Planning Commission

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Dec 21

Murals in Montco

Posted on December 21, 2017 at 12:40 PM by Michael Stokes

Outdoor murals can be great assets in all types of communities if done thoughtfully.  Murals cover a wide range of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surface. They are distinctive due to their scale and the fact that they include architectural elements at their location.  Some outdoor murals are painted on large canvases or boards affixed to a wall, while the more traditional mural is painted on a prepared plaster or stucco surface.

Murals can offer engaging social or historic commentary that can be both aesthetically pleasing and thought provoking.  They can humanize and energize barren urban spaces.   If done well, murals can have a very positive effect on a community. 

Developing a mural should be a community process that involves the engagement of various stakeholders working with artists from the initial design through the mural painting. Since murals are large and often become significant features in any community, it is important that they respect their surroundings.  With local support, murals are protected from vandalism and can be created with volunteer participation.  The maintenance of murals and the ultimate removal of them is an important consideration that should be addressed upfront.

There are several interesting murals spread around the county.  Though we may pale by comparison to the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, which has created thousands of transformative murals over the past 30 years, our local murals continue to make an impact. Check out few of them below:

You know that you are near a zoo when you see this mural

Schwenksville_Mural (1)
This prominent blank wall in Schwenksville was transformed into a attractive
mural with the help of the Montgomery County 2040 Grant Program

Thousands of people pass this mural in Norristown along DeKalb Street

This mural inspires gardeners in Pottstown

In Royersford, a mural was painted on the side of an ugly factory building
as part of a riverfront revitalization effort.

Murals are part of place-making as this one in Harleysville demonstrates

Glenside_Train_Station (1)
Transforming dark underpasses is a challenging job for murals such as
this one in Glenside


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