of MJ’s on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson St. in downtown Dayton. The bucket holding the paint has been tipped on its side from a neighboring building. The paint splashes into the creases of the building on its way to the pavement.
4. Fusion of color. A fusion of design and color illuminates the K12 Gallery & TEJAS building, 341 S. Jefferson St., in Dayton. Historic figures, an early airplane and a rocket ship, the moon and stars and a paint brush-wielding cat are just a few of the examples of whimsy painted on the brick building.
5. Commemorating history. In Dayton’s Wright-Dunbar neighborhood, the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame mural, in the 1100 block of West Third Street, commemorates poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright. Tones of browns, tans and creams blend in with the surrounding historic brick buildings.
6. Dance, dance, dance. A lone dancer — caught mid-stride — spans two floors of a parking garage on the northwest corner of Jefferson and Fourth streets in downtown Dayton. Wearing a fedora and a red scarf, the dancer will have a great view of the Levitt Pavilion, the outdoor music amphitheater coming to Dave Hall Plaza.
7. Royal orange. A regal woman, holding a clutch under her arm and wearing a veiled hat, is painted in tones of orange and red on the side of the transportation center parking garage on Fifth Street near the entrance to the Oregon District.
She looms large against the concrete backdrop. A red cardinal perched on a metal standpipe connector is discretely painted near her.
8. Music tribute. A nod to musical greats has enhanced the side of the Omega Music shop, 318 E. Fifth St., for years. Jazz legend Miles Davis and rock giant Jimi Hendrix are captured in black and white. Walk around the back of the building and you will find another piece of inspirational art tucked away.
9. Welcome to the Gem City. Welcoming commuters to Dayton is a mural spanning the length of the White-Allen body shop, 442 N. Main St. The artwork, a collaboration with local artist Amy Deal and K12 Gallery & TEJAS, celebrates the innovative history of the city. Within the mural are depictions of the cash register, stepladder, ice cube tray, self-starter and more.
10. Gentle giant. A two-story giraffe stands out on the west side of the building that houses The Barrel House, 417 E. Third St. The animals long neck stretches across the brick façade reaching for painted leaves. Painted with spots in shades of brown the mural is a peaceful scene planted along a busy downtown thoroughfare.